Visually Literate

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

As Tribeca Film Festival gets started, Stephen Apkon, founder and executive director of The Jacob Burns Film Center, a non-profit film and education organization located in Pleasantville, NY, and author of The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, offers his manifesto for incorporating "visual literacy" into education.


Excerpt: The Age of the Image


Stephen Apkon

Comments [8]

Sally Sees from NYC

For me, the short film by Daniel Liss to promote the book says with images exactly what Apkon was talking about.

Apr. 21 2013 12:52 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I'd like to hear more about how students are taught to recognize attempts at manipulation as part of visual literacy. Any chance of a follow-up on this? (Of course, there's plenty of manipulation in written material too--maybe the 2 kinds could be compared.)

Apr. 17 2013 12:16 PM
The Truth from Becky

What's new is the technology and should absolutely be integrated into the lower grade educational system.

Apr. 17 2013 11:41 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There is an old aphorism that says, "Believe only half of what you see, and nothing of what you read." But there is another one that says, "A picture is worth a thousand words." But it can also be worth a thousand LIES.
Learning to distinguish fact from fiction in what we read and see is equally important. There is also a lot of audio-visual propaganda going around too.
If learning to manipulate both words and images helps students to see how our emotions can be manipulated, I would consider that valuable.

Apr. 17 2013 11:41 AM
John A

Recalling the newspaper in 'Farenheit 451'

Apr. 17 2013 11:38 AM
Jay Verkuilen from NYC

I teach statistics at the graduate level and try to incorporate data visualization as much as possible. This is tricky because by the time I get them many haven't really learned how and it's very new to them. Appropriate data visualizations help immensely, and yes, the guest is right: Animation has a lot of math in it.

Apr. 17 2013 11:38 AM
mick from Inwood

Doesn't "visual literacy" education also include teaching the ability to critically decode visually transmitted information? Is this something that includes effective level knowledge of the rhetoric of visual/multimedia presentation when used in advertising, political media and other kinds of persuasive, visual media?

Apr. 17 2013 11:37 AM
Matt from Crown Heights

I think of what Stephen Apkon is saying whenever I navigate government bureaucratic processes/workflows/websites. I can see how one can give up quicker as one is frustrated.

Apr. 17 2013 11:35 AM

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