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Monday, November 11, 2013

Verizon Commercial and How to "VTS this picture." It's as easy as 1,2,3!

#edcampKC was November 9th at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

#edcampKC group photo on the front steps of the Nelson Atkins!

Our learner-created Flickr Set of pictures was a focus of our day since...

One of our big themes for #edcampKC was visual learning. 

  • Teachers and kids in schools live in a world of largely written text. 
  • We should use art and visuals (create and view them) in learning more than we do, but how? We need some help there. Common Core Standards address this as well.
    • Lucky for us there's a method that the Nelson recommends and teaches teachers to use. It is called VTS or Visual Thinking Strategies. A plethora of resources on VTS can be found at The Nelson is well on its way to becoming the VTS hub/training center for the midwest. Watch for training on VTS and educator courses. I'm signed up for all educator art courses in the winter/spring. 
  • If you have any questions about using VTS, these are your (3--it's as easy as 1, 2, 3) people at the Nelson-Atkins! They work with teachers from the greater KC area and beyond. They are looking to SKYPE into classes. That could be into YOUR class. :)
Adrienne Lalli-Hills
Coordinator, School & Educator Services
Rosie Riordan
Head, School and Educator Services
Sarah Sims
School Partnerships Liaison

During #edcampKC, Sarah Sims and Rosie Riordan led an activity/discussion/questions on VTS.

Can all teachers feasibly work VTS into their units (all subjects)?!


    The heart of VTS'ing a picture is the 3-step method that's easy as 1,2,3...
    VTS. ALL teachers, ALL Contents.

    • It's open ended/non-judgmental, inquiry based, taps into emotions, and asks for evidence. 3 questions. Once you do it in your class a few times you can tell your kids to"VTS this picture" and they will know what to do! (...and I'll bet you they'll like it.)

    FYI: VTS is a group discussion experience. It is not designed to be individual, although it should start with time to look quietly before sharing and listening. I took part in a VTS activity with art in the Nelson in October. I learned so much and SAW new things and NOTICED new things as a result of sharing by members of the group.

    None of this--> 'That's the right answer, Johnny." Just acknowledge their statements and seek the next hand up. Let each learner share and add to the group's growing knowledge. It's a cool experience.


    Here's an example of people being asked to approach art in an open-ended way similar to VTS. Just saw it on TV after #edcampKC actually, and I thought VTS immediately. It's a nice place for someone unfamiliar with VTS to jump in and see that it is accessible and doable.
    Watch this short commercial. What parts the 3 steps above are used? Which are not?

    The 'teacher' says the following 2 starter phrases akin to the 1st one in VTS series!
    "How do you react when you see this?"
    "What do you see here"

    He does not follow up with asking for evidence or pushing on, but this is just a commercial looking to make a point. :)

    Notice how Verizon used art/visuals/map instead of TEXT and it was effective....both for content and for the commercial. Can you imagine them reading the answer and doing the commercial? LOL

    Adrienne, Rosie, and Sarah all recommended this New York Times series of VTS picture activities--and it is a weekly event! These are easy to access and understand. We can all do VTS. It's as easy as 1,2,3!

    Good luck getting started. 15 minute activity. 3 questions. Group activity/discussion. You can do it. Now just try it!

    More ideas and info on VTS in the future!

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