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SXSWedu 2014

Light up Your Class with Visual Storytelling

“We live and work in a visually sophisticated world, so we must be sophisticated in using all the forms of communication, not just the written word.” ~George Lucas in Edutopia

As access to the creation and consumption of digital media increases, educators must embrace an expanded view of literacy. Teaching the skills of reading and writing is no longer enough. Students need to be able to use images as a currency for exchanging feelings, stories, and opinions with the world at large.

Further, as scientists learn more about how our brains work, it appears that many learners are hardwired to understand visually depicted ideas. Recent research from National Academies Press reminds us that using words and pictures (as compared to words alone) boosts generative processing which leads to lasting learning.

So... maybe a picture is not worth a thousand words. Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand ideas?

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why should I promote visual learning in my classroom?
  2. What are some great examples of ways teachers have delivered visual learning lessons to their students?
  3. How can I get started with visual learning to enrich my curriculum, engage my students, and teach more effectively?


  • Adam Tratt, Co-Founder/CEO, Haiku Deck
  • Richard Byrne, Digital Learning Consultant, FreeTech4Teachers
  • Kristen Swanson, Senior Educational Technology Leader, Bright Bytes


Adam Tratt, Co-Founder/CEO, Haiku Deck

Meta Information:

  • Tags: storytelling, creativity
  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Best Practices & Implementation
  • Level: Intermediate
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