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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

4 Ways Visual Literacy is Being Taught in Classrooms to Empower Learning

This is a guest post from Guy Kawasaki. Guy is the product evangelist for Canva, a service that I regularly use.

How to Use Visual Content In Your Classroom

Visual content is a powerful tool. As children, we learn to recognize visual cues before we learn to speak or write. We’re wired to rely on these cues to understand the world and to use visual content to communicate our thoughts and feelings.

Teachers can integrate graphic design into their classrooms to facilitate instruction and to prepare students for success. Here are four ways teachers are using visual content already. Try them and discover how visual content can positively impact teaching and learning.

1. Visual content nurtures creativity
Visually-oriented, creative learning spaces increase the creativity of students. Simple to-do lists are out, and signs that include positive reinforcement are in. Projects spaces with visual work sprawled across walls delight, inspire, and encourage your students.

You can empower your students to create their own positive affirmations by creating inspirational posters from templates in Canva. Hands on design allows them to connect with the message and understand the power of using visuals to inspire others.
Design posters to nurture a positive learning environment.

2. Visual content enhances critical thinking and communication
Schools are adding drawing and design skills to curricula in order to enable students to think critically. When designing, students have to ask themselves these questions:
  • What am I trying to communicate?
  • How can I communicate this effectively?
  • How does graphic design affect my audience?
Internalizing these questions prepares students to communicate with a level of visual sophistication that will carry them through the visually-dependent world of education and beyond.

Infographics is an example of a powerful modern way to enhance critical thinking and communication. Canva’s library of infographic templates gives students the confidence to start designing while putting to the test their critical thinking skills. Use one of our tailored lesson plans to guide your class through the process.
Enhance critical thinking skills with infographic design.

3. Visual content helps students retain information
Visual content help students retrieve and remember information. It breaks through the noise--for example, consider the difference between immigration statistics and one picture of a dead Syrian baby. Visual memory prompts are powerful and help you empower students to increase their capacity to absorb knowledge.
Choose from Canva’s library of templates to get your students started.

You can choose from a range of Canva’s templates to find creative applications of traditional math, science and language concepts. Here are three free, downloadable lesson plans to get your started.
4. Visual content helps students visualize success
You may help your students achieve success by visualizing success. Top performers know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding. It’s a powerful technique that people use in schools, sports, and business. This can apply to your students too.
Make positive visualization a daily ritual.
Here’s an idea for your classroom: make positive visualization a daily ritual by prompting students to create graphics that describe their goals and ambitions. You can take it one step further by asking them to share their graphics on social media, an action that encourages engagement and accountability.

Start using visual content in your classroom right now
Visual learning has fast become ingrained into school curricula all over the world. Want to learn how to you promote visual literacy in your classroom? Some of the world’s leading educators have created Canva’s free suite of free lesson plans. These resources are ready for you to download right now. All of us at Canva hope you can use them to inspire the next generation of successful students.