Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Visual Literacy

I had seen Lynell Burmark about 4 years ago at an ECIS conference. At that time, it helped me better coach my students when using presentation software. Then her book "Visual Literacy" was a freebie for ASCD members. An easy read, it had some good ideas, though some of the lesson plans seem silly. I attended this session to see what new work she has done. Unfortunately, there wasn't much new.
Summary of "Visual Literacy" -Presented by Lynell Burmark

What do colors mean for us? Culturally we are taught to associate certain colors with certain things or events. For students now days, black and white means old. Sepia for older people is nostalgic, but just old for students. Yellow and red are the most attention getting colors. Yellow on blue is a good presentation color. Green is considered creative and healthy. The media knows this and uses it to create mood and tone. “My Many Color Days” by Dr. Suess – a book and video that projects the moods of the colors and sets them to music.
There is an estimated 30,000 PowerPoint presentations given each day. Most are text based – which should be given as a handout. The power of multi-media presentations are in the visual. There is some research that supports the idea that text based presentations can actually reduce retention. Limit the animation, especially the moving text. Blue is better for backgrounds. If you must use bullet points, keep it simple only about 3. Font styles have meaning too – the style needs to match the intent. Times New Roman is not the best font – Verdana would be better as it is simpler and spend out more. 6 x 6 rule – 6 words across and 6 words down. Write using lower case letters, using the shape of the words allows the reader to read faster.
The more concrete an image the less room for ambiguity.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Suzanne,

    Thanks for posting some of the tips that I shared in my recent session at NECC on Visual Literacy. It wasn't clear from the way you did the posting that you got the tips from me. A comment like "Some of the tips I picked up from Lynell Burmark included:" would have been nice. ;-)

    Also, there was a lot of new stuff in the presentation -- new research on the impact of illustrated texts on test scores, new suggestions for classroom activities like the progressive story with images only, new resources recommended, new videos demonstrated, etc.

    Did you get one of the DVDs with the "Why Visual Literacy?" presentation? Remember you (and anyone who reads this) can get that presentation free by logging onto the www.schoolvideos.com web site, searching for the DVD (EVU03) and using the promotion code: #LBEVU0412.

    I also have a new web site where I'm posting articles -- including the handout of web resources for high-quality, no-cost images -- as well as information about my images contest for teachers and students. Please log on and let me know what you think. (Be kind, I'm just getting going on the site.)

    Thanks for attending the NECC session and caring enough to post your comments.

    Warm regards,

    Lynell Burmark