Teachers have each time more digital tools at their disposal to complement their explanations in class and involve students in the lessons they teach. One of the most used resources by teachers during the last years has been the online presentations with images and videos, with the aim of providing visual examples of the concepts and topics covered in class. However, many teachers don’t know the full potential of the visual resources, so we explain below the possibilities they offer.
- Relevant videos
On the internet, there are videos of all the topics imaginable, although it may be difficult to find one that has high quality and is relevant enough for your students. Once you find the right video for your subject, you can upload it to an online media library and include it in your class presentation. However, as anyone can publish content through the network, you must be careful with your search and watch the videos that interest you to make sure there are no mistakes. This search is an important time investment, since a good selection process is essential to find videos that enrich students and add value to your class. Instead of using the usual search channels like Vimeo and YouTube, there are others more specific to the educational field, such as WatchKnowLearn, Khan Academy or RSA Animate, among others.
- Clear diagrams
There are some subjects that can be denser and heavier for the students, due the numerous concepts that are introduced and their complexity. In these cases, the best thing to do is to offer diagrams that summarise the key points and are visually attractive, so that your students can connect the different concepts more easily and have a better global understanding of the subject. Many teachers continue to use the whiteboard to elaborate diagrams, but they are missing an opportunity to generate content that is extremely attractive to the student. However, these diagrams should be as simple and clear as possible, as it’s not convenient to introduce an excessive number of concepts. If you try to include too many things, it can have a counterproductive effect and cause even more confusion among students.
- Encourage participation
By introducing a variety of media elements – videos, images, audios, etc – in the classroom, you will be performing a more dynamic and entertaining class than usual, something your students will be grateful for. You can introduce questionnaires or digital games to promote the competitiveness among the students and, consequently, try to increase their involvement with the subject that you impart. By promoting new challenges and innovating with your way of teaching you will be motivating the students to take a more active part during the lesson and become more involved in their own learning process.
By following these tips you will be enriching your classes, although you should try to maintain a balance between traditional teaching, manual tasks and the inclusion of visual resources. Finding a balance is essential to transmit knowledge to students in the most effective way possible. If during the whole class you just show videos and games, you run the risk of saturating students and distracting them. Therefore, it is convenient to avoid repetitive and linear classes, and to intercalate the introduction of media elements with oral expositions.