VISUAL EDUCATION in the VISUAL REVOLUTION
There’s a visual revolution going on right now, and there has been for a while. From the traditional fine arts and design to RSAanimate videos and beyond, there are many new fields emerging and thriving in today’s work and business environments. The field of the Visual Practitioner is one of these relatively new and small, but up and coming, fields. Within this field, graphic facilitation, graphic recording and other visual communication methods are prevalent. (More about these via resources below.)
There is an appreciation of using markers and paper, going analog, in this increasingly digital world. No computer key can evoke the same feeling as marker to paper does. My reaction to color and shape drawn by the human next to me on paper is very different than my reaction to something projected digitally. When presented well, both can evoke feelings – but they evoke different feelings. They create engagement in different ways. I don’t want to misrepresent – I love technology and I also think it’s important to use it and teach it responsibly. What technology allows me to see and understand is even more important. Seeing and understanding are human functions, not digital ones.
HOW CAN THESE HUMAN FUNCTIONS BETTER SUPPORT EDUCATION – VISUALS?
If you look at the American school system, we begin in Kindergarden teaching with shapes and colors and other fabulously visual techniques that quickly dwindle as the years go on. By the time we are in high school, most if not all colorful or shapely assignments and learning exercises are swept into the art room. I appreciate the art room, it is from those art teachers that I have learned more about life than any other source. (As bold as that statement is, I believe it and stand behind it 100%.) What would happen if we used visual communication tools to teach History, Social Studies or Languages? How to communicate and how to learn responsibly using visuals – analog and digital – should be considered a staple in our classrooms. It’s imperative, especially now, when we are bombarded with visuals from television, movies and social media.
What would it take for our teachers to begin to teach students how to capture their notes differently – purposefully drawn with shapes and colors? What would that do for the student who has trouble comprehending and trouble paying attention? What would happen when we ask our students to learn while simultaneously creating their own unique understanding of the material? Would it better prepare our students for their future business endeavors?
Here’s a link to the graphic facilitation category of my blog (currently 3 posts) with some definitions (including the difference between graphic facilitation and sketchnoting which sometimes gets confused).
Other links for visual practitioner information include:
- IFVP, the International Forum of Visual Practitioners
- The Center for Graphic Facilitation
- The Sketchnote Army which was started by the fabulous Mike Rohde (@rohdesign)
- Core 77 – Sketchnotes 101 (one take on sketchnotes)
- there are many more… (feel free to add to this list in the comments)
NOTE TO SELF (and others)
Yes, I am laughing at the irony of my post – an exposition and suggestion towards using visual communication tools for learning without a visual. Perhaps that will be tomorrows post….