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My paper to WCES2009 [www.wces2009.org]

Improving pre-service teachers' visual literacy through Flickr


Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact on pre-service teachers' visual literacy skills when they take advantage of Flickr, an online photo hosting and sharing community. Two approaches were used to develop visual literacy skills of pre-service teachers through Flickr. The first was to help them decode visuals through practicing analysis techniques, and interpreting and creating meaning from visual stimuli. The second was to help them encode visuals as a tool for communication and sharing of knowledge. Visual Literacy Test, participants' Flickr logs, Photograph Evaluation Instrument and constructed interviews were used to assess improvement in participants' visual literacy skills, the degree of engagement in sharing activities and measure perceptions toward participation in Flickr community. The results of analysis revealed that pre-service teachers' interpretation, understanding, and appreciating the meaning of visual messages skills were enhanced through online sharing and interaction through Flickr and they were able to communicate more effectively through applying the basic skills of visual literacy.