Tag Archives: visual

Seeing is thinking, feeling, understanding – let’s not neglect visual literacies

Pablo Picasso

The SLAV conference, ‘Transliteracy, multiliteracy, makerspaces: how can you participate?’ I attended recently (16 August) gave me much to think about, as they always do.  The featured address, ‘Ways of seeing’: The visual in Australian curriculum by Helen Kent and Catherine Reid from Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, highlighted an often neglected area of  focus on important visual literacies at the secondary level.

There does seem to be a stronger focus in schools on the analytical responses, and I am concerned that students are missing out if we ignore the visual aspect in favour of what we see as the more important textual analyses. I agree with Helen and Catherine that we need a response to the aesthetics, not just analysis, in our approach to the curriculum. Visual literacy is extremely important in the 21st century, and is particularly engaging to students, and must include affective responses if we want to develop emotional intelligence.

What happens to children who are surrounded by rich visual content in their early childhood and primary years who enter secondary school where this is suddenly cut off?  My guess is that, firstly, engagement decreases, and secondly, they miss out on developing the essential skills that come out of visual analysis. It’s not realistic to pretend that we live in an exclusively text-centred world, especially with the immediacy of images and multimedia at our fingertips now.

Are we mistaking visual literacy as being tied exclusively to the Visual Arts? The occasional comic prompt in an English paper? I realise I need to look again at AusVels to see where exactly I can find opportunities for students to articulate an emotional and aesthetic response – History, Civics and Citizenship, Maths and Science, for example, offer the opportunity for aesthetic responses, so I need to have a closer look.

Some takeaways which I’ll follow as leads for futher investigation:

  • First We See: the National Review of Visual Education which recommends  a whole new pedagogy to deal with visual literacies
  • the term ‘wreading’ – interconnected fluid process of learning reading and writing
  • Do we need a new term ‘Visualcy’  which describes the connection between literacy and numeracy ?

What we should be looking for is a pedagogy that enables emotional response to visual prompts. We have the Arts and teachers of the Arts to look to in learning about how to develop visual literacy in our students.

One of the questions which arose from the session was ‘Can we assess students’ emotional responses?’ I would be interested in a good conversation about this with people who have a keen interest or experience. In any case, as our speakers said, what is curriculum for? If it’s to guide us in addressing goals and skills acquisition, and if ‘viewing’ is one of the strands, then we should seriously develop this more in our curriculum to align ‘viewing’ with the other strands. Interesting to note that the rationale doesn’t emphasise enough the importance of visuals in Indigenous culture.

                                                                                                                    Rene Magritte – Ceci n’est pas une pipe

I haven’t summarised the entire content of the two talks, and I don’t intend to. I’d like to share resources I’ve been creating that might be helpful for anybody thinking about resourcing Visual Literacy in their schools. At this stage, my resources are targeted at English teachers, but I’ll make an effort to keep my eye out for visual prompts for different domains. Some of these below may possibly be adapted for others but I haven’t looked at this specifically yet. The images can be deconstructed, used as writing or discussion prompts, but these are just some of the suggestions – it’s really up to the focus of the teacher in deciding how the images can be used. Often they can be used for more than one purpose or approach. So, it’s over to you to think about how some of my collections can be used. Don’t be shy to share your ideas in the comments section of this post. It would make my day.

An old blog, Storyteller, with various writing prompts, including visual.

My Pinterest boards (selection) –

Art Inspiration

Awesome

Banned books

Bigger Picture

Clever

Imagine

Looking out

Lost

Maps

Mathematics

Old stuff

Photography

Story

Visions of the future

Words

Well, that’s it from me. For now. Hope you’ll share your ideas – look forward to the conversation.

