New Literacies Project

Digital Literacy:

Digital literacy is the use of computers and technology and how someone uses and interacts with it. Essentially it's how you interpret a particular media and translate that into data, images, words, etc. and then evaluate it.  It also depends on an individual's ability to efficiently preform tasks in a digital environment. Digital literacy is global and becoming much more prominent in the twenty-first century. With technology constantly changing so does digital literacy. For example having smart-boards in classrooms. A few years ago these weren't a prominent part of a classroom, now many schools are supplying teachers with them. This compels teachers to change their instruction so that they can incorporate this new technology into lessons. Teachers also should make sure that their students are digitally literate. It allows students to "locate, assess, modify, remix and create with a variety of media forms. Students should understand the many unique rhetorics of new media types and be able to express their ideas and communicate in an increasingly open and collaborative digital world."(Todd Bryant, Educational Tech Ideas). In this day and age when technology plays such a prominent role in society students  should have an idea of all the limitless possibilities of using and interacting in the digital world.
             Examples of Digital Literacy: Blogs, websites, power points, digital story boards, smart boards, and many others that can be found                through the internet.

Visual Literacy:

"Visual images are fast becoming the most predominant form of communication. Visual genres and mediums now dominate communication; photographs, television. film, video, the internet, cartoons, posters, t-shirts, comics, multi media presentations and computer simulations."
          (Sankey, 2002)

Students are constantly surrounded by visuals making it a fundamental part of their day to day learning.Visual literacy is interpreting and evaluating images, animations, words, and symbols while also integrating sensory experiences. It has three parts visual thinking, communication, and learning.Visual literacy is a vital skill students should have. Students can "become visually literate by the practice of visual encoding (expressing their thoughts and ideas in visual form) and visual decoding (translating and understanding the meaning of visual imagery)" (museumca). Essentially having students think, create, and communicate graphically. By incorporating visual literacy into curriculum allows students to further develop comprehension and critical thinking skills

Visual literacy also includes other elements such as font, texture, size, shape, color, angel, repetition, balance, layout, space, contrast, alignment, proximity and position.

Visual literacy can be applied to all different grade levels. From kindergarten and associating a picture with something/action or learning the alphabet to high school and discussing the implied meaning or symbolism of a text. Some ways to incorporate visual literacy into the classroom that can be used across grades is to have students
      -pick a picture to analyze and then write about it                                            - art
     -create political cartoons                                                                                 - analyzing commercials/ ad campaigns/magazines
     -diagrams, maps, time lines and tables                                                          -creating icons or graphics
     -story boards                                                                                                   -graphic novels
     -posters/clip art                                                                                                - collages
     -power points                                                                                                 

*****Click on the teachers tab to find activities/links and other ways visual literacy can be incorporated into the                                                                                 classroom.*****