Visual Literacy: Where Do I Start?

To be visually literate  means that you get understanding  from the images around you.*

The images ** can come through:

  • Advertisements
  • Cartoons
  • Charts and tables
  • Collage
  • Comic books
  • Diagrams
  • Dioramas
  • DVDs
  • Graphic Novels
  • Graphs
  • Icons
  • Magazines
  • Maps
  • Photos
  • Pictograms
  • Political cartoons
  • Signs
  • Slide shows
  • Storyboards
  • Symbols
  • Timelines
  • Videos
  • Websites
    Today, of course, these images can be seen on your tablet, cell phone, and computer. While you are viewing these images stop and ask yourself questions. A few to start with are:
  • What am I suppose to learn from this image?
  • What was the reason the creator/author put this image in document, in this manner?
    Is the image placed where it is for entertainment or educational reasons?
Dr. Todd Finley** of East Carolina University adds to the visual literacy conversation by suggesting you ask about what’s going on in the picture and what makes you come to that conclusion?

I even strongly caution again that you really think to verify the concepts of what the images suggest through other websites and what’s in print. Better yet, wait a few days or weeks before reaching a conclusion. If the images were posted or printed to get you excited, the real story will be revealed soon enough.

Do share your thoughts. There is much that can be added here!

* See

** Dr. Finley’s questions and credit for the images’ list i is from

The Information Literacy Process

The basic process of information literacy is to find, retrieve, analyze, verify, and apply the information found. Look at the mini-steps under each section to ensure that you are actually executing the process correctly.

Start looking in places such as books, or asking information professionals,  even friends and family to help you acquire the information you seek.

a. Write the information.
b. Print it or photocopy it.
c. Download the information into your computer or mobile device.

ANALYZE (Study in detail the information found)
a. Do you understand what you are reading?
b. Ask yourself, “Does the information I have found actually answer my information need?”

a. Can you find the same information in another book or website?
b. Does the information read as if it is fact or someone’s opinion?
c. Does the copyright date in the book or the website lead you to believe that the information is useful for your information need?

Take action and use the information for your information need.

(Then I say, repeat the steps again, if your first try does not get you to the information you need.)

To learn so much more about information literacy and the models or process for becoming informationally literate, do some web research. Below are general keywords and  specific keywords for information models that you can type into Google to guide you.
Try these: information literacy,  information models, Big6 skills, Research Cycle, or Guided Inquiry, Super 3, or Kulthau model to get you started.

Happy learning,


Digital Literacy Strands Explored!

Hello all:
Stay tuned as I begin to post thoughts on what I believe are the major strands of digital literacy: that is information literacy, visual literacy, metacognition, and lifelong learning.
To get your head in the game, if you have not been thinking about these terms lately please see:

Dot. The Digital Tools Girl!

Check out Dot, the  girl who knows how to use digital tools

Check out Dot, the girl who knows how to use digital tools

Hello all:
Here’s a children’s book regarding digital tools for you to enjoy.
Dot. by Randi Zuckerberg. She knows how to use digital tools. She can tap, text, swipe, share, and talk. She stops doing all of that indoors to do all those same activities outdoors with her friends. What fun!

Technology Petting Zoos: Visit One Today!

Are you trying to learn how to use digital tools, but you feel stumped? Often, your local or regional library will have a program, a space where you can practice using a cell phone, a tablet, or an e-reader. They call such spaces “technology petting zoos”. Find a technology petting zoo near you and get your practice in today!

Autistic and Digitally Literate! — Part 2

I found two dvds on the subject of autism.

 Aut-erobics — This one is about autistic children exercising. Obviously the exercising in itself is good, but the children also work on interacting with their peers. The socialization is a bonus!

 The Autism Enigma — discusses the idea that autism could be caused by environment and not heredity. 

Join the discussion.
Try finding the dvds on Amazon or your local library.

See the beginning of this discussion at…tally-literate/

Digital Learning Day

Today’s the big day! It’s Digital Learning Day. National events will be held across the United States as panelists, educators, students, and politician talk and practice digital literacy and digital learning.

Definitely join in on the discussions hosted via the Digital Learning Day website. You can participate in free webcasts* there.
If you are new to the concept of digital learning, I would join the webcast 11:35 a.m.:Digital Learning: The Journey So Far

Go to for more details.

* webcast — a program that is shown (viewed like a television program)on the Internet.
Happy learning!