Humans are visual people. You often hear the phrase “too long and no pictures” and its derivatives. In Internet-speak the term is tl:dr, meaning “too long; didn’t read”.
The truth is, more bloggers and website owners are using infographics to get points across. A wall of text is never attractive to anyone browsing the web. With all the animations and stuff going on, distraction is inevitable if you are using an arcane method of teaching.
It is not necessarily a bad thing that you choose to use these visual tools in teaching. It still largely depends on the behaviour and level of students, and what the teachers would do with them after the fact. You can still use the traditional ways of teaching and then throw in some of modern ways and tools. See for yourself which combinations work together. Here are some of the most useful tools for visual learners.
YouTube is not just a website that hosts music videos, pet cats, film trailers, and video game gameplay clips. It is also a great source of information for every topic and subject imaginable. You can also create your own videos, simple animations and such. If using a Windows machine there is the Microsoft Movie Maker, and for Mac users there’s iMovie, which does the job well in the basic levels. If you need more feature sets and power, there are several paid software applications like Sony Vegas Studio Premium, Adobe Premiere, Corel Video Studio Pro X5, and for Mac people there is Final Cut Pro.
It is amazing how many great thing you can build through PowerPoint presentations. You can have a flashy animation, or an interactive experience using this presentation making program. Of course, PowerPoint is downright limited with it feature sets but it doesn’t mean this would stop your creativity from taking over your presentation. You can learn using PowerPoint from various channels and there are also online seminars that can help hone your PowerPoint skills.
Google Earth (google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/earth/)
Yes, another Google product. We can have all our plastic globes with us, but we should always remember, nothing beats the real thing. We are not talking about walking the Earth in its entirety, but the ability to fully visualise Earth and its details. Sure, there are lots of places that are not sorted well, but the places that are deemed important (as long as it is not a military installation or government protected terrain) you can see in acceptable details. This tool is amazing for Geography classes and also History.
Bitstrips for Education (bitstripsforschools.com)
This is a comic strip creator, and children and teenagers like their daily dose of comics. Give a newspaper to your student and observer them. They would skip through the walls of texts and go to the daily comic strip. Some may go to the opinion section and look at the editorial cartoon. You don’t need to create visually striking characters but unpleasant drawings could reduce the end results.