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Susan Metros Addresses Visual Literacy

11/25/08
USC associate vice provost charts a student’s path to academic success during a seminar in Spain.
By Mary Bruce
Susan Metros, associate vice provost and deputy chief information officer

Photo/John Livzey
Susan Metros, USC’s associate vice provost for Technology Enhanced Learning and deputy chief information officer, was a speaker at “Fighting the Digital Divide Through Education,” the Open University of Catalonia’s UNESCO Chair in E-Learning Fifth International Seminar, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, Nov.1314.

The presentation, titled “Visual Literacy in the Age of the Big Picture,” contributed to the conference’s overarching theme of overcoming the digital divide through education by addressing the importance of becoming visually literate in a global society.

Once students have access to the Internet and other digital technologies, they need to develop skills to use those technologies effectively, the presentation noted. Visual literacy programs teach critical thinking and advance students’ understanding of their highly visual, digital world.

“Today’s students face an increasing volume of written, auditory and visually depicted information. As a result, they require new literacies to prepare for academic success, professional advancement and, ultimately, global digital citizenship,” Metros said in her presentation.

“Institutions of higher education must support the basic tenets of an education by teaching students what it means to be a literate human being in today’s visually saturated society,” Metros said.

Drawing participants from across Europe, the seminar focused on how leaders in the field of global education are fighting to solve the problem of inequitable access to digital technologies faced by many communities around the world.

Seminar topics included access to open knowledge, the creation of open repositories for knowledge, support for open research, innovation and teaching activities, and various related initiatives. Many of the presentations highlighted the role of information communications technology in the context of educational solutions.