Multimodal Communication

TabletThe traditional mode of communication in education has, in the past, been predominantly through the use of text. Without a convenient way to add audio, visual images, video and links to supporting materials, text primarily drove the educational experience. Now with digital technology, learning can occur fluidly in multiple modes with the integration of many forms of communication. But what does this mean for learning? As Cary Jewitt stated in Multimodality. “Reading” and “Writing” for the 21st Century, ” the increasingly dominant role of image unsettle and de-center the predominance of the word.” The combination of images, video, text, and even audio shape the process of making meaning from what we encounter these days, from the classroom to the ‘newspaper’ to the website we surf.

Images can clarify the text, muddy the text or even supersede the text, making understanding the relationship and how visual images themselves influence meaning more important. Visual images are integrally a part of the meaning and can drive the interpretation of text and the accuracy of understanding we gain.

Journals which support research in visual literacy:

Journal of Visual Literacy

Visual Communication

Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies

Games and Culture