Visual Literacy is the ability to find, understand, and evaluate images. It also includes the ability to understand the creation process for the purpose of not only evaluating but making images.
Visual Literacy can contain may parts, but this guide provides tools and resources to breakdown the key components of Visual Literacy into manageable segments to empower you and your students to find, understand, evaluate, and create images.
Images come in a variety of forms such as photographs, paintings, graphic design, infographics, charts, graphs, and more. For ways to find images see our section on Finding and Accessing Reliable Images.
When deciding if images should be used, consider the following questions:
Deciding between using an existing image and creating your own is an important step. Consider the following questions to help you decide:
When using existing images, you will need to consider copyright. Our website has a Copyright section for reference and our Copyright Librarian is available to answer questions. Image databases will include copyright statements describing if and how images can be uses. Images found online may include Creative Commons Licenses that should be followed when reusing or modifying images.
If you decide you want to create your own image or you want to modify an existing image that has a Creative Common License allowing modification, see our section on Creating Visual Materials.