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Learnist – a bit like Pinterest and a little bit like Scoop.it

learnist

I might be late to the party, but I’ve just discovered Learnist. It looks a lot like Pinterest so I was excited from the start. It combines a few bests, including images, easy collaboration and sharing and educational content. And, as always, what I really like about it is finding people who take the time to curate quality resources. The excitement is in the lucky dip aspect; I like to search specific things but the unexpected joy of discovering something you didn’t set out to find is what makes this addictive for me.

featuredauthorslearnist

Once you start browsing the categories, you’ll realise how open-ended these are. It’s interesting to see what interests people. I’d like to experiment with Learnist as ‘wider reading’ for students. Wouldn’t it be nice to give them time to browse within a general theme or topic to find something that catches their interest instead of prescribing their focus?

attitudelearnist

Learnist is very user-friendly. As with many social networks, it allows you to browse, rate and comment, as well as find out a little about people and follow them or their boards. Learnist has enough statistics at a glance to give you an idea of whether the board has attracted many viewers or commenters. You can add a suggested site to a board or a tag – very similar to Pinterest and Scoop.it. It’s also easy to share a link with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or email the link. It would be valuable to create a shared Learnist board with your faculty, or even create a cross-faculty board, or better still, one for the learning literacies we should be embedding across the curriculum, for example, digital citizenship or critical literacies.

Basically, Learnist allows people to learn with and from each other. That’s the way I like to learn. And the mix of text, image, video and audio is a great way to engage learners.

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YouTube.com/Teachers is launched – let’s flip the classroom

Breaking news:

YouTube.com/Teachers has just been launched.

This morning I read Will Houghteling’s announcement in the  Google Certified Teacher Group –

This morning we launched YouTube.com/Teachers as a resource for educators everywhere to learn how to use YouTube as an educational tool. There are lesson plan suggestions, highlights of great educational content on YouTube, and training on how teachers can film their own educational videos. This site was designed/written by teachers for teachers and we hope it’s the first step in really kick-starting a community of YouTube-using educators (sign up for the new YouTube Teachers email list on the right hand side here)

Read the launch blog post here, co-authored by James Sanders and the launch tweet is here if you want to RT it.

There are many reasons why we should make more use of videos in our teaching: to increase student engagement; to cater for the visual learner (most learners will appreciate a visual means of learning); to introduce a new topic to students before the class; to provide a visual tutorial which students can revisit as many times as they wish and at their own pace; to provide an alternative style of instruction – to mention just a few. Flipping the classroom is something I think should happen more often – provide the video as homework to precede the class, and that way students are already familiar with the content and classroom time can be used effectively for discussion, collaboration and creation.

You can join the YouTube Teachers’ Community on this page if you want to receive emails about the ways in which you can incorporate YouTube videos in your teaching.

I think it would be a good idea to create a YouTube channel for your classes and you can read about that here.

Have a look  at 10 ways to use YouTube in the classroom and also at different types of tools to create your own videos or for students to create them. There’s a lot more on the site including tips for video production.

You can search and browse educational categories of YouTube videos here. The Khan Academy alone has 2.676 videos to choose from.

It really is just sensible to be aware of best quality resources available instead of reinventing the wheel. Unless, of course, you are creating an original alternative to the wheel!

Browsing through the different curricular areas of various tertiary institutions, I am aware that there is a wealth of resources for students requiring more sophistocated content and thought, and that applies to all students at my school, Melbourne High School. For me, as teacher librarian, this wealth of resources is begging for curation. I’m thinking about YouTube.com/Teachers  from my role – it’s there, it’s fantastic, how do I promote it to the whole school, and how do I embed it into a space where teachers will find and use it.

I welcome feedback and thoughts about this excellent resource. As always, I will be sharing this resource and my thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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How does my Art wiki grow

My art wiki is growing fat in places. I thought I’d point to the areas which have expanded the most in the hope of reaching Visual Arts teachers and students.

The blogs page in Blogs and Nings has really expanded. Blogs are my favourite way of finding art resources since they often represent specialised interest areas. It’s a very personal and rich way of discovering art. Blogs are  a labour of love, expressing the unique personality of the author. I can’t think of a more inspiring way to learn.

