The objective of this blog is to support people looking at ways to enhance student engagement with academic material and to help promote active learning behaviours in large group lectures at universities. If it reaches other audiences, they are welcome to engage with this blog. I intend this blog to act as a ‘springboard’ for anyone who feels like dipping a toe in visual waters, and to provide a kind of guide as to where they might start and what might be done with it. The idea of such a meaningful transformation in our values – of reducing text and engaging imagery when logocentrism has ruled academia for millennia – is sometimes hard to take on board. It’s easy to be defensive. None of this content infers anyone has to do anything about how they teach. Take what you like, ignore it all, challenge it, reject it, adapt it to your own needs, and maybe if you feel inclined, let us know how it worked out for you – good and bad. There’s no prescription to this group, its members, or these blogs. It isn’t an attack on PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or any other ‘Slideshare’ systems, nor on people who use them, which is nearly all of us. This is intended as a place to discuss the possibilities the digital visual era offers for enhancing students’ and academics’ learning and teaching experiences – and anyone else who wants to join the discussion. It applies as much beyond university as it does within.
The idea of such a meaningful transformation in our values – of reducing text and increasing the use of pictures when logocentrism has ruled academia for millennia – is sometimes hard to take on board. Challenges to any dominant orthodoxy often produce a counter-current or backlash, often because they are unfamiliar and sometimes destabilizing. The idea that we might teach more effectively with pictures is quite strange for many who have learned to use primarily words and suggests we may have to rethink everything we know and take on board yet another unproven fad. That’s not what this blog and this site are about. You are welcome to take what you like from this site. You can ignore it, challenge it, reject it, adapt it, deny it or whatever. I hope this blog provides opportunities for those interested to gain quicker access to key principles which anyone can do anything with.