Concerns about using visual aids in education
While firmly believing in the power of visual aid in education, we are aware of the concerns educators might have in using a visual aid in the classroom. We aim to explain these concerns by dissecting some potential concerns about using visual aids in education. Followed after would be a list of subjects that visuals are particularly helpful in learning.
Concerns of using visual aids in education
Distracting rather than learning
It is perhaps the most common concerns about using visual aids in education. Questions could be: what if students don’t learn anything and all they get is a few minutes watching videos? Or can visual delivery meaningful knowledge to a wide range of students?
This is a rather popular misconception about what it means to be visual. Especially with animation studio like ours, the word ‘animation’ is quickly associated with television cartoons only. And as an animation studio for education, we can tell you that it is not true.
First of all, the effectiveness of visual aids depends greatly on the creator of these contents. You need to have a clear aim and deep understanding of the lesson in order to create an effective visual.
Secondly, whether or not the aid is distracting the students away from the lesson or not depends on the element of design. Although it might sound like effort, in design: less is more. Remember: it is the visualization of the knowledge that makes the success of a visual aid. So be clear and straight to the point.
Thirdly, there needs to be an appropriate understanding of what could be delivered effectively through visual aids. Some teaching materials are simply not suitable for the use of visual means. Therefore, creating visuals for these materials might not be worth the while.
All in all, creating effective visual aids for educational purpose is not simply whipping up some pretty pictures. It is about delivering a meaningful piece of knowledge to your students. Therefore, a clear understanding of the message being delivered and the audience is very important!
Costly and difficult to operate
This might be another popular concern with using visual aids in the classroom amongst educators. Especially with the development of technologies in education, paying and adapting to these methods tend to be the main concern.
To resolve the financial math questions, we offer two ways of looking at things:
Visual aids are extremely diverse
Maybe you are interested in:
Visual aids in Primary Education:
from understanding to applying
A 37-page eBook for primary teachers including:
- How to better understand primary students' learning
- Tips to choosing the right teaching aids
- Ultimate guide to design effective visual aids for teaching
Otherwise, visual can simply the VISUALISATION of the learning materials. What does it mean? It could range anything from scribbles on the blackboard, to pictures on a presentation to an animated story of the lessons. Knowing what is available and choosing the most appropriate ones for your course will ultimately lead to a desirable effect.
Yes, there might more advanced, interesting methods worth looking into like animation or educational videos. For these methods, you need to invest quite a bit of investment to get it properly running. (Still, if you are interested, there are still platforms for you to try it out here).
To consider something costly, it is best to compare and understand two things about the products: 1 is its effectiveness to solving your issues (will it make a better learning environment) and 2 is the effort that goes into producing this product.
Therefore, in order to find something that is suitable for and worth your money. Some diggings about the tool you want to use need to be done in order to make the most out of your investment.
Now, if you have decided that visual is the answer to your wants and needs, maybe you’re curious what subjects would work best with the visual method? Let’s have a look:
Maybe you are interested in:
Subjects that are best taught visually
It is true that visual aid can have an amazing effect on learning if used appropriately. However, another factor that could make or break the success of using visual aid is whether the nature of the lesson itself is suitable.
In teaching music, for example, if you are teaching musical theories, it could be fun to turn (musical signs) into fun little character to attract attention. But if you’re teaching students how to play the piano with the notes, nothing can beat actual practising.
Now, you must be curious about what subjects can visual aid has the most powerful effect on. From our experiences of working with many educational institutions, this is what we can suggest:
Abstract (theoretical based) concepts:
Many subjects that dealt greatly with theoretical concepts such as mathematics or physics can post a challenge to educators. Even simple concepts like multiplication can be hard to teach to 9 years old. This is where visual tools can come to the rescue.
Ted-Ed or School of Life is perhaps the best examples of effective uses of this sort of videos. This is a specific example of how animation that F-Studio produces is used as a teaching tool, particularly for using a bar model in mathematics at primary level.
These phenomena are usually thought of as scientific ones such as the tiny bitsy organisms or the extremely large planets. In this sense, science, geology, and biology can benefit immensely from visual tools.
However, unobservable phenomena can also be useful for subjects such as history, civic education or literature. This is because visualizations of this knowledge as stories attract and engage learners through relating it to themselves.
Sequences and relationship
This very much taps into visual’s ability to let us see the big picture. Sometimes, it can be hard to follow or imagine a concept as a part of a larger process.
And it is not even about whether the concept is easy but more about having to remember both the concept and where it lies.
Many subjects include concepts and terms that need memorization. As suggested, in our previous article, associating these terms with relatable and funny images can enhance the remembering of these terms.
Visual is such a powerful tool for these types of knowledge. The most common examples like in charts or graphs. A more successful story could be Prezi, a presentation tool that makes use of this feature of visual aids. This tool allows the presenter to first introduce the big picture before going into details by zooming indirectly.
Now we hope that you have equipped for yourself a fair amount of knowledge on why visual can be misunderstood. We hope you could decide the next step in choosing the right tools to enhance learning in your classroom. Perhaps if you are thinking about using it in your next class. Well then, check out our articles on how to choose the most suitable visual aids for you.
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