Enhancing Visual Digital Learning: A Teacher’s How To Guide
Teachers have so much on their plate; especially those that have to master communicating with students and parents in times of distance learning and disrupted schedules.
While many teachers know that visuals are an important aspect of communication and learning; it may not be something they feel comfortable with. Most learning professionals have had to put together slides that help convey the material being taught; and are no strangers to searching for images they can insert to help illustrate a point. But there is so much more that can be done; and while not everyone has to become a graphic designer; we think all teachers can manage 4 key areas, so we’ve laid them out below.
We realize teachers are limited not only by budget but also by the time they can spare for designing such attention-grabbing materials so we have gone ahead and given some affordable; accessible suggestions for how to make these 4 things a reality.
Incorporate Visual Elements into Student’s Activities
While some learners can grasp materials easily via reading text, and listening to lectures; it is well accepted that visual learning – in which a learner needs to see information in order to process it – is one of the keys to helping many learners absorb material. But it goes beyond just the teacher creating engaging visual elements; a true two way street includes asking the learners to create visuals that help show their understanding.
We are fans of a service called PosterMyWall; is a very easy-to-use and intuitive tool for teachers and students of all ages to use and enjoy. This service offers easy to use but quite powerful editing tools to create engaging visuals related to the content they are studying. They offer a great many free images, and a host of sizes and formats to help create visuals for almost any topic.
And PosterMyWall has a special feature called Classroom Accounts that allows teachers to manage creative projects for the entire class and keep them all in one place. Only the teacher needs to upgrade their account to a Classroom Account (for free!) and create creative projects; the students only need to enter the project name without needing to create their own accounts on PosterMyWall and can then create and submit work without registering.
The designs created in the project will be private and protected and can only be seen by the people in the project. This is the best way we’ve seen to allow teachers and students to create visually interesting content, leading to more effective learning (and have fun while doing it.)
Make use of Posters and Flyers
In addition to using visuals in the class activities; an educator needs to become effective at communicating events and activities. Most classrooms have posters, most schools have bulletin boards full of them; and in today’s virtual learning environments, being able to make them and share them is now an essential skill.
While investigating PosterMyWall, we were impressed with the wide variety of great looking posters and flyers for all sorts of occasions; from back to school night, to information around college open houses, arts and other events. And again, hearkening back to the learning activities mentioned in the first paragraph; students can make posters and flyers as part of other learning activities; such as the business class students designing flyers for their fictitious companies and posters for current social events like earth day.
Almost any activity you can imagine can easily be made visual starting with one of the many ready-to-use templates – really springboarding from idea to completion.
Use Video; It’s’ the Way Kids Communicate with Each Other
When you hear the world visuals, it’s likely your first thought is of a static image. But if you look at how students communicate among themselves, you’ll notice a lot of videos, both of themselves and sharing things that help them communicate a point or an idea. (This even before TikTok became so ubiquitous.) It is powerful, and it can be a medium you can use.
Within our look at PosterMyWall, you’ll see a preponderance of professional-looking, easy to edit videos to promote school events like fundraisers, concerts, sports games, school dances, bake sales and much more. You can use video content from past events to jog your students’ memories and use the nostalgia factor, or you can use fresh behind-the-scenes footage to get your students excited about upcoming events.
As with the examples discussed in posters and flyers; video templates like these make it easy; upload your own video, change the specifics of date, time or other text, and you and your students will be able to capture attention and convey their ideas.
PosterMyWall has a very wide range of themes to use like Back to School, School elections, Admission posters, Classroom posters, Prom and Reunion posters, and much more.
Make Emails Your Students (and Parents) Will Actually Read.
As our kids have grown up with texting and instant messaging; you may think that emails time has passed, but the reality is that it is, and will remain an important format for communicating important information and ideas.
But, there are things that make emails effective vs ineffective. A plain text email can convey information, but it rarely inspires action. And if you’ve gotten comfortable with creating visuals and videos in PosterMyWall, we recommend you check out one of their newest features; the ability to create eye-popping email headers. This is a technique that businesses have been taking advantage of very effectively; why shouldn’t educators?
Here’s an example of how a small #BacktoSchool Sale email campaign got a much higher response and registration by simply adding a personalized email header.
This sort of thinking will result in communication you have with your students’ parents and all other external parties looking more professional and interesting.
Success Story: Principal Quentin
Dr. Quentin, the principal at Childersburg High School, works to motivate students, teachers, and the community, and innovate the classroom in ways to make learning a creative and fulfilling experience for every student. A frequent PosterMyWall user, Dr. Quentin decided to implement visual learning at his high school. According to him:
“Our generation is driven by images that have shaped how we perceive information. Students are able to associate valuable educational data effectively with images. Visual learning helps those students that may struggle with reading. It also encompasses more than just visual elements, it relies on the strengths of other styles of learning to best support the student.”
His school did not have additional funding for school publications so he started using PosterMyWall to make flyers and other visuals for all school events and even in the classroom to help students learn faster and more easily.
Visual, Digital Learning: Possible and Powerful
We’re in a whole new world of learning technology; and why not use this opportunity to experiment and take this new technology to try something fun and fresh? Trying out new offerings like PosterMyWall give you and your students a new way to express yourself in ways that are bold and attention getting; and hopefully entertaining and engaging.
We look forward to hearing about your adventures in Visual Digital Learning.