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Critical Reading: Visual Skills


The computer controlled visual media, particularly television, are becoming an increasingly powerful instrument for the manipulation of thought. Powerful visual images increasingly reflect and shape personal and external reality–politics being one such example–and it is crucial that the viewing public understand the nature of these media messages. The social institutions that are charged with broadly educative responsibilities need to encourage both intelligent programing and critical viewing skills, without dismissing the value of literature and reading. As print can assist visual literacy, so too can television help build more powerful literacy campaigns. The computer controlled interaction of print, video, and telecommunications has the potential for a powerful synergism that could invigorate the process of learning to read print. Neither the medium, the family, nor the school offers much in the way of visual literacy instruction. Specific activities that promote visual literacy include (1) moving children progressively from catalogs, newspapers and magazines, to television, allowing them to locate features that influence purchasing; (2) using home video recordings to show how metaphoric thinking can be found in the lyrics of some music and how symbols are used to make a statement; and (3) having children explore how common visualizations are created with computer based technology for television news. (HTH)


Adams, D.M. Critical Reading: Visual Skills. Retrieved February 20, 2019 from .

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