Visual metaphors can be a great way to stimulate learner thinking and to get people out of “thinking ruts.” For example, we can use a “river of life” visual exercise to either reflect and plan, or to tell a collective story. We can ask our learners to consider a challenge about their team work by visualizing their team like a bee hive and draw what is happening. (See more examples here: http://www.visualthinkingmagic.com/visual-metaphor-bridge-gap)
At the same time, a metaphor can be constraining. It can drop us INTO assumptions as much as help us step out of them. Here is a challenge to play with metaphors – by CREATING a challenge using a metaphor.
- Review the examples above.
- Design a classroom activity that uses a metaphor along with a note of how it might be useful, and any risks, if applicable. Upload it to the Challenge bank. If you upload it elsewhere online, or tweet it, please include the hashtags #UdGAgora .
- BONUS: If you use the challenge in one of your classes, come back and tell us how it went. Bring some student feedback!
Working with metaphor doesn’t depend on the environment – online, offline, mobile or desktop. The implication is often that the medium you choose should support visuals.
Additional Tools and Resources
Example for "Visual Metaphors. Or not?":