Friday, 30 August 2013

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Visual Aids in the Classroom

From clineberry.wordpress.com
Gardner and the VAK learning style use visual aids in the classroom. There are pros and cons to using visual aids when you teach. Before we talk about those, let's look at what a visual aid is.

Examples of visual aids
  • People: use your students or yourself to demonstrate height, hair color, feelings, etc. 
  • Posters: they liven up the darkest classrooms.
  • PPT: you no longer have to write on the board and have your lesson at your fingertips.
  • Realia: bringing real items to class, example fruits and vegetables.
  • Videos: students spend a lot of their free time plugged in.

Pros
  • As the VAK learning style mentions most students don't learn through listening alone, so combining listening with seeing can help students retain knowledge. 
  • Remember the saying a picture is worth 1000 words? well, apply it to your lessons.
  • It's more fun for the students as well. Even if you're the best teacher in the world your students can benefit by watching a video and hearing a different accent.
  • It gives you a break. You can turn "off" for a bit, which is a nice welcome after being "on" for so long.

Cons
  • Students can zone out, especially if the language is too complex for them. 
  • They can be hard to lug from classroom to classroom.
  • Technical difficulties can arise and this can be really embarrassing if you're standing in front of the class and randomly pushing buttons.
  •  Teachers can zone out if they're teaching the same lesson over and over and over.
With every teaching method there are pros and cons, hopefully the pros outweigh the cons and you can use visual aids more in your lessons. If you want to learn more, here's some information about VAK learning style and multiple intelligences.


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