Topics covered in this chapter include
  • What are visual media?
  • Photosharing
  • Slideshows
  • Video and videosharing
  • Animation
  • Comic strips
  • Infographics
  • Educational benefits of visual media
  • Peer learning and collaboration
  • Creating narratives and audience awareness
  • Multiple literacies
  • Special considerations for visual media
  • Inappropriate content
  • Posting images of children
  • Comments
  • Copyright
  • Creative Commons
  • Terms of Service
  • Platform compatibility and bandwidth
  • Limited free usage

For more detail, read Chapter 13 of Using Social Media in the Classroom. A best practice guide.
  • Upload and share videos online
  • Post comments on and rate others’ videos
  • Create playlists
  • Create your own animated movies
  • Share and comment on photos and slideshows
  • Create and share comic strips

Visual media are suitable for
  • Analysis, synthesis, evaluation
  • Collaboration
  • Communication and knowledge sharing
  • Object sharing
  • Presentation and dissemination of information
  • Storing and managing information
  • Visualisation
  • Networking

Special considerations
  • See chapter 13 of Using Social Media in the Classroom for special considerations regarding visual media, including inappropriate content, posting images of children, comments, terms of service, platform compatibility, bandwidth, copyright, Creative Commons, limited free usage.

Ideas for use with your class
  • Ask students to create a video on a class topic. Get them to upload the video to a video sharing site such as YouTube and to write a short blurb about how they made the video and how it relates to the class theme.
  • Get students to source videos relevant to the current class theme and to create a playlist. Get them to comment on each video in terms of how it relates to the class.
  • Find videos that you can use as discussion points in class. Post them to your wiki or blog and ask students to comment or discuss.
  • Videos can be used to teach media literacy and to help students identify bias.
  • If you are a language teacher, find some YouTube videos in the language your are teaching. Go through and identify difficult or colloquial vocabulary and create a poll or quiz. Or ask students to identify current cultural issues raised by the video.
  • See chapter 12 of Using Social Media in the Classroom for more ideas for use with your class.

Sites, applications, and tools

external image filmsforlearning.png?w=500
external image comic_brush.jpg
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external image muvizu.jpg

Further reading

  • Alexander, C. (2014) Student-created digital media and engagement in middle school history, Computers in the Schools, 31(3), pp. 154–172.
  • Andrist, L., Chepp, V., Dean, P., and Miller, M. V. (2014) Toward a video pedagogy: a teaching typology with learning goals, Teaching Sociology, 42(3), pp. 196–206.
  • Bamford, A. (2011) The visual literacy white paper. Commissioned by Adobe Systems Pty Ltd, Australia. Retrieved from
  • Connolly, S. (2011) The New Addington primary schools animation project: using animation to build community relationships between schools, Journal of Assistive Technologies, 5(1), 37–9.
  • Davies, Julia. (2007) Display, identity and the everyday: self-presentation through online image sharing, Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 28(4), 549–64.
  • Di Blas, N. and Paolini, P. (2013) Beyond the school’s boundaries: PoliCultura, a large-scale digital storytelling initiative, Educational Technology & Society, 16 (1), 15–27.
  • Duggan, M. (2013) Photo and video sharing grow online. Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from
  • Greiffenhagen, C. (2013) Visual grammar in practice: Negotiating the arrangement of speech bubbles in storyboards, Semiotica, 195, pp. 127– 167.
  • Thomas, L. C. (2012) Think visual, Journal of Web Librarianship, 6(4) pp. 321–324.