Here are some examples:

Roberto Bernardi, La Tavolozza , 2010, oil on canvas, 22 x 30″

100 best art blogs Massive list here divided into useful sections (you might have to give up your day job for this)
Art Studio Secrets Some very practical video demonstrations (under ‘Demonstrations’)
Art in the real world “In The Real Art World” alerts you to the best exhibitions of representational “realism” which are on at the moment anywhere in the world.
Sketchcrawl A communal blog for compulsive sketchers
Ephemera assemblyman A beautiful blog of many different examples of art, illustration, design and more.
Urban sketchers This blog features sketches and often equally colorful stories behind the scenes by invited artists correspondents in more than 30 countries around the world. Some are architects and illustrators, others are graphic designers, web developers, painters or educators, all sharing the same passion for drawing on location.
Samuel Michlap Concept artist, illustrator, fine artist and more.
Painting perceptions Perceptual painting is painting life from a personal vision and experience not just recording appearance. As Cézanne said, “Painting is nature seen through a temperament.”
Lines and colors Lines and Colors is a blog about drawing, sketching, painting, comics, cartoons, webcomics, illustration, digital art, concept art, gallery art, artist tools and techniques, motion graphics, animation, sci-fi and fantasy illustration, paleo art, storyboards, matte painting, 3d graphics and anything else I find visually interesting.
Paper forest showcasing great paper stuff, 2D, 3D and animation.

The Image/Flickr page is bursting with links to wonderful sharing people on Flickr – a cornucopia of imagery to inspire students looking for ideas in different media and styles.

Here’s a small sample:

by Irina Troitskaya on Flickr

Guggenheim Museum’s flickr sets
Flickr photostream by laura@popdesign Laura writes the Animalarium blog.
Flickr origami set2by Eric Gjerde
Flickr origami setby Eric Gjerde
All Eric’s origami and tessellation sets are
here.See Eric Gjerde’s website Origami tessellations
Art21’s flickr photostream
Bibimorvarid’s Art&Design set
Bibimorvarid’s photostream
Papercraft and mail art– by Corduroy Cat
Altered playing cards by Corduroy Cat.
Atcs and inchies by Corduroy Cat.
Corduroy Cat’s contacts and groups on Flickr (lots of stuff to explore here)

The Images/Design page is another rich resource; here are only some of the links:

Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Nature


Blickfang – the eye-catching covers of Weimar Berlin.
Thirty book covers from Poland (from A Journey From My Skull)
Kunstformen der Natur (art forms of nature) by Ernst Haeckel (flickr set saved by Eric Gjerde)
The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones. Eric Gjerde has scanned this book and shared it on Flickr.
Styles of Ornament by Alexander Speltz. Tessellation related photo plates from Alexander Speltz’s 1906 book, “Styles of Ornament”. Eric Gjerde has scanned this book and shared it on Flickr.
Digital library for the decorative arts and material culture
Great style illustrations by Iv Orlov
Typographic art
Design Online: Design Online is an electronic library from the University of the Arts, London, containing a digitised record of Design magazine for the years 1965 to 1974. There are around 100 pages in each magazine, which are available as full screen size black-and-white or colour images.

Erwin Poell

There’s so much animation out there,   I love collecting examples. Amazing creativity to be discovered in this section, and fun to watch.

Phosphoro – is an award-winning student 2D animation (Read about it here. )

Of course, the wiki contains much, much more than this.  Some sections are more comprehensive than others, but you can be sure that I’m always on the lookout for new resources to support the teaching and learning of Art-related studies.

Why don’t you have a look for yourself?


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threesixtyfivephotos – daily photo challenge

This year I decided to take up the challenge of posting at least one photo a day as part of a Flickr group challenge. I ended up creating the blog, threesixtyfivephotos, so that the daily photos and small amount of written description would have somewhere to live. Now that I’ve almost finished, I realise that this exercise has proved to be surprisingly more than I expected.

