It is a challenge to seize children’s attention and not to let it go. Some teachers experience great difficulties in keeping students engaged and involved in the educational process due to objective reasons. Luckily, there exist some tricks to help resourceful teachers, one of them being visual aids. Looking at bright and colorful images, students are more likely to digest the material without boredom and remember it afterwards. But why are visual aids so effective and how to create them?
First of all, visual aids are helpful, because they show the data visually. Some facts, connections and outcomes are much easier to understand when they are represented as a picture. For example, some statistics, shown as a diagram will be much more winning than its detailed descriptions in words. Then, as visual images have the sense of modernity, they easily grab children’s attention for some time. Thus, they are useful for highlighting some essential points and setting true accents. And finally, visual aids and pictures boost children’s creativity. By looking at something beautiful and challenging, by perceiving the right way of data organization, students can get inspired and come up with new and outstanding ideas.
There are three most popular types of visual aids:
- Sheets to hand out. They are pieces of paper with different tasks for students: from simple word games to sophisticated and quizzes and puzzles. Usually you are welcome to print them at school, if the head teacher supports the idea of modern teaching.
Such sheets look very winning if they contain bright images, doodles, cartoons, drawings and any other innovative ideas. They serve different purposes like encouraging students to think over some details or discuss them, check students’ knowledge or let them rest with the benefit for their brains. A lot of websites offers resourceful teachers the opportunities to download and print the material. Here are just some of them:
- Posters and pictures. If you want to explain new material with the help of some visual images, illustrate your words with bright and colorful pictures.
Usually you use Photoshop to create a legible and eye-pleasing poster, but you can try its free and less sophisticated alternative Photoscape.
Remember that in creating posters bright shapes and arrows look especially great. As well as text elements, which must be precise, short and only about the core point.
- Video sequences. But sometimes even picture images are not enough to convey the idea. In this case you can turn to videos
If you have some photos to illustrate your words, just make a slideshow of them and play in the background to illustrate your words. For this purpose, you can use a tool like Freemake Video Converter as it allows not only to make a slideshow in one click, but also convert it to any – even the most rare – format.
Or make a cartoon with the help of online tools like GoAnimate. This approach requires much more mental efforts and time. But if you want to create a cartoon for preschool children, this visual tool will be very useful.
Overall, the use of certain visual tools depends on your purpose, creative inner-sources and opportunities. Anyway you should call all your creativity and resourcefulness to make your lessons outstanding and interesting for students, even with the help of visual aids, because even in this case the educator’s personality is what is reflected in all the aids.
Terry Smith is a former IT teacher from Geneva. Now he is a freelance developer and blogger. Terry loves sharing his expertise on popular teaching software, IT trends, and digital technology. Follow Terry on Twitter.