A teachers' seminar on educational technology held on December 18 at Shri Agrasen Post-Graduate College of Education at Jamdoli in Jaipur recommended that keeping in view the increased use of visual and iconic symbols in computer courses and computer mediated learning, at least fifty-hour course on drawing of various visual symbols be made compulsory in pre-service and in-service courses of school teachers.
Teachers were given skill practice of drawing simple visuals - the ones with minimum details but only with parts or features that make the things they represent recognizable.
According to the resource person of the seminar, Lalit Kishore, teachers need to have basic visual literacy to understand and use images in communicating, thinking and learning. The use of images in modern culture of information and communication technologies is increasing, therefore, teachers need to be able to draw, interpret and employ images for teaching purposes.
"Visual symbols are simple recognisable representations of reality in the form of pictorial signs and symbols as semi-concrete experiences in learning and communication. Thus, a visual symbol is something that stands for, signifies, or represents something else pictorially. It can help in transmitting an idea or information from one person to another without knowing abstract symbols or script of a language," he said while defining a visual symbol.
According to Kishore, common people, teachers and learners can create, manage, and share interpretations of the physical world through visual symbols as a universal sign language. One is familiar with road signs and visual communication symbols at the railway stations, airports, etc. The different kinds of visual symbols are line drawings with minimum strokes, implied drawings, continuous drawing, structure-cum-strokes drawings, stick drawing, sketches, cartoons, comics or strip drawing, diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, and posters.
“A Visual is next to the reality that produces strong mental image for associative learning of abstract symbols. And, s primary teacher should be able to draw at least 200 simple visuals to make her teaching effective,” added Kishore at the seminar.