Skills for the 21st Century

Cognitive and Literacy Skills for Success in a Fast-Paced Technological Age

More Visual presentations

Posted by durencls on April 5, 2010

[From Wikipedia] Since technological advances continue to develop at an unprecedented rate, educators are increasingly promoting the learning of visual literacies as indispensable to life in the information age. Similar to linguistic literacy (meaning making derived from written or oral human language) commonly taught in schools, most educators would agree that literacy in the 21st Century has a wider scope.[3] Educators are recognizing the importance of helping students develop visual literacies in order to survive and communicate in a highly complex world.

The ability to process visual information  is becoming more and more important in our society. At the start of our COABE presentation, we cautioned that our presentation style was not typical – there would be no “handout of the slides” in part because there was almost no text on any of our slides.  We use a more “visual” style of presentation – which is in line with current trends and predictions for the future. 

The presentation style we use focuses on the presenter – what the LIVE person/people presenting have to say as the critical factor, not the text on the slides. The slide show itself is designed to emphasize, show analogies/metaphors, or expand on what the presenters are saying.  This presentation style leverages both a person’s auditory AND visual processing abilities in a complimentary (not competitive) manner. For more information on this presentation style,* check out our handout from COABE 2009 on this topic.

Migrant mother - Dorothea Lange 1936The old adage, “a picture is worth 1000 words,” is essentually accurate. It would take many many words to even try to convey all the information, emotion, and implications of the photo at left. And, in truth, each person viewing the photo brings different experiences and information to the viewing – making many different connections with that existing information in seconds.

Given the proliferation of information in our current and future societies, the ability to both process visual information and communicate  information visually seem like very key skills for the 21st century.

How do you foster these skills in adult education classes?  Please comment with your ideas!

*We did not invent this style, it is a melding of styles used by folks such as Lawrence Lessig, Dick Hardt, Andy Goodman, Garr Reynolds, and others.

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One Response to “More Visual presentations”

  1. […] to older, previously written materials.  New stories will be told in computer generated images. Visual literacy skills will be very important. (Hmm, this means a new employment opportunity might be […]

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