Friday, July 1, 2011

Designing Information: The Need For Graphicacy

There is a burgeoning need to categorize and reshape today's information in innovative, recognizable, image-based ways. Now, with the onslaught of visual stimuli, from the Internet to infographics, there is a need to represent pictorially the multi-dimensional world of 3D and 4G information. From an educational standpoint, this means designing complex information for a range of learners. The manipulation of data through the use of images is crucial to understanding facets of meaning.

ASIDE 2011
Graphicacy represents an emerging literacy joining mathematical, textual, media, technological, and financial proficiencies. It moves beyond just being "visually literate" and instead combines mathematics, statistical analysis, geographic interpretation, and graphic design. Graphicacy is the ability to analyze and interpret information in a graphical form. It delineates clear, achievable skills that encapsulate the necessary benchmarks for today's children and tomorrow's professionals. Essentially, teachers must design information for educational use and also help their students decode the visual galaxy that encompasses their current world.

The crucial skill of graphicacy is vital to sustaining the relevance of a school's curriculum and also to sustaining the prominence of school graduates in a competitive marketplace. Students must be graphically literate to be informed, as they slice data, images, and words into layers of information and construct relational meanings. Graphicacy education, like literacy, oracy, and numeracy, completes the lines of communication necessary for learners in the 21st century.

The Emergence of Graphicacy by Poracsky, Young, Patton
Graphicacy: The Third Skill by Spielman
Graphicacy as a Form of Communication by Wilmot

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