Visualization, Meaning Making and Collaboration

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This presentation includes a brief introduction to theory, strategies, and examples of visualization and visual
pedagogies that promote collaborative learning, followed by conversation and activities designed to illustrate the
meaning-making; deeper levels of learning; and dynamic interaction elicited within visual approaches to the curriculum.

Presented at the Sloan-C 14th Annual International Conference on Online Learning
November 7th, 2008

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • Visualization, Meaning Making and Collaboration

    1. 1. Visualization, Meaning Making and Collaboration Nicola Martinez and Ken Charuk Center for Distance Learning SUNY Empire State College Sloan-C 14 th Annual International Conference on Online Learning November 7th, 2008
    2. 2. Objectives <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Visual Communication and Interactive media are transforming teaching, knowledge production, and learning in 21st Century leaning environments. </li></ul><ul><li>This workshop will provide participants with a brief introduction to theory, strategies, and examples of visualization and visual pedagogies that promote collaborative learning, followed by conversation and activities designed to illustrate the meaning-making; deeper levels of learning; and dynamic interaction elicited within visual approaches to the curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>The workshop facilitators will also highlight strategies for using visual approaches to collaborative learning across disciplines, including arts; humanities; social sciences; business; science, mathematics, and technology. </li></ul>
    3. 3. visual attention There is a growing consensus that the computation of the &quot;internal visual world&quot; does not occur in a purely automatic and obligatory way. Humans process part of the available visual information with priority dependent either on the current task (intention) or the structure of the stimulation Schneider, Werner X., and Sabine Maasen. Mechanisms of Visual Attention : A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective . East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press, 1998.
    4. 4. Visual Intelligence What happens when you see is not a mindless process of stimulus and response, as behaviorists thought for much of the 20th century, but a sophisticated process of construction whose intricacies we are now beginning to understand. What you see is, invariably, what your visual intelligence constructs. Just as scientists intelligently construct useful theories based on experimental evidence, so your visual system intelligently constructs useful visual worlds based on images at the eyes . Hoffman, Donald D. Visual Intelligence : How We Create What We See . 1st Norton pbk. ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.
    5. 5. “ Photography allows me to see what I otherwise could not see.” <ul><li>I didn’t understand that I had stopped seeing around me until I saw a black and white photograph of familiar scenery. The sharp contrasts of the photograph made me realize that I had stopped seeing things as they are and begun to imagine them. </li></ul>Vision Research: George Coving ton
    6. 6. Seeing with Images <ul><li>“ The key to my ability to interpret visual images is perception. I can walk into a room for the first time and see almost nothing. As I learn the contents of the room, my brain interprets what I perceive as a visual image. </li></ul><ul><li>When I have become familiar with that room, I can describe every object in it and its placement. I actually ‘see&quot; the contents of that room by interpreting small bits of information that upon first entry were totally confusing. </li></ul><ul><li>My malfunctioning eyes are augmented by memory, imagination, and experience. I interpret as much as I actually see, and photography helps speed up and improve the interpretation.” </li></ul><ul><li>By George A. Covington </li></ul>
    7. 7. Visual Intelligence <ul><li>Just for a moment, look away from this page and examine the scene around you. </li></ul><ul><li>Be it a sterile office, cozy bedroom, or beautiful park, allow yourself to sit back and really &quot;see&quot; the world that surrounds you. </li></ul>Ratey, John J. A User's Guide to the Brain : Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain . 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 2002.
    8. 8. Visual Intelligence <ul><ul><li>In the amount of time that you averted your gaze from this page, your eyes meticulously : </li></ul></ul><ul><li>dissected the image cast upon your retina into approximately 126 million pieces </li></ul><ul><li>sent signals for every one of these tiny elements to a way station in the thalamus </li></ul><ul><li>fired neuronal networks to and within the visual cortex </li></ul><ul><li>sent the information to the frontal cortex </li></ul><ul><li>and somehow you put the pieces back together into a seamless pattern perceived by you as a sterile office, cozy bedroom, or beautiful park. </li></ul>Ratey, John J. A User's Guide to the Brain : Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain . 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 2002.
