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Sunni Brown

Author, Chief Infodoodler, sunnibrown.com

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Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?

This LIVE CONVERSATION will open at 1PM ET/ 10AM PT on Monday, October 31th! Join me!

Visual literacy, if described as the ability to communicate via doodling, drawing, and sketching or described as the ability to display complex information in visual language formats, is often a literacy missing in adults despite it being a universal and natural inclination in children. Why does it disappear? And more importantly, what can we do to alter this course?

**ADMIN UPDATE: Sunni Brown has asked to extend her Conversation for two weeks. She will be jumping in to catch up with responses over the next two weeks. Happy posting everyone!

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    Oct 31 2011: To address the question of WHAT CAN WE DO TO CHANGE or encourage visual literacy: Sunni, you write that the way (or at least one way) to do it is to ARTICULATE THE VALUE. I would suggest that in our capitalistic society, things change most rapidly when there is someone to PUSH the idea. And the folks that should be naturally inclined to do so would be the ones that would directly profit from such an increase visual /artistic communication.

    So let's join forces and form a coalition of product and technology companies - that are in the business of visual communications.
    I can think of the "whiteboard" companies, the overhead projector people, the WACOM (digital pen) folks, and so on...

    Similarly, can we fund new product development in this space? Perhaps tools and technologies that would allow and promote e-doodling?
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      Oct 31 2011: A fine idea. I'm in conversation with Steelcase about a visual thinking + product partnership. It's important to note, however, that the tool isn't the skill, but yes, it does facilitate the need and interest in learning the skill. But that foundational piece (how does one take content and visualize it intelligently?) would ideally accompany the creation of a line of products. Agreed?
      • Oct 31 2011: How can we continue this discussion on after this forum is over?
      • Oct 31 2011: I concur, I am very disappointed by the fact that sketching remains a synchronous activity, much like a face to face meeting, and there are no really good tools to support multi-user sketching.

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