In this increasingly visual society, it is important that students learn how to deal with the images, text, music and combination of all these that they are bombarded with on a daily basis. It is not enough to simply sit back and watch, but to attempt to interact with what is going on around us. Much as writing can be a type of communication, it is now sharing the spotlight with its newer technological bedfellow. Though some might complain, teaching visual literacy is not forcing text to be a subordinate, but rather sketching out all the options.
Students need to understand that text itself is not unbiased. It cannot be simply looked at and unjudged. Rather, any text, image, or audio piece must be considered in light of its biases and then a decision made on what to do what the information it transmits. Because of this, everyone must look develop this sort of rhetorical outlook. We need to teach this to our students and give them opportunities to practice, because so often they just take what they read/hear/see for granted. When they begin look at other work with this attitude, it will help them assimilate it into their own projects. And lastly, students also need to understand how to communicate. This could be writing; this could be imagery. But really, anything to prompt some kind of response, rather than the passive assumption that they can do nothing to affect the world that they live in. Perhaps their impact is not big, but still, the task gives them some kind of agency.