Open up a textbook; check out an educational webpage. Chances are within a few flips of the page or scrolls you will stumble upon a graphic. Our current teaching materials are littered with images, from frog dissection sketches to screenshots.
We as teachers have become so accustomed to including images in our educational resources. But why? What needs are our visuals meeting? What types of visuals are we including?
Thankfully, we have moved away from adding graphics because they are cute. We now recognize that appropriate use of well-designed visuals can lead to complex, nuanced learning. Now, as we continue to explore the use of visuals to construct knowledge, we should also consider the type of visual being used. In her article, "Visual Constructivism in Distance Learning" Kathryn Alesandrini (2002) denotes 3 categories of visuals: representational, analogical and abstract. She proceeds to explain that the majority of the visuals currently be used for educational purposes are representation images--remember those frog dissection sketches and screenshots (Alesandrini, 2002).
As we continue to leverage technology and create constructivist classroom, challenge yourself to think of these three types of visuals. Feel free to use/share our Visual Constructivism Infographic or click on the image to see the original Piktochart!
Alesandrini, K. (2002). Visual constructivism in distance learning. USDLA Journal. 16(1). Retrieved from http://126.96.36.199/usdla.org/public_html/cms/html/journal/JAN02_Issue/article03.html