Timothy Gangwer's Blog – November 2009 Archive (20)

Different Types of Visuals

Reading Graphs

Graphs are visuals with bars going vertically or horizontally or lines that zigzag used to show comparisons between two or more different items. They usually feature numerical data, and they may show changes over time. For example, a graph may be used to show the growth in sales of various makes of automobiles over a period of time. The numbers shown in bar graphs are most often approximate, and there are ranges. Graphs can be horizontal,vertical, or lines.… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 30, 2009 at 12:25pm — No Comments

What About 21st Century Skills?

A week ago, I participated in a panel discussion on this topic, sponsored by an organization called Common Core in Washington, D.C.. Common Core was created to advocate for the liberal arts and sciences, particularly because of the pressure to spend more and more time emphasizing only reading and mathematics. After all, they are the only subjects that “count” for purposes of NCLB accountability, so supervisors and principals are demanding that teachers produce higher scores in the tested… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 27, 2009 at 11:27am — No Comments

The Visual Context: First We See

The baby’s developing capacity to focus is the first stage of learning to see. Recent research investigating attention in infancy has revealed that, at just four months old, babies are able to organise visual information in at least three different ways, according to brightness, shape, and how close the visual elements are together (proximity). These new findings mean that very young infants are much more capable of organising their visual world than psychologists had previously thought… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 25, 2009 at 11:21am — No Comments

A Conceptual Map of Visual Communication

The study of visual communication theory is a multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional effort. People who write on this topic come from mass communication, film and cinema studies, education, art, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, and architecture and archaeology among other fields.

Although this brings a rich melange of viewpoints, which is an asset because of the insights that come from cross-fertilization, it causes some problems academically for those who… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 24, 2009 at 2:25pm — No Comments

Is there such a thing as a photographic memory? And if so, can it be learned?

Alan Searleman, a professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University and co-author of the college textbook Memory from a Broader Perspective, explains.

In the scientific literature, the term eidetic imagery comes closest to what is popularly called photographic memory. The most common way to identify eidetikers (as people with eidetic imagery are often called) is by the Picture Elicitation Method. In it, an unfamiliar picture is placed on an easel and a person carefully… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 23, 2009 at 4:23pm — No Comments

Deconstructing Media Literacy

n an age when information can be easily manipulated through applications such as Wikipedia and Photoshop, who should be teaching our students about media literacy, what should they be learning about it, and what kind of vocabulary do they need in order to talk about it critically? Jamie McKenzie, the editor of the Web magazine From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal, tackled some of these questions in a spotlight session at NECC, attended mostly by librarian-teachers and media… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 20, 2009 at 9:53am — No Comments

Do You Want Me to Draw You a Picture?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing some reading, when I have a few moments, both online and the hardcopy book/magazine version. There have been a few different things that have me pondering and wondering about what we are doing in school and how things will change and when we’ll get around to looking at how change will affect what we do at school.

Being rather overwhelmed with a number of different managerial tasks these past few weeks and having to increase my teaching time, I… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 19, 2009 at 9:44am — No Comments

Why the Blank Stare? Strategies for Visual Learners


Silent and very still sat 18 kindergarten students, patiently waiting for the teacher to begin her lesson. Then, and only then, may they take out their beloved bears that they had permission to bring to school on this special day. With her pigtails swinging side to side, Alex looked up at her teacher and proudly proclaimed that her bear Amy had been to every doctor's visit since she was born. Not to be outdone, Ross jumped up and shouted that his… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 18, 2009 at 11:04am — No Comments

Scarves, Soccer, and Stories: Promoting Visual Tracking

First, the tallest boy in your class gets called. Next it's that small but lightening-fast girl who sits behind you. And after her it's your best friend, who has five older brothers and is pretty smooth with a soccer ball. One by one, you hear everyone's name being called. You quietly shift from one foot to the other, hoping, praying, that you won't be: The. Last. One. Picked.

Ring a bell? It does for me. And one of the main reasons I wasn't too popular on the elementary school… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 17, 2009 at 12:51pm — No Comments

Great Graphic Novels: 5 Comics to Keep Your Kid Thinking

When Art Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus in 1992, graphic novels began to shed their stigma as a childish, escapist genre. Recently, Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, a narrative weaving the ancient Monkey King fable with contemporary Chinese-American tales, was the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award.

