11 April 2016

Do You Have Visual Swag?

If reading, writing, remixing, composing, designing and sharing are skills which are considered part of digital literacy today, then making use of images and text in the language classroom is an excellent activity to provide practice for students. 

Literacy today also includes the skill to think critically about images,  and to be able to produce and not only consume visual communication. Learners need to consider elements such as colour, image selection, scale and justaposition.  The choice of colours, for instance,  can be symbolic, associative or evocative.  Images themselves can be symbolic, representational or provocative. They can confuse or clarify an audience. When adding text, learners need to reflect on the scale of objects and how text adds meaning to their image.

WordSwag is an app which generates images and text to create quotes. Images may be found in the offered selection, through an in-built search or by choosing one's own images.

There is a range of fonts to choose from as well as quotes. The image above is an example of what WordSwag creates.

Similar to Word Dream
- which is free - WordSwag already offers most fonts and options for free (with the paid version).

So, how can these apps be used in the language classroom?

1 - Students can create a quote which reflects their identity and these artifacts can then be shared in a Padlet, thus creating a sense of community.

2 - Students can connect image and how they feel about a topic or their learning progress

3 - Students can select images and vocabulary which they feel go together

4 - Create a poster for a school event and then the class chooses the best posters

5 - Create a book cover for an assigned reading

Possibilities are as endless as there are teaching contexts.

Most of all, students are engaging in languages for creation and communication for today's world. 

Further Suggestions:

Soundbites for the Classroom

Diffuse with a Quote

Visual Literacy - Toledo Musuem of Art

Web Literacy - Mozilla Learning

Another app for creating text and visuals is Adobe Post 

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