Technical communicators are expected to work extensively with visual texts in workplaces. Fortunately, most academic curricula include courses in which the skills necessary for such tasks are introduced and sometimes developed in depth. We identify a tension between a focus on technological skill vs. a focus on principles and theory, arguing that we subvert the potential benefits of an education if we succumb to the allure of software. We recommend several classroom practices that help educate students toward greater visual literacy, based not only on recommendations from the research but also from our experience as teachers of visual communication.
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