Image is Everything: Exploring Visual Thinking Strategies

a masterclass with Amy Burvall. #imageiseverything

Watch the video


Early bird (before June 18th, 2018): $245 or $220 (students).


The course runs between 9th July and 30th July 2018.

Who is this course for?

Do you need to communicate ideas visually? Are you an educator, trainer, learning designer or aspiring to become a creative practitioner?  If the answer is yes to either of these questions then this course is for you.

Why is this course special?

Well, it's facilitated by Amy. You'll get to work closely with her and a small group of peers over a three week period. There will be live sessions with Amy and opportunities to get feedback, thoughts and collaboration directly from her.

It also uses technology to let you create and share in a way that we think represents a rare opportunity in online learning.

If this sounds really cool (hint: it is) then sign up. If you know someone who would like this then share this page using the icons below. If you want to do the course but can't make it this time then scroll down and register your interest for the next time it runs.

About Amy

Amy Burvall lives and breathes creativity. She considers herself a professional dot-connector, frequent flâneuse, and itinerant artist. After 25 years in learning and development she is currently consulting, creating, and curating in the fields of creativity, visual thinking, and digital literacies. She was an early YouTuber with her History for Music Lovers project and remains an advocate of remix in learning. Her tagline, “the cloud is our campfire”, alludes to her passion for transparency and networked knowledge and curiosity. Find out more at or connect with here using the links below.

About this course

From cave walls to Facebook walls we have always embraced visual communication. Dual coding theory of cognition reiterates the importance of visual imagery in respect to our thinking processes - that in fact we need visual language in addition to verbal or text-based coding of stimuli. With the changing media landscape, our streams, memes, and zines have exploded with imagery, ushering in a need for visual literacy skills. We are quickly moving from images as decoration and augmentation to images as sole content and communication tool. We have some false beliefs about visual language - that it is equated with “art”, requiring “talent” from “creative types” - and therefore it is unfortunately often not overtly taught and practiced in schools. Technology has affected knowledge in such a way as to diminish the value of “raw” information and increase the value of sense-making, as well as chip away at attention spans, sparking a need for distillation of complex ideas. Images can essentialize the cumbersome in beautiful ways. They have a “stickiness” for the viewer and challenge the critical thinking of the creator.

This master class series will explore the “Whys” of visual literacy and offer participants an opportunity to tinker and play with:

  • iconography and metaphorical thinking
  • pictograms, “Shortology”, emoji, meme stories, and gifs
  • graphic design, graphic facilitation, infographics and sketchnotes
  • photography, cinemagrams (moving photos)
  • icon-based annotations and marginalia
  • using images to leverage CVs, social media, and presentations

We’ll experiment with ways to use visual language for personal knowledge management, amplification of knowledge and creative work, critical thinking, social interaction (conversation), and other forms of creative and intellectual expression.

What will I need?

The course makes extensive use of a smartphone. You will need to be able to take photographs and upload them. We will be using a variety online collaboration spaces for sharing work.

Is there any assessment?

There is no formal assessment though the culminating project showcasing the cumulative portfolio of work will receive feedback from Amy as well as peer feedback.

What about credentials?

Participants will earn a digital badge for participation. There will be a peer-voted ‘awards” at the end in which winners will receive special swag and a discount on Amy’s other courses.

Can I sign up now?

Absolutely, use the "Sign up" button to register.

I can't attend the course this time, can I register for the next offering?

Yes, use the form below. You will not be charged but you will be added to the list and we will contact you when the course is next offered.

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.