This blog presents visual information in pedagogical contexts; considering how information is presented in visual form and how we can learn from these presentations.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recovery.gov

The White House attempts here to communicate a series of ideas with this visual, embedded in an iframe here.




The most detailed graphic, represented in the still to the right, is titled “Transforming Federal Building Into High-Performance Green Building. In the middle of this graphic is a representation of a “High Performance Green Building.” The graphic suggest a flow from left to right that involves money. This left to right action is, of course, a priority in English language reading. The stack of bills on the left is labeled a federal distribution. Readers must infer the nature of this distribution. Presumably, it is for “transforming federal buildings.” Such an inference emerges from the title of the graphic and the names associated with the items surrounding the stack of bills. The money on the left then flows into the building, but also flows out to 6 additional sources. These other 6 sources are a mix of specific projects such as U. S. Courthouses and more general expenditures such as “Space Rental.” Flowing out of the “High Performance Green Building” are three items. A deep reading is required in order to understand the relationship between the centerpiece building and the three items on the right. The relationship is ultimately mathematical. The items on the right sum up the 4,274M cost of the “High Performance Green Building.” Essentially, this graphic functions as a blow up of a single project in the overall distribution of funds for federal government environmental building renovations.

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John Lee is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. His scholarship is focused on pedagogies of digital history. This work includes the design and implementation of online resources that extend the boundaries of history through online networks and the digitization of historical source material. In addition to this focus on digital history, John is also interested in the historical literacies needed to negotiate online historical resources and visual representations of historical information. For more please see http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jklee/

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