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Compassionate Teaching Through Visual Literacy

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 126A

Participate and share: Interactive session
Recorded Session
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Teacher Librarian & Program Director
North High & Fresno Pacific University
Katie McNamara serves as a teacher librarian at North High School in Bakersfield, California and director of the Teacher Librarian Program at Fresno Pacific University. She is a Google Certified Innovator, SCWriP Teacher-consultant, California School Library Association Past President, and AASL Tech Troubadour. Katie has authored contributing chapters and published many journal articles. She has won numerous awards for being innovative and sharing content. She enjoys learning, empowering teachers to inspire student learning, and frequently sharing her expertise as a national and global presenter. Inspire.Create.Empower.Repeat. Connect on Twitter @KatieJMcNamara

Session description

Leverage visuals to lower the cognitive load as a gateway to new skill understanding and empowerment. Easily remove traditional content barriers. Examine additional connections, including civil discourse, content diversity audit and algorithm bias. Gain engaging ideas you can easily incorporate utilizing visuals to teach reading, research, media literacy and more.

Purpose & objective

Use visuals to introduce new content
Use visuals to generate questions and inquiry
Use visuals to build background knowledge
Use visuals to create understanding and empathy of SDGs
Use visuals for active cognitive thinking
Use visuals for analysis of information
Recognize mis and dis information of visuals
Explore visual algorithm bias
Develop intentionality of diversity in material curation

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5 mins - Visuals to build community
5 mins - Connection to power of images
5 mins - DEI discussion of visual evolution and application
5 mins - Notice/Wonder: “light” to “heavy” images
5 mins - Diversity audit of content
5 mins - Notice/Wonder activity > CER
10 mins - Slow Reveal strategy cross curricular
5 mins - Presearch & Inquiry
5 mins - Participant curation
5 mins - Media Literacy: misinformation, disinformation, algorithm bias
5 mins - Q & A

Pear Deck for audience engagement and participation, crowd sourced collections, application & reflection

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Supporting research

Agtarap, Kevin. “How to Incorporate Visual Literacy in Pre-K and Elementary School Instruction.” Edutopia, 15 November 2021, Accessed 2 October 2022.
Bamford, Anne. “The Visual Literacy White Paper.” Aperture Foundation, 2003, Accessed 2 October 2022.
Briggs, Saga. “Why Visual Literacy Is More Important Than Ever & 5 Ways to Cultivate It | InformED.” Open Colleges, 7 November 2015, Accessed 2 October 2022.
Daniel, Noa, et al. “Visual Literacy | voicEd.” VoicEd Radio, 2022, Accessed 2 October 2022.
Matusiak, Krystyna K., et al. “Visual Literacy in Practice: Use of Images in Students’ Academic Work | Matusiak.” College & Research Libraries, 2019, Accessed 2 October 2022.

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Session specifications

Grade level:
Skill level:
Teachers, Curriculum/district specialists, Library media specialists
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Subject area:
ELL, Language arts
ISTE Standards:
For Coaches:
Learning Designer
  • Collaborate with educators to develop authentic, active learning experiences that foster student agency, deepen content mastery and allow students to demonstrate their competency.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.