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University of Winnipeg/Online Reading & Writing - ORaWiki/Visual Literacy

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Visual

--Kimania 20:11, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Visual Literacy



Literacy of the eye?

Seeing is the first method of learning, it starts when we are babies. Visual Literacy incorporates a broad range of factors, skills, and concepts. The vision it presents (no pun intended) is determined by what visuals are being used to shape certain perceptions. Only a few ideas can be discussed here.

Developing visually literate skills requires a lot ground work with multimedia and communications as well as a wide repertoire of artistic and academic knowledge. According to Kevan Nitzber many institutions are already embracing visual literacy as a stepping stone for enhancing education in the 21st century. (http://www.art-themagazine.com/pages/insite20.htm) This makes sense and seems like the only possible direction we cam move forward in, since we live in a culture saturated with images. Despite this obvious notion, Messaris notes that “skill in the actual production of meaningful images does not come readily to the novice…to make full use of the expressive conventions of visual media is another matter” (http://www.readingonline.org/newliteracies/action/messaris/index.html).

Visual literacy is crucial when designing elements fitted for the masses like WebPages or Blogs. When one understands the power of the image or how it is best used, for example – when it is beneficial in education and communication. There will be times when visuals are inappropriate or do nothing but dull the senses. By becoming visually literate you can understand why and how it does this, and thus, visuals will provide you with new meaning. As well, a better understanding as to how images like the photograph work in the field of rhetoric and in society as a whole.

Recommended Readings:

-Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves To Death.

-Web Site for decoding images: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/education/008-3080-e.html

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