April 30, 2012

Visual Symbols in My Life

Well, it's the end of semester. Through learning visual literacy, I feel that I am becoming more visually aware. According to Braden & Hortin (1982), Visual Literacy is the ability to understand and use images, including the ability to think, learn, and express oneself in terms of images. With the developing of technology, visual literacy refers, not only to still images, but also to the multi-media experiences and moving images characteristic of electronic media. Majority of people in the world have ability to interpret visuals according to their own understanding. However, using image to convey information effectively to audience is a life-long learning process. Especially to educators, effective communication with students is a key to create an engaging learning process and meaningful learning outcome. And students today are constantly surrounded by images. They are used to get information through variety of visual texts. Therefore, as an educator, it’s necessary to have ability to learn from visuals and to design visuals for instruction. I think that’s the learning purpose of visual literacy.

I am a Visual-spatial learner. I am always attracted by special designs and I feel I am highly sensitive to visuals. However, prior to learning visual literacy, I didn’t realize that even a typeface included that much information (e.g. Helvatica). Through reading book, watching movie and writing blog, I feel that existence of visual symbols in my daily life is far more than I thought about. Almost everything we see in the daily life is well-designed by others. We also communicate with others through verbal, gesture, face expression; further, typeface, pictures, videos etc. And all of above, are visual symbols.

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