Visual texts and increasingly audio-visual texts are something we meet with all the time. Visual texts are ones where images or graphics of some kind play a major part in “getting the message across”. This doesn’t mean they are necessarily “word free”. Many visual texts combine words and images to strengthen their message. Audio-visual texts combine voice or other sounds with images to achieve their objectives.
“Good” visual texts
To be able to “write” good visual texts you need to know about some of the features that can be used to create effects as well as about the factors such as audience that will affect the content. We talked about some of these in virtual class. If you need to revisit them login to the course website and checkout the recordings for “Week 2 Day 1 – morning” and “Week 2 Day 2 – morning”. Or take a look at the slideshare
where you will also find information on signing up to ToonDoo. This is the medium we are going to use to make visual texts on online safety.
Making a visual text using ToonDoo
Those students and lecturers for our first pilot ELFADA course who were online during the virtual class session on visual texts made a Toon together. We did this through desktop sharing with each person taking turns to control my desktop and add their own choice of character and text.
This was great fun to do. Toons are a great way to express your personality online whilst staying safe! Making visual texts is a good learning activity for any subject you are studying. You can use them as we are doing to learn about and share your own ideas about online safety.
The wonderful thing about posting to blogs is that you can update posts when something changes. I am doing exactly that here by adding the joint ELFADA toon from the second group of ELFADA students. As with the previous one this was great fun to make!
Our second group joint ELFADA toon
However there are lots of other ways to use them to make learning more fun.
For example to help you remember the different meanings of two words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings, as in this simple text above.
Something we did not really cover in the session was saving your Toon and capturing the link so here is a screencast to help you if you get stuck on this.
You can add your Toons to your blog posts in two ways. We have already look at adding a link – you can do this with your Toon by saving the link and inserting it in the post. Next week we will be looking a adjusting images to a suitable size and inserting them in posts.
Visual texts are a great learning tool as well as being fun to make. We hope you will carry on making Toons and other visual texts for learning. Remember to leave a comment on this post. The more practise you get at commenting effectively the better. Was the post useful for you? In what way was it useful? Was there anything about it that you thought worked very well and why was this?
This post is about texts and how we can understand their “messages” better if we consider more than just the words that are used.
You will find that there are lots of different types of text. When we look at written texts it is useful to look at the features and think about why those particular features have been used. The use of different features can make texts more fit for their purpose by affecting how we understand them.
The Prezi shown below on “Text features and purposes” is a reminder of some important text features and text purposes.
Here we are talking about written texts but visual texts, that we will look at in the next section, share features and purposes with written texts.
You will see lots of other descriptions that apply to texts the Wordle below includes some of them.
Visual texts are those that rely a lot on images to get their message across. This doesn’t mean they have no words! Some visual texts don’t have any words but many are a blend (mixture) of words and image – the Prezi you have just looked at is one of these. The words don’t have to be written – a video is an audio-visual text.
This Voki is a very simple audio-visual text.
Some texts may be wholly visual – these include symbols, icons and logos. However most visual texts are a mixture of text and images (graphics).
Visual texts have some special features that can help us understand their meaning (the message they are sending).
Layout – the position, size, colour and shape of both text and images on the page. Checkout this student project at LinkQuest for a look at colour and its effects on us.
Images – what sort of images are included: symbols, pictures, other graphics. What feelings do they give us.
Text – what font is used, where is the text placed, what do the words say, what feelings do the words give us.
When we look at a visual text we often have an instant “feeling” about the meaning, but we need to be able to put this into words so that we can describe the effect the text might have on other people.
The words used in any text and they way the text looks – including visuals is very important to understanding the text. Knowing some of the “tricks” that creators use in their texts helps YOU to understand what the creator is trying to say. It also helps YOU not to be “fooled” by the creator who is secretly trying to make us think the same way as they do.
Another useful thing about understanding how the words and look of a text make YOU feel is that this helps YOU to create your own texts that can make people feel how YOU want them to feel.