Friday, June 24, 2011

Visual Immediacy

Regardless of medium or era, education has always been the act of offering information for acquisition. “Learning” is the individual process, where one internalizes new concepts or skills. “Education,” though, is the active delivery – the technique of shaping and structuring ideas by an instructor so they are assumed readily and permanently by a student.

The two most obvious changes in educational delivery over the past 15 years have been the visual representation and immediacy of information.

Communication has advanced along an accelerating continuum from the town crier to the printing press to the telephone, radio, television, and Internet. The change in fact-finding, however, is different from simple communication.
The New Bloom's Taxonomy - Author: Samantha Penney
Information channeling today is other-dimensional compared to the patterned practice of 20 years ago. In 1990, when a student needed to write a report on penguins or General Motors, he or she was dutifully dropped off at the library by a parent and picked up eight hours later with a folder of Xeroxes and microfiche printouts. Today the rapid and overwhelming access to information leads to a host of questions regarding accuracy, propriety, and property. Also, these facts and opinions are typically encountered on the visual screen.

Howard Gardner’s learning styles seem somewhat quaint today now that every child is a visual learner. An updated system should be called “Visual+”, meaning “visual” and then some other intelligence. From infancy, kids are babysat by televisions. They absorb fairy tales from picture books and point to themselves in their own digital photographs. As teachers, we, too, rely on the immediate, pictorial nature of facts when we need to find a quick historical photograph in Wikimedia or search directions on Google Maps or snap a QR code with our smartphones.

We try to remember that if we as teachers aren't using something anymore, it seems strange to make our students use it -- just because "we did it when we were their age."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Pin It