Teaching, Blogging about Visual Literacy – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Teaching, Blogging about Visual Literacy

This semester, HWS hosted its Faculty Institute, “Promoting Visual Literacy across the Curriculum,” in concurrence with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education’s (NITLE) workshop on Visual Literacy. The two-day program allowed HWS faculty to share their instructional methods and practices with visual media. The event was co-sponsored by the HWS Center for Teaching and Learning, Instructional and Research Technology, and Warren Hunting Smith Library. NITLE’s Program Officer for Science and Technology, Dr. Sean Connin, facilitated the “intramural event.”

 “A primary benefit of my work at NITLE is the opportunity to work with and befriend a diverse community of educators,” said Connin. “Through the exchange of shared successes and setbacks, we all move closer to realizing our goals for excellence in higher education.”

Contributors to the workshop included Associate Professor of Education Paul Kehle, Associate Professor of Art Michael Tinkler, Assistant Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer, and Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Michele Polak. Using media ranging from Excel to YouTube to ARTstor, professors shared their experiences with visual literary as pedagogical devices.

Kehle explained his use of Excel to highlight probability outcomes for cancer research; Tinkler used content mapping applications to illustrate linear and non-linear approaches to teaching. Online video archives offered numerous pedagogical opportunities for Shafer’s students, and digital media fostered a new form of communication for Polak and her students.

NITLE is a community-based, non-profit initiative that helps liberal arts colleges and universities explore and implement digital technologies. NITLE was established in September 2001, through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It operated as a grant-funded initiative until December 2005, and was originally charged to stimulate collaboration between selected liberal arts colleges and to act as a catalyst for the effective integration of emerging and newer digital technologies into teaching, learning, scholarship, and information management.