(animation used with permission from activeden)
This blog will explore and evaluate digital tools teachers and educators can use to increase the visual literacy skills needed by a 21st century learner. Some of these tools will help students be more effective and savvy consumers of the images in which they are daily inundated. Other tools will help students become effective and ethical designers, composers and producers of visual information.
In addition to helping students expand and extend the visual literacy skills needed to successfully enter a technological work force, educators also must prepare students to perform acceptably on the tests demanded from local, state and federal entities. Florida’s reading test (FCAT) groups reading skills into four clusters. Analysis of the longitudinal study done over three years shows that students performed least well in Cluster 4, “Reference and Research.” This cluster demands that students locate, interpret and analyze information gathered from a variety of sources, including charts, graphs, photographs and other visual imagery. My own personal experience reflects this trend in Florida. My students are, ironically, less and less capable of evaluating visual stimuli, the more they are bombarded by it through their culture.
Each post in this blog will compare a few digital tools for creating a specific thinking tool. The tools appraised will not be an exhaustive list of available tools. Instead my investigation will be a thorough evaluation of a few. One will be highly recommended, which means I will be trying it with my students (3rd grade- public school). This rubric will be used to evaluate and rank the tools. Additionally, I will provide a brief narrative review. Both the numeric score generated by the rubric and my narrative analysis will be used to "highly recommend" one tool.