Images in Keywords Biology
Seburn (2017) suggests that visuals are primarily used within teaching materials to break-up the reading process, ensuring they provide a decorative rather than pedagogical purpose. Therefore, an additional aim in the development of the Keywords Biology app has been to examine the potential of utility-based visuals, in complementing texts to enhance learner comprehension. While certain lexical items can be effectively illustrated through a carefully constructed image, challenges arise when the image is charged with representing abstract or theoretical meanings, that can lead to ambiguous interpretations. This is further compounded when cultural connotations or indeed, cultural associations of colours, symbols etc. are included in the image (Fresacher, 2017).
The multiplicity of tech tools increasingly available in classrooms has seen a growing increase in students creating their own content specific to their own learning needs and context. To offer a model of best practice in design thinking, the images created and selected for use within the Keywords Biology app adhere to the principals of design. In turn, they are suitable for local adaptation and contextualisation. The design process underpinning the images below, created for the topic Structure of a Flower will be shared with teachers through the medium of educational technology tools. This will provide teachers and school leaders with a design model that traces initial inspiration to the final design outcome. This in turn will provide an additional opportunity to link classroom learning to real-world design practice, ensuring Keywords Biology is again addressing both the Word and the World.
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