One session at Edcamp Minnesota this year, led by John Wensman from St. Paul Academy, was a discussion session about “Visual Rhetoric within Digital Literacy” that brought up some themes and concepts I have been struggling with myself. The conversation was basically wrapped around the concept that with the emergence of digital technologies our world has become more visual and to some degree the rigor of academic classes is in danger. Some people in the discussion feared that the need to use multimedia and digital tools to make classes more “engaging” was eroding the quality of the curriculum. It is interesting that Just a few days later at the ISTE Conference in San Diego David Warlick presented a breakout session with a similar theme, “A Broader Perspective on Data: Infographics and Visualization.” It seems like there is an interesting development occurring around the intersection of data, digital integration, and visual rhetoric and an emergence of something new. When we are told our decisions in schools must be data-informed or data-driven what does it mean that trough aesthetics we can make data say almost anything?
Explore some of the links shared at these two sessions, there is some great content there, and let me know how any of this might be useful in your classroom or practice.
- Periodic Table of Visualization Methods
- Purdue’s OWL
- Various Visualization Tools
- Digital Backpack: Visualization Tools