JOL>Collections>Visual Literacy Continuum

Visual literacy has been identified as a 21st Century Skill. As humans, we are hard-wired for visual communication (the optic nerve has major bandwidth), and almost all teachers agree that every student is at times a visual learner.



Here are suggestions for using various online resources for improving visual literacy skills in students.

go to other visual litearcy resources at JOL


Using single images as writing prompts for creative writing, or for image analysis. These can come from any source, but consider and the National Archives Teaching with Documents as potential sources of imagery. More:

Flicktion pool at Flickr | image for Flicktion | image2 for Flicktion | image3 for Flicktion | image 4 for Flicktion

Using Google Earth or geotagged Flickr imagery as a data source for georgraphy lessons. Use JuicyGeography as a source of ideas for using Google Earth, or see this incredible set of lessons based on the 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco.

Building VisualQuests with, where visual information contained in the online lesson represents a data source that is used to answer an essential question of importance.

Building student presentations where only visual images are permitted-no text is allowed except on the title slide. This requires student to internalize and understand their content instead of read it from “digital notecards.”

Building digital stories with iMovie, Photostory 3, MovieMaker 2, Pinnacle Studio 9, or, and online interface for creating digital stories.

Teaching students about intellectual property rights by designing lessons that utilize Creative Commons licensed imagery.

Evaluating the authenticity of visual information. Which is real, this or this, or both?

Using a variety of online tools to repurpose visual information in support of a learning goal, for example, with Filmloop, Bubblr or Captioner.

The user of Inspiration, or an online tools such as to diagram concepts or storyboard.

Using tools from for promoting critical thinking skills-Seeing Reason Tool (Mindful Mapping of Cause and Effect) and the Visual Ranking Tool (Analyzing and Prioritizing Information).

Building teacher presentations in PowerPoint, or by using

Using Flickr as a respository for student or school imagery, project work with analysis, or the creation of a slideshow.

Using Flickr to analyze imagery or illustrate writing, such as this work by Carl Sandburg.

Using Flickr to create virtual field trips, and/or visual arguments in science class.

The use of third party Flickr applications to produce classroom products, such as motivational posters, movie posters, Flickr slideshows, and mosaic makers.

The use of online video editors, such as Eyespot and Videoegg, to create content.


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