“Graphic novels entice students to read because they think of them in the same way they think of video games. Visuals enable students to comprehend and… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 16, 2009 at 4:44pm — No Comments

Honoring a Child's Learning Style

When I was in 3rd grade, the word "encyclopedia" was on my spelling test. I couldn’t remember how to spell that word no matter what I did! To help me along, my mom told me that when she was growing up, there was a character called Jiminy Cricket, who sang a song about the encyclopedia that included the spelling of the word. She sang it to me a few times. It just clicked. To this day, when I write the word "encyclopedia" I still sing that song in my head.

Think back to when you were… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 12, 2009 at 12:23am — No Comments

Research Evidence for Using Educational Technology

The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET), a funded project of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), has the most comprehensive review of research evidence available on the impact of technology in education (see http://caret.iste.org) . The What Works Clearinghouse, established by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide "high-quality reviews of scientific evidence of the… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 11, 2009 at 10:14am — No Comments

Teaching with Visuals: Students Respond to Images

Dan Meyer knows that textbook-driven teaching hasn't served his students well. That's why they wind up taking remedial algebra with him in ninth grade. "They either need more time on content, or they've really been burned by traditional math instruction," says the teacher from San Lorenzo Valley High School, near Santa Cruz, California.

For Meyer, now in his fifth year of teaching, a lightbulb moment happened three years ago when he acquired a projector for his classroom. "That gave… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 10, 2009 at 10:59am — No Comments

Turn Up the Volume: Boost Memory and Learning with Music

When we hear a familiar song, we are often able to recall a moment from our past that is connected to that tune. Favorite songs tickle our memory in various ways; your child may even complain of “getting a song stuck in her head,” which shows that music is easily ingrained in our memory.

Music has been found to stimulate parts of the brain, and studies have demonstrated that music enhances the memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, including a study conducted at UC Irvine,… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 9, 2009 at 10:10am — No Comments

Visual-perceptual Weaknesses Associated with Academic Delays

Visual-Perceptual Weaknesses

- Slow to discriminate shapes, as in trying to put a circle into a square hole (visual discrimination problem)

- Confuses left and right

- Poor spatial judgment, as in discriminating bigger from smaller objects or the right screw to fit into a hole

- Difficulty estimating time, being on time

- Poor sense of direction (takes forever to learn one's way around a new place; gets lost in a new house)

- Difficulty judging speed… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 6, 2009 at 9:38am — No Comments

Visual Processing Disorders: In Detail

There are lots of ways the brain processes visual information. Weaknesses in a particular kind of visual processing can often be seen in specific difficulties with practical, everyday tasks.

Below is an explanation of each of the types of visual processing. Each category also includes:

- Possible difficulties that can occur if there is a weakness in that area

- Possible strategies that may help overcome the difficulties.

Be aware that weakness can occur in… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 5, 2009 at 9:53am — No Comments

Do Digital Diaries Mess Up Your Brain?

The meal you ate the first day you started working. The first exam you aced in high school. The shoes you wore to the prom.

These minute details of life often fade into the abyss of memory, which is not a perfect scrapbook of every experience. Over time, we forget details of events that happened long ago or even mis-remember them.

But today's technology creates opportunities for greater, moment-by-moment record-keeping. Archives of your blog, Facebook or Twitter feed --… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 4, 2009 at 9:04am — No Comments


SenseCam is a wearable digital camera that is designed to take photographs passively, without user intervention, while it is being worn. Unlike a regular digital camera or a cameraphone, SenseCam does not have a viewfinder or a display that can be used to frame photos. Instead, it is fitted with a wide-angle (fish-eye) lens that maximizes its field-of-view. This ensures that nearly everything in the wearer’s view is captured by the camera, which is important because a regular wearable camera… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 4, 2009 at 8:55am — No Comments

What Are Visualization Tools?

Humans are complex organisms that possess well-balanced sensorimotor systems, with counterbalanced receptor and effector systems that enable them to sense psychomotor data and act on it using complex motor systems. Likewise, humans have reasonably keen aural perception, allowing them to hear a large range of sounds. Those sounds can be replicated or at least responded to orally by forcing air through the diaphragm, palette, and lips to create an infinite variety of sounds. However, our most… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 3, 2009 at 9:57am — No Comments

What It Means to Be a Visual Learner

Does your child use his hands when he tells you about his day? Does he remember faces, but not names? Is he artistic? Well, all those crayon markings on your sparkling white walls could mean your little one is a visual learner.

There are three main types of learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (or physical). Visual learners learn best by watching. Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet, licensed clinical social worker and coordinator of Parents Place Express, defines the visual learner… Continue

Added by Timothy Gangwer on November 2, 2009 at 10:23am — No Comments

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