Show And Tell: Visual Vs. Linear

Source: ASIDE, 2014

If a picture is worth a thousand words, why is it that the majority of work kids do in school is buried in text? We firmly believe that transferring linear text into a visual format deepens the understanding and provides a context for the content. By engaging learners in the design process, they become skilled at navigating visual details to focus on the essential information. As part of a project-based learning unit on immigration, the students created a graphic presentation about the traditions brought to the United States from a culture group they were studying.

Source: ASIDE, 2014
To reinforce the importance of designing information, we once again had the students compare the finished visual design with their research notes.

The benefits of looking at linear vs. visual communication provide the perfect opportunity to see why the design matters. It reinforces one of our mantras, “presentation is everything,” and it neatly connects to our discussions about branding and media literacy.

Our students live in a world of Instagram, Snapchat, and emojis; it makes sense, therefore, to use the tools at their fingertips for visual communication. Providing them with opportunities to use design elements in the classroom opens up other venues for creating visual information, from historical content to statistical analysis.

Source: ASIDE, 2014
Learning to look for the right visuals trains them how to streamline the information. It builds visual literacy. Selection of text, images, and design transforms linear content into a more effective presentation. They need to make deliberate choices to relay a point of view.

While there may not be more visual learners today, there would not be an explosion of infographics, explainer videos, and interactive graphics if people were not attracted to this type of communication. Our students are no different. They learn by seeing.

Developing opportunities for students to use information they gather in conjunction with the principles and elements of design makes it easier to access and assimilate content.

Source: ASIDE, 2014
It is no surprise that using visuals with students helps them convey relationships between information, concepts, and ideas. Today, there are a host of tools available, with apps such as CanvaEaselly, and Adobe Voice, along with other web-based applications.

In our 1:1 program, we found that the apps make it easier than ever for students to apply their own visual thinking to create infographics and motion graphics about the content they are learning.

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