What Is Graphicacy? from The ASIDE Blog on Vimeo.
We live in a visual world. Smartphones, television, Internet, and social media all push information in real-time, all the time. Visual media bombard us in constant streams. Learners of every age, therefore, need to understand how to analyze pictorial information. This skill of parsing images, interpreting pictures, and decoding diagrams is known as graphicacy.
The motion graphic (or explainer video) in this post describes the many reasons for graphicacy education. Maps, cartoons, and photographs all feature symbolic cues and metaphoric elements. An animated infographic itself can become a conduit for graphic instruction.
Sixty-five percent of people today identify as visual learners. In fact, the brain processes optic inputs 60,000 times faster than text. Yet schools and scholarship rarely apply the tools and time to train people how to understand all of these visual streams.
|Source: ASIDE 2015|
Graphicacy stands with literacy, oracy, and numeracy as one of the four indispensable corners of education. It dates to W.G.V. Balchin's coinage of the term in the 1960s to identify the visual-spatial aspect of human intelligence. What began as a staple of South African geography education has ballooned in importance, especially in today's 1:1 classroom. With today's rightful emphasis on differentiated instruction, contemporary classrooms need to incorporate coaching in graphicacy to reach students via their learning preferences. (Continue reading for more information….)
Visual literacy is about learning how to look. It involves learning how to internalize and deconstruct the images that the brain sees. It involves input. Visual thinking is about learning how to design. It involves imagining graphic representations of new or traditional concepts based on the mind's unique creation. It involves output. Graphicacy, therefore, is the union of the two acuities. It marries the essential skills of decoding and encoding to embrace a range of pictorial proficiencies. (Continue reading for more information….)
|Source: ASIDE 2011|
Tommy McCall hit the nail on the head when he called “graphicacy the neglected step child in the classroom” during his TEDx East talk on Literacy, Numeracy, And Graphicacy. In the new e-cology to design and create digital content that is transmitted, interactive, and shared, it is even more vital to incorporate graphicacy skills in daily lessons. By training kids to thoroughly study what they see, we reinforce their visual acuity, attention to detail, and ability to notice conspicuous absences of information. We want them to develop a keen eye for seeing, to detect problems, and to understand the message inherent in the design. (Continue reading for more information….)
Graphicacy often takes a backseat in traditional classrooms, because understanding pictures is thought to be a natural consequence of basic vision. The conventional wisdom says that if people can see, then naturally they can comprehend what they see. Parents, however, know this is untrue. They know children must learn to decode images and connect the visual parts to the cognitive whole. Mothers and fathers dedicate evenings to paging through picture books with their toddlers, pointing out clouds and jackrabbits and smiling moons. (Continue reading for more information….)
Whether graphicacy is the “fourth R” or the “third skill,” as Howard A. Spielman refers to it, the format for representing data and visuals is much more complex today. Data visualizations such as infographics and the myriad of designs used in their creation are arguably more complex in many cases. This is quite the opposite of what infographics are by definition, which is to present complex information quickly and clearly. They often combine images and data in ways very different from standard graphs, charts, and maps in most elementary textbooks, thus prompting a need for graphicacy in education. (Continue reading for more information….)
|Source: ASIDE 2015|
We use four steps in guiding students to interpret charts, maps, cartoons, infographics, and logos. These four steps progress from base-level identification toward more analytical and sophisticated skills. The understandings proceed from: 1) Substance, 2) Scaffold, 3) Story, and 4) So What? (Continue reading for more information….)
Amid the national emphasis on STEM programs, charts are becoming key tools to represent visual statistics. As more and more schools migrate to 1:1 tablets, therefore, students need a foundation in reading and rendering their own optic inputs. The language of apps today is printed in icons. On handheld devices, colorful squares dance across each swiped screen. Children need to recognize these badges and identify the relationships between the logos and the corresponding actions. (Continue reading for more information….)