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Communication and Visual Literacy Essay

Brian Kennedy’s lecture on visual literacy was very interesting. I’ve never really thought about visual literacy that way. You really don’t realize how you would perceive things in the world if you couldn’t see anything. He says that we learn everything visual first. Then the others things come after that. The more I think about it, the more I believe what he is saying. In our book the definition of visual literacy is the competent creation and consumption of visual messages (Ryan, 2012). Which is a vague fairly vague definition compared to what Kennedy said.

Kennedy really dives deep into the subject and drives home the importance of visual literacy. He has you close your eyes and then he asks you to name off some things that are in the room. I honestly couldn’t remember any of these things. It just goes to show you how important it is for us to see things. When we see things we generate assumptions about them, try to interpret them, and we add text to them. So visual literacy can go a long way for us. Visual literacy is definitely a universal language. Kennedy talks about this a little bit in his lecture.

There are all kinds of different things we do visually that translate in any culture. Kennedy’s example was a simple wink. When we see someone wink we interpret what it means. It could mean a lot of different things though as well. Hand signals and numbers don’t really change either. I was just in the Dominican Republic and a lot of the locals didn’t speak English. I had to resort to using hand signals to get things I wanted or communicate with them. Most of the time it worked to.

It was easier for me to communicate with them visually and basically the only means of communication I had. So I agree when someone says visual literacy is a universal language. I think visual literacy can impact communication and global understanding. I gave an example in my previous paragraph of how visual literacy impacts communication. That example works here really well too. It impacts communication because we see things first and then we interpret the text, such as body language or hand gestures. They can change how you interpret what someone is saying. It helps with a global understanding because visual literacy is universal.

I stated earlier that I though visual literacy was a universal language. When you can’t communicate with some verbally you always turn to visual things like hand gestures. I think this gives us a way to communicate when we can speak through words. Visual literacy is very important to us as a country and throughout the world. References Ryan, W. (2012). Visual literacy: learning to see. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. TedTalk: Brian Kennedy: Visual Literacy and Why We Need It (http://tedxtalks. ted. com/video/TEDxDartmouth-Brian-Kennedy-Vis;search%3Abrian%20kennedy).


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