Upon entering the field of education and technology I soon discovered Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics” recommended, not as a precursor to reading comics but to “better understand visual language” in the Department database. While I understand the watered down hesitancy for full out advocating comics in education, that seems to have evaporated with the newest onslaught of books and projects done to indeed promote comics and sequential graphics as enriching medium of choice. In fact, many of this current crop incorporates a contemporary learning practices for support. Reading With Pictures , a project that has culled a multitude of experts including comics creators and educational instructors to promote and create guidelines of using comics as an effective teaching tool. Among some objectives, it strives to provide “Standards-correlated lesson plans customized to each story, research-based justifications for using comics in the classroom, a guide to establishing best classroom practices and a comprehensive listing of additional educational resources.” So in other words, beyond just promoting comics as a viable learning tool, it provides other instructors with theoretical as well as practical examples to likely support others in the field for utilizing the medium. Similarly the book Comics: For Film, Games and Animation by Tyler Weaver seeks to expand Transmedia and Comics or a multiple application approach of which the comic industry when inclusive of large industries such as hollywood has made ample use, can also forward learning goals considering the emergence of contemporary practices incorporating connected learning and participatory practice as well. Both of these profess to cover both the benefits and critiques though with an obvious slant towards the former. However, both also predominantly aim towards a K-12 crowd. With revolutionary expansions of the concept of lifelong learning and that the general population first introduced to these emerging mediums now entering middle if not old age, the use of sequential art in transmedia form inclusive of it’s original print format in both fiction and non-fiction subjects can potentially transform learning for a future complex audience intellect of all ages.
Atlas Black, a college level comic on business training and Management