    9. 9. Visual Intelligence <ul><li>To add to this complexity, recent physiological findings suggest that all this processing takes place along several independent, parallel pathways. </li></ul><ul><li>One system processes information about shape, one about color, and one about movement, location, and spatial organization </li></ul><ul><li>Some &quot;blind&quot; people who cannot see colors or objects can still see movement. </li></ul>Ratey, John J. A User's Guide to the Brain : Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain . 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 2002.
    10. 10. Meaning Making <ul><li>The goal-directed mind/brain takes action in the environment and thereby changes itself.... </li></ul><ul><li>Llinás describes the brain as &quot;primarily a self-activating system whose organization is geared toward the generation of intrinsic images &quot; (2001). </li></ul>Arnold H. Modell, Imagination and the Meaningful Brain (Cambridge, Mass.: London, 2006). 21 Meaning may be constructed entirely from within.
    11. 11. Meaning Making <ul><li>combine visual messages with other sensory messages and past experiences to give unique meaning to particular visual situations . </li></ul>Arnold H. Modell, Imagination and the Meaningful Brain (Cambridge, Mass.: London, 2006). 21 Our highly convoluted cortex enables us to:
    12. 12. Visual Pedagogy <ul><li>What Images Give Us </li></ul><ul><li>We can visualize the world with our eyes closed. </li></ul><ul><li>Neuroscience doesn’t have a complete explanation of these images yet, but there is little doubt that they begin with physical maps consisting of connected neurons in the brain. </li></ul><ul><li>Our brains are full of such networks, and it seems certain that what we call thinking and remembering is based on them. (Zull, 144) </li></ul>Zull, James E. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning . Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2002
    13. 13. Visual Pedagogy <ul><li>Zull, James E. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning . Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul><ul><li>It is easy to see how certain subjects can be conveyed with images. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, a great deal of chemistry or biology can be taught completely with images. </li></ul><ul><li>Other academic subjects may seem more difficult at first, but with creativity it seems likely that almost anything a person would want to learn can be put in the form of an image. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Visual Pedagogy <ul><li>Images and Academics </li></ul><ul><li>Given the centrality of images, it seems that teachers could make extensive use of images to help people learn. </li></ul><ul><li>If we can convert an idea into an image, we should do so. And whenever possible, we should require our students to show us their images. It should go both ways. </li></ul>Zull, James E. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning . Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2002
    15. 15. Metaphor <ul><li>Metaphor is a fundamental and uniquely human cognitive ability, a primary form of cognition and thought that becomes secondarily incorporated into language </li></ul><ul><li>I define metaphor, as does cognitive linguistics, as a mapping or transfer of meaning between dissimilar domains (from a source domain to a target domain). Metaphor not only transfers meeting between different domains, but by means of novel recombinations metaphor can transform meaning and generate new perceptions . </li></ul><ul><li>Arnold H. Modell, Imagination and the Meaningful Brain (Cambridge, Mass.: London, 2006). 26-27 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Johnson 1987, Lakoff 1987, Turner 1991, Gibbs 1994, Lakoff and Johnson 1999 </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. The Future of Being Human
    17. 17. The Future of Being Human
    18. 18. FOBH Heads Up Display
    19. 19. Some Interesting Links George Covington – To Photograph is to See http://www.kodak.com/takePictures/covington/introduction.shtml Motivated Seeing? Motivation Affects Visual Perception http://scienceblogs.com/mixingmemory/2006/10/motivated_seeing_motivation_af.php Visual Pathways http://www.reseauvision.ca/vision-AN/glos-subject-en.html Eye and Gaze http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/mitchell/glossary2004/eyegaze.htm How we make our visual world appear to be constant http://dericbownds.net/2006/11/how-we-make-our-visual-world-appear-to_27.html The Brain as an Information Processing System http://www.willamette.edu/~gorr/classes/cs449/brain.html
    20. 20. Suggested Readings <ul><li>Imagination and the Meaningful Brain by Arnold H. Modell Cambridge, Mass.: London, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning By James E. Zull Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2002 </li></ul>
    21. 21. Contact Information <ul><li>Visit our web site at: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.esc.edu/cdl </li></ul>Nicola Martinez Director of Curriculum and Instructional Design Center for Distance Learning 111 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-587-2100, ext. 2276 [email_address]

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