Young learners are full of enthusiasm and curiosity. They like to explore and experiment, and they enjoy doing things their way. To help them learn better, students need all the support they can find. And that is where teaching aids come into the picture.
Teaching aids are any tools or objects used by the teachers to support students’ learning. They create an interactive environment and make learning a multisensory experience. Teaching aids are generally in the form of audio, visual, or a combination of these two.
In this article, we'll look at some teaching aid ideas that will help you create a fun learning environment customized to the needs of your students.
First up, let’s look at some visual teaching aid ideas.
- Blackboard/Whiteboard: It is one of the traditional teaching aids to facilitate learning in the classroom. A blackboard is used for writing important things related to the subject. So, when the teacher is teaching something, they can elaborate on a blackboard—the visuals from the blackboard complement the audio aids.
- Charts: Teachers can use charts to lay down numbers in an organized manner. This information can be presented as handouts or worksheets to analyze the information. There are so many types of charts available, including pie charts, bar charts, line charts, maps, etc. Depending on the information available, you can choose the relevant chart for it.
- Flip Charts: Another visual teaching aid, flip charts are a large paper pad where you can turn over each page at the top to reveal the next. You can place them on a stand and write or draw over them while presenting the information.
- Flashcards: One of the most straightforward teaching aid ideas, a flashcard contains a small amount of important information flashed to the students to see.
- Diagrams and Pictures/Graphics: Diagrams and pictures are another way to visualize anything easily. They can be pinned on the boards or hung on the classroom walls.
- Posters: Educational posters are another one of the classic teaching aid ideas. You can hang these posters around the classroom walls, and the students can easily access them. For instance, you can put up a poster about the periodic table of elements.
- Checklists: One of the best teaching aids available to teachers, the checklist provides clear instructions to students about what to do and in which order. You can create a simple list that acts as a guide to the students. It can be as simple as the top 10 tips to do something.
- Infographics: An exceptional teaching aid, infographics simplify complex data or information to something more digestible for the students. Students can use infographics to picture a process.
- Models: Students learn the best when they can see and feel something. A model gives students a real-time experience of the whole thing by seeing and being able to touch.
- PowerPoint Presentations: Using PowerPoint slides while teaching allows students to look at the visual side of things. It helps them get an overview of the main ideas from the topic. Using a creative template with unique colors will stimulate students' minds and raise excitement.
- Overhead Projectors (OHP): Used in most lecture halls, these are used to project an enlarged image on the screen.
Next, let's look at some audio teaching aid ideas.
- Audiobooks or Audio Recordings: Audio is a vivid and memorable way to learn new information. Reading takes time, but audio can be consumed while you're engaged in other tasks. It allows you to break up the information into short clips that stick in your mind. Also, you can use audio to keep the information going without a break, which keeps the pace of learning steady and helps retain new information.
Let's look at the teaching aid ideas using a combination of audio and video.
- Documentaries and Informational Videos: Today, numerous video-based platforms can be used to teach students. Websites like YouTube, TED Talks, and Netflix provide instruction and self-paced learning opportunities. However, there is one type of teaching tool that many instructors still use – the documentary. Whether it's a long-form movie or something more handheld like a television special, documentaries have proven an effective tool for education. This is not surprising when you consider that documentaries are produced to have a goal and an end-point, which lends itself well to instructional use.
- Digital Board: One teaching aid that can have a lasting impression on students, especially visual learners, is the use of a digital board for teaching. Digital boards are interactive digital displays with a video projector, display, and a computer. The display is used as a teaching aid to illustrate concepts while displaying instructional videos, statistics, and graphs. The advantages of using digital boards are manifold. Digital boards can be used in various ways by teachers to show video lectures, PowerPoint presentations, and images of graphs. More advanced digital boards provide multiple functions, such as providing interactive help during and after lessons. It helps students visualize concepts better. The best thing about digital smart boards is that they are easy to use, and the students love them. Teachers can also use digital devices like mobile phones, tablets, or computers to aid students in learning.
- Online Puzzles and Games: There are thousands of online games and puzzles that can be used in the classroom. Games are excellent tools for fostering a sense of exploration, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving in students. Online games can be interactive and offer multiple ways to learn. The benefit of using online games for education is customizing learning to each student's interests. Some online games and puzzles have numerous difficulty levels, which allows educators to customize the pace of learning.
A fun learning environment is an essential part of any classroom. To ensure this, the teacher needs all the help they can get. One way is to look for different teaching aids to facilitate learning.
With the various teaching aid ideas covered in this article, you can enable your students to explore and better understand the subject.