Comics as an Educational Tool?

I was not surprised by my fondness of this essay, if you could even call it that.  The speedy understanding McCloud provided through his alternative media (or medium?) was such a relief but also quite surprising because the ideas he presented were very complex.  I mean think about it, any time someone is trying to describe the relationship between motion, sound, space, and/or time, things normally get pretty sticky.  These ideas are so complicated because they are so intangible.  For example, I would have had to read and reread this quote “as our eyes are moving through space, they’re also moving through time” had it not been accompanied by appropriate images and accurately bolded/italicized words, which made me remember the reading techniques Dr. C had us go through in class and also made this comic pretty relevant, aside from the fact that it is one of McCloud’s.

As this comic strip explains, pictures are a much more effective and time-efficient alternative to writing, which involves the decoding of symbols.  The quickness with which I picked up on McCloud’s points was alarming, in a good way of course and made me wonder if and how this media style could be applied to education.  Reading comics seems like such a natural process and I am interested as to why it hasn’t been more thoroughly researched as a means for education!  That sounds absurd but then again, the idea that tweeting and blogging could be educational seemed pretty out there to me a few short months ago.

I especially enjoyed reading the comic which went off in all different directions, with a unique and varying twist on the story.  This form could be quite useful in conveying multiple approaches to a complex problem in the classroom.  I’m sure my interest with comics as an educational tool has been long-discussed, but it never dawned on me so as we talked about in class before, although I’m not the first to have this epiphany, I still value it as I had an eye-opening realization which I will continue to research!

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Comics as an Educational Tool?

  1. jeh1991

    I feel like we have similar ideas about this reading! I completely agree that, although McCloud gave us an extremely complex message (I mean..motion!? time?! direction?!) he somehow made it simple to understand. I feel that comics and other creative measures of delivering a message could lead us to figure out the next step in education.

  2. jakegrohs

    I enjoyed your blog post – it reminded me of our talk earlier in the semester about making learning (or hyperlinks or education or…) enticing so that everyone feels compelled to push the giant red button (or open the textbook or blog or…). Comics just scream out to the audience to be read and loved in a way that, for some reason, most textbooks simply can’t do. This also reminds me of the movement to use computer games as educational tools… 🙂

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