November 25, 2012
I recently marveled at the use of word clouds, such as those made by Wordle.net . I went ahead and messed around with it, creating the above image.Â I had a lot of fun customizing my art.Â Wordle provides a very nice visual of a message being communicated by composing its words into a picture. Â I wondered why I appreciate visuals incorporated into digital content.Â Are they important?
Visual literacy is a significant component of digital literacy. â€œVisual literacy, referred to at times as visual competencies, emerges from seeing and integrating sensory experiences â€œ (Jones &Flanning, 2010, p.5).Â Visual literacy enables people to interpret visible actions, objects, and symbols . Â This is fundamental to normal human learning.Â Visual literacy requires artistic expression, and encourages storytelling (Bleed, 2005).Â Â Visual information is easily absorbed, much more easily than learning facts and figures. Â When accompanying text, it often deepens the meaning of the message.
Visual Literacy is also about being able to both interpret and generate images for communicating ideas and concepts.Â Visually literate individuals are informed viewers, critics, and consumers of visual information.Â Â Effective visual communicators are knowledgeable designers, composers, and producers of visual information.Â Â They are open minded to symbolic, explanatory and abstract images.Â Emotional, psychological, and cognitive influences in representations of visuals must also be taken into account when viewing visual media online.
Visual media are integral to how we work, entertain, communicate and educate.Â Visual learners depend on them for leaning.Â Our society depend on visuals to communicate instantly, as well as universally.Â The concept of visual literacy in rapidly evolving as our society embraces digital technology along with its visual media.
Bleed, R. (2005). Visual Literacy in Higher Education. Maricopa Community Collages.Â Retrieved from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli4001.pdf
Jones, B., & Flannigan, S. (2010). Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century. Retrieved from: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/Connecting%20the%20Digital%20Dots.pdf