Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visual Literacy and the Internet in the Classroom

How can visual literacy and the use of the Internet impact the teaching and learning process in the classroom?
Learners of the 21st century seem to be very visually oriented due to the increase in visual stimuli such as television, computers, and other visual technology. Using visual literacy in the classroom will help students remember and learn because it accesses a part of their brains that pure semantic (reading, writing, and symbolic) methods do not. Visual literacy as a part of education is also crucial because it prepares students for the workforce which is and will continue to rely on visual technologies.
The internet has a tremendous impact on student learning today. The internet provides access to teaching and networking tools. Some examples of teaching tools are WebQuests, virtual field trips, research, and publication. Networking tools include wikis, blogs, email, and discussion boards to name a few. All these tools facilitate learners of the 21st century by requiring higher level thinking, communication, and collaborative skills.
What are some visual-thinking strategies you would like to use in your classroom?
In my math classroom I love using concept maps. I use flow charts, bubble maps, spider maps, and foldables. I think this helps students organize information in a visual way and helps store it to long term memory. I would also like to incorporate a word and conept wall next year that will include real life pictures of careers and applications of the math we are studying.
What role do you want the Internet play in your classroom?
I would like to use the internet more in my classroom. Currentlly, I only use it to show video tutorials, demonstrate how to use a graphing calculator, occassionally email students, and allow students to practice math concepts on interactive sites. I would like to use it more to go on virtual field trips and plan for problem based learning using WebQuests. I think I am also going to have students keep a blog and have them respond to a journal prompt each week regarding the topic we are studying.

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