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Graphics and visualization for learning


Worth a long look

Interesting blogs

Sites, Articles, Periodicals

Bookstore, Books, Tools


Check out the Graphic Learning Gallery, an exhibit we mounted at Learning 2006.  




An Excerpt from Informal Learning



Humans are sight-mammals. We learn twice as well from images+words as from words alone. Visual language engages both hemispheres of the brain. Pictures translate across cultures, education levels, and age groups. Yet the majority of the content of corporate learning is text. Schools spend years on verbal literacy and but hours on visual literacy. It’s high time for us to open our eyes to the possibilities.


Visual literacy accelerates learning because the richness of the whole picture can be taken in at a glance. Visual metaphors unleash new ideas and spark innovation. Visuals accelerate the learning process. Visuals make meetings more productive, efficient, and memorable. Having a sharper eye increases the depth of one’s perception and enjoyment of life.


Envisioning results in insight, the capacity to gain a clear, deep and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation. Envisioning means:


1. Seeing from a fresh perspective.

2. Looking at relationships and non-linear sequences.

3. Imagining and prototyping new ideas.

4. Focusing and documenting the flow of group discussion.

5. Shortening the time it takes learners to say, "Now I see."

6. What visionaries do.


Graphics can improve informal learning throughout an organization. Graphics work wonders when you need to:


• Bring deeper understanding to complex subject matter

• Share results of dynamic meetings with others

• Help senior team “see the big picture” and focus attention

• Improve the decision-making process

• Integrate a new initiative throughout an organization

• Speed adoption of major change

• Help everyone picture their role in organizational transformation




Worth a long look


Dave Gray's incredible Visual Thinking School

Graphic Learning Gallery at Learning 2006

Optical illusions

Visual Complexity

Value Network Clusters

Del.icio.us: visual



Interesting blogs


David Sibbet's blog

Dave Gray, Communication Nation

XPLANE's visual thinking blog

XPLANE's business blog

Jay Cross, Informal Learning Blog

The Center for Graphic Facilitation





Bob Horn

The Grove Consultants


Nancy Magulies, Mindscapes

Eileen Clegg, Visual Insight


Brian Narelle, Narelle Creative



Jamie Nast, Idea Mapping

Scott Mcloud, Making Comics


Edward Tufte, Graphics Press

Michael Erickson's Visual Practitioner Site

Nigel Holmes, Explanation Graphics


A Periodic Table of Visual Explanatary Graphics








The Brain

Designer's Toolbox

Gliffy, an online drawing tool

Tony Buzan's iMind Map





Sight Mammals by Jay Cross

See What I Mean by Jay Cross

Visual Learning by Eileen Clegg

More than Just Eye Candy, by Ruth Clark Part 1 and Part 2






Communication Arts









Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping by Nancy Margulies


Visual Thinking: Tools for Mapping Your Ideas by Nancy Margulies


Idea Mapping: How to Access Your Hidden Brain Power, Learn Faster, Remember More, and Achieve Success in Business by Jamie Nast


The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential by Tony Buzan


Selling To the VP of No by Dave Gray


The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards


The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte


Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte


Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward R. Tufte


Beautiful Evidence by Edward R. Tufte


Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Centuryby Bob Horn


Mapping Hypertext: The Analysis, Organization, and Display of Knowledge for the Next Generation of On-Line Text and Graphics by Bob Horn


Best Practices for Facilitation by David Sibbet


Typography: Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, Second Edition by Ed Spiekermann


Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud


Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form by Scott McCloud


Design: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (2nd Edition) by Steve Krug


Graphics books I have enjoyed, some a bit esoteric.


Art & Physics, Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light by Leonard Shlain


Alphabets as testosterone: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain


Map making: You Are Here by Katherine Harmon


Emtion maps: The Atlas of Experience by Louse van Swaaij & Jean Krare (Scale: Unimaginable)


The trade-offs of design: Appearance & Reality: A Visual Handbook for Artists, Designers, and Makers by Stephen Hogbin


How other see: Visualizations: The Nature Book of Art and Science by Martin Kemp


Amazing journals: Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art by Jennifer New



An instructional idea book: Open Here: The Art of Instructional Design by Paul Mijksenaar and Piet Westendorp




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