UNL workshop brings visual literacy into focus

· 2 min read

UNL workshop brings visual literacy into focus

A new workshop focusing on media literacy is being offered to all state educators by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Minority Health Disparities Initiative.

Sessions in the two-day seminar will focus on visual media literacy, critical thinking about visual media and incorporating those skills into elementary, middle school and high school curricula.

The workshop, “Thinking, Seeing and Reading for iGeneration Students: Innovative Teaching and Civic Engagement Strategies,” is set for July 25-26 in the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, 1505 S St. It is free to attend and open to all educators and education majors.

The workshop is part of a new MHDI and Rural Futures Institute program, Youth Are Rural Health, which is launching in fall 2016 in Lexington, and will teach high school freshmen to research, create, implement and evaluate public health campaigns, with a goal of changing health outcomes within their communities. The workshop will teach health educators how to incorporate the program into their classrooms, but its focus on visual literacy can apply to all educators, said Kim Matthews, community impact and research specialist for MHDI, and workshop coordinator.

“Critical thinking is a major component of the Common Core standards, and media literacy encourages critical thinking,” Matthews said. “These sessions will provide new and innovative ways for teachers to include visual learning into their curriculum. We’re giving them the framework to use.”

Visual literacy is defined as the ability to understand, interpret and evaluate visual messages. Using the foundation of Visible Thinking developed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, session leaders will inform educators about thinking routines when looking at images and how to teach students these skills. Educators attending the workshop will have an opportunity on the second day to work on a social media project using what they’ve learned.

Presenters for the workshop are Christy Kosmicki, art education lecturer, University of Nebraska at Kearney; Angela Palmer-Wackerly, UNL assistant professor of communications studies; Erin Poor, assistant curator of education, Sheldon Museum of Art; and Judy Ritta, executive director, Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

More information and a complete listing of sessions can be found here. Educators wanting to attend can email Matthews at kmatthews2@unl.edu.

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