This is the visualization/infographic I created to have my students use before, during, and after reading the various print texts in my disciplinary text set (see previous blog post).
How did you select the images and digital platform for your project?
I wanted to create an infographic for my students to use while reading the print texts included in my disciplinary text set, so I decided to use an infographic creation tool (that Karah showed me) to create a reading strategies checklist. Most of the images are simply clipart-type images that help to remind students what the words mean. In theory, ELLs would have a better understanding of what is on the strategies handout when there is text along with images that all mean the same thing. I also found an image of a number of books that I included to represent the large number of texts that can be approached using these strategies. The images that I included in my infographic were all images from the infographic creation tool’s collection.
In what ways did creating the visualization deepen your understanding of the topic in ways that reading alone might not have?
Creating a visualization really helped me to step into my students’ shoes. Just reading about reading strategies does not necessarily provide a good way to teach them, but creating a visualization, especially something like the checklist that I created, can act as a step in the right direction. I think simply reading about the strategies mostly provided me with a number of various lists of strategies to try to teach students before setting them free to read print text. However, by creating this handout, I can give students the freedom to start reading on their own with this handout as their guide. I also thought a bit more about order and process while creating this visualization. Before putting things together on a handout for my students I was not thinking too much about the different strategies that are best used at different stages in the reading process. For instance, there are specific strategies that work best before reading, others that work well during reading activities, and other types of strategies that work well in bringing everything together after reading. Overall, creating this visualization somewhat deepened my understanding of my topic and tasks, but it mostly helped me think of this type of knowledge and learning in a new and different way.
How has the process influenced your thinking on visualization as a vehicle for learning and/or how might you use visualization in your future teaching?
I really like the idea of using visualizations in my future teaching. There are so many different ways to go with visualizations, and creating them does not have to be difficult, as this creation tool allowed me to see. I think that allowing students to use these types of materials (as well as to create them for various projects) would help reach more types of learners, such as visual learners. I also have not always thought of visualization as its own vehicle for learning, but rather, a companion or different representation for the ‘main’ learning. However, creating my own visualization has shown me that different things can be learned through the creation of a visual project that cannot be learned through other means. I would like to have my own future students do something like this. I would maybe ask them to create an infographic and/or graphic organizer to summarize what they learned in a particular unit. This project could be both a summative assessment and a study tool for themselves and their classmates. Hopefully they would also learn something new about the topic along the way. 🙂