After becoming a teacher it became pretty clear that no one outside of education can understand just how brutal and time-consuming it is to be a teacher — especially when it comes to grading essays. But on the flip-side most teachers don't know how or where technology can help them. Or worse, they're surrounded by all this awful technology that's been forced upon them. My district's attendance system required three separate logins! Three! Argghh! Last year I had four sections of the same Senior English prep. That meant 96 papers would come in all at once. I was super-passionate about getting these regular-level students ready for the rigors of college so I would find myself spending 15, 20, 30 minutes per paper. That multiplied by 96 is insane. That's where came from — as a teacher I felt the same pain you're feeling but my programming background allowed me to see where a little bit of technology could go a long way.
The first type of visual literacy is one restricted to the recognition of familiar things. This is a literacy based on fixed definitions, control, order and efficiency, the kind of ‘reading’ that takes place when we observe street signs, look at maps or watch the nightly news. This action is something we do all the time, a passive decoding that allows us to manage our day to day lives, particularly as responsible adults, to recognise relationships between things and events as efficiently as possible. However, this kind of ‘closed reading’ can go too far to the extent that it makes alternatives invisible, and anything unfamiliar is dismissed as foreign, useless and unwelcome. Thus we have the “Federal Department of Odds and Ends”, a concrete building without windows into which anything strange, miscellaneous or otherwise challenging - outside the familiar prescriptions of recognition - is conveniently “swept under the carpet” once the correct forms have been filled in. Meaning is a function of bureaucracy, and literacy is there to measure prescribed value; does this ring any bells in our own social and political universe?