Here are some of the themes:

My stuff, what I love and why Day 29 Toys     Day 232 Stuff

My garden and its seasonal transformation, how it responds to extremes in temperature in the summer (fellow bloggers in North America have documented how their natural surroundings have responded to extremes in temperature in the winter – interesting for me since we don’t have snow) Day 31 Heat damage in the garden  Day 242 First blossom   Day 225 Winter garden  Day 269  Rain rain  Day 256 The whole blooming lot

Good friends Day 13 Getting together with friends

Odd things around the place Day 20 The burning giraffe

Favourite Routines Day 17 Victoria Market

Traditions   Day 6 Christmas eve  Day 358  Christmas eve   Day 109  Orthodox Easter

Family Dramas     Day 5 Sasha doesn’t get his year 12 results  Day234  19th birthday saga  Day 302 Fencing

My City of Melbourne   Day 178 Federation Square  Day 164 Royal Arcade  Day 339  City sights

Food preparation   Day 212 Guest Photographer makes tarts  Day 348  Christmas baking

School events   Day 210  School Gala

Overseas visitors   Day 206  PLP and bloggers’ dinner at Southbank

Milestones and triumphs     Day 197  16th birthday  Day 187  He has wheels  Day 238  Namesday  Day 264 Day of Triumph  Day 246  Still smiling about yesterday  Day 338  Last day of school

Holidays   Day 185  Heaven  Day 318 Back to Barwon Heads

Special occasions    Day 312  Anna and Pat’s wedding   Babies Day 172 Baby’s first communion  Engagement Day 297

Self-fulfilling prophesies   Day 265 Once upon a time and Day 266 Lalo Symphony Espagnole

Special things    Day 288 Russian carving

The photoblog has been a surprisingly rich journey without even trying to be. It’s like a time capsule of sorts. And best of all, it’s connected me in a personal way with people I would otherwise not communicate with.

This could work as an individual student or collaborative class project. Definitely. Just one photo and minimal written description a day.

Why don’t you try it?

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Michael Jackson 1958-2009

michaeljackson

Today the world was saddened by the news of the two celebrity deaths – Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Celebrity popularity is a fact of life, and in this instance Michael Jackson stole the limelight, if you can call it that.  Sometimes the best way to remember a life and career is through pictures. LIFE Magazine is a good place to revisit Michael Jackson’s life.

Stars remember Michael Jackson is an interesting visual record.

Equally as interesting is the album of Michael Jackson covers.

mj

Equally as interesting is the album of Michael Jackson covers.

MJcovers

Then there’s Neverland in all its glory

Neverland

Michael Jackson live – best pics

moreMJ

And, to be fair, have why don’t you stroll down Memory Lane with Farrah Fawcett?

farrah

Since I was on a roll, I decided to check out Michael Jackson’s website.

mjwebsite

 The New York Times has a long post of updates on Michael Jackson and the world’s reaction to his death.

 YouTube has its own tribute to Michael Jackson’s talent.

Given the recent interest in all things Vampire at a time when books like Twilight are more popular than sliced bread, I think it’s time to revisit Thriller.

 

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What does teaching well mean to you?

I was reading Allanah King’s blog, and she had posted a slideshow about ‘Teaching well’ which had been created collaboratively by some of our PLP people. Darren Kuropatwa initiated and coordinated the project in Google Docs.  Here is how he explained it:

WANNA PLAY?
I’m thinking of something that has legs to grow but has a low participation threshold. Something along the lines of
Presentation Tennis. I’ll serve the first ball in the next couple of days. Would anyone be willing to be part of my “seed team” to get the ball rolling? I’m looking for a few good people to help me get the ball rolling. Your commitment to this is very small: 1 slide. Details below …

WHAT WE’LL DO
We will collaboratively create a 20 slide presentation (not counting the title slide) called “Teaching Well”. 20 slides in 10 pairs of contrasts: “Teaching well is more like < slide 1 > than it is like < slide 2 >.” or however else you want to create contrast.

Each day one slide is added to the deck that builds on those that came before. The final 4-6 slides must bring the presentation to some sort of close.

For me, it was a truly satisfying experience which demonstrated the richness of collaboration.  The end result is much greater than each person’s individual contribution.  Here is my slide

teachingwell

And this is the complimentary slide by Susanne Nobles

worldcolleagues

Have a look at the slideshow here. This would be a great collaborative project for both students and teachers, used as a slideshow or even printed off as posters.

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