Using Teaching Aids can boost students’ participation in the classroom, as these aids reinforce what a teacher says and explains the topic from different perspectives. These aids also allow for different learning styles by engaging students’ senses in the learning process. However, choosing suitable educational aids can be challenging for educators.
What are teaching aids?
These are materials or tools used to support teaching and reinforce new information or skill. Choosing the right teaching aid requires considering the age of students and the subject in question. You should also check specific students, like those with learning disabilities – Do they need more active involvement? Do they prefer more serious teaching aids? Are they struggling with your subject?
The main aim is to create teaching aids that build on students’ knowledge and encourage them to learn more.
Importance of Teaching Aids
- They increase students’ participation in class.
- They make the topic more relatable to students and arouse interest in the subject of discussion.
- Teaching aids ease the teaching process for educators.
- They support lessons and encourage learning.
- Explains concepts and illustrate meanings.
- Facilitates teachers‘ work by promoting conversation in groups.
- Teaching aids saves time and effort.
- They also encourage students to make use of their five senses.
Characteristics of Good Teaching Aids
- An effective teaching aid must align with the teacher’s objectives.
- Teaching aids must effectively simplify the learning process for students.
- They must promote collaboration amongst students.
- They must be clear, user-friendly— for both students and teachers —and relative.
Types of Teaching aids
The advancement of technology has given teachers a wide variety of options to choose from. Hence, the different types of teaching aids:
- Visual Aids
As the name implies, these are teaching aids that include visuals—such as charts, diagrams, graphs, overhead projectors, maps, etc. Visual aids convey concepts and lessons with more clarity and effectiveness. For example, a math teacher can bring wooden models of pyramids and large protractors to teach in a better fashion.
And now that most classes have moved online, teachers use interactive slides and presentations to explain concepts better. Note that this is better than textbook images and visuals. Visual aids also appeal to visual learners and help them understand the lessons better.
- Audio Aids
Audio aids help to improve listening and communication skills for both teachers and students. Since there are different types of learners in a classroom, using audio teaching aids helps auditory learners. Teachers can even play music to destress their students and increase their interest in the lessons. Tape recorders and radio are also common options for audio teaching aids.
- Audio-Visual Aids
This category involves videos, animations, podcasts, recordings, etc. With the development of technology, students can see how things happen—such as how digestion takes place, how the water cycle operates, etc. Students are more likely to understand new concepts better when they see them firsthand.
These are handouts, which students are required to complete to help them add more practice to their skills. With worksheets, students can get further repetition of a particular lesson without relying on their teachers all the time. And as students focus on their worksheets, teachers can attend to special students who require extra help for better understanding.
Worksheets can also be used to assess students’ learning process and understanding of a particular subject or topic.
Textbooks contain organized information on a particular subject. This teaching aid improves students’ reading abilities, as a teacher can assign reading portions from the textbook that students can complete. Review questions and quizzes are also included in numerous textbooks to assess how well a student has comprehended everything that he/she has read.
- Presentation tools
These tools help the teacher share all the information in one place where students can easily see it during the learning hours. The best options are bulletin boards, overhead projectors, whiteboards, and chalkboards.
- Administrative tools
These are tools that help teachers manage and maintain their curriculum or lesson plans. They include attendance rosters, grade books, teachers’ guides, lesson planning books, etc.
Factors for choosing effective Teaching Aids
The effectiveness of teaching aids depends on certain qualities.
Teaching aids must be made available to both teachers and all students within a classroom. The accessibility of these tools also helps students familiarize themselves with technology.
Teaching aids are more effective when both students and teachers are familiar with the aid’s mode of operation and intended purpose. So, before choosing a teaching aid for your classroom, ensure that you and your students are conversant with such a tool.
Educational aids must be visible to ensure easy navigation. Boards must provide convenient visual platforms, which students can observe and copy information from. Dry-erase boards use markers, which must be easy to wipe away. Electronic boards, or “whiteboards,” should also link directly to a teacher’s computer to display information that can be altered directly or remotely.
Educational aids become essential when they encourage participation from learners. The greater the degree of interactivity, the greater the benefit is to the student.
Making learning relevant is the goal of every educator; hence, the need for educational aids. But to sustain the interest of students, be less mechanical when using these aids. Remain enthusiastic and spontaneous while implementing different methods in your teaching approach.