Tuesday, 6 November 2007

VizThink - Are you a Visual Thinker

The website for the VizThink Conference '08 asks Who are Visual Thinkers anyway? The answer is

Visual thinkers are people who use any form of the visual arts such as graphic design, illustration, photos, video, animations, sketches, 3D, etc. for communications and learning.

The conference topics sound very interesting, including:
  • Moving beyond bullet points...using storytelling for presentations
  • Aligning individuals using visualization
  • Visualization in 3D? When does it matter
  • Facilitation using photographs
  • Designing compelling and effective information graphics
  • Virtual worlds: future or fad
  • Creating a global visual language
  • Organizing your world with visuals
  • Using visuals for powerful presentations
  • Storytelling through comics and graphic novels
  • Visual techniques for analyzing data
  • Visualization principles for software design
  • Facilitation through live sketching
  • Can there be a true language with grammar and structure that uses visuals?
  • Visualization as a brainstorming tool
Unfortunately, for a conference site which states Who should not attend?
  • Those who think bullets are best
the site contains an awful lot of bullet-pointed lists!

The conference site links to a blog, where one of the challenges is to picture the visual thinkers community, resulting in some beautiful images and not a bullet point in sight! There is also a conference wiki which includes lots of pre-conference information.

Unfortunately, the conference is in San Francisco at the end of January! Might be worth keeping an eye on the wiki though!


thcrawford said...

Thanks for the great post about VizThink '08 and the very fair comment about bullets on several of the pages. You couldn't be more correct! In fact, we'd invite you or your readers to come up with replacement images for anything on the site and we'll happilly swap them out! Much of the data is changing rapidly, so they would need to be updateable. In any case, thanks for your interest. We hope you can make it to the conference, but more importantly we hope that you are able to get involved in the ongoing community.

Thanks for your feedback!


ceo, vizthink

andrew said...

Why not invite someone to give a talk or training locally about the pragmatics of this?

A major step has been to get everyone using Powerpoint et al on campus, which has pretty much been achieved. However, the consequent bullet points are endemic. Maybe it's time for a second step?

Iain said...

Hi. Indeed we in CELT have run workshops in the past on "Death by PowerPoint" and in all of our training about teaching and learning we highlight the dreaded bullet point sickness, etc. Like everything it has its strengths but also weaknesses so what's needed is obviously a self-critical an intelligent approach to selecting any medium or technology in teaching and learning. PPT does work well for presentational aspects of course, but many lecturers go well beyond that in their teaching. Join the discussion in our teaching and learning forum for more on this.....(sorry only available to those in Galway)...