Teaching aids are important because they create a visual and interactive experience for the students and help to present the information in a way that can help students learn and understand.
Teaching involves more than simply sitting in the front of the classroom reciting information to the students in the class. Even lecture classes, which focus on delivering the information in a spoken manner, rely on teaching aids to present the information. There are a wide array of teaching aids available to educators and the most effective tools greatly depend on the subject matter, age of the students, size of the classroom and several other factors. Regardless of budgets, instructors can find teaching tools to help them in process of teaching students new subject matter.
Chalkboards and Whiteboards
Many classrooms are equipped with a chalkboard or whiteboard already, though most institutions have phased out chalkboards in favor of newer and cleaner whiteboards. These allow teachers to write and draw examples that the entire class can see. Students can also work out problems or perform other work on the board for hands-on experience. Boards are beneficial for students who need visual and hands-on instruction.
Computers are on the higher end of the pricing budget but are becoming more available to students around the world. Technology grows and changes every day, and having computers accessible to students allows them to learn the basics of technology while also engaging in other subjects and activities. Computers are effective teaching aids because they capture the attention of the student, enhance the subject and allow for multiple ways to present information to students. Students have the ability to research different topics, watch videos about certain subjects or even use programs designed to assist them with subjects that they struggle with. Having computers accessible opens up a wide array of tools that benefit teachers and their students.
Maps, Charts and Posters
Maps, charts and posters present information in a visual manner for the entire class to see. While pictures printed in books or on individual sheets are beneficial for students working independently, having the same information printed on a large poster makes it easier to keep the entire class on the same page. For example, some students may identify the state of California on a map much quicker than others. While the slower students are busy searching for the state on the map, they might miss out on part of a lesson. Likewise, they may never find the state and never speak up for fear of being embarrassed. Pointing the state out on the large map ensures that the entire class can see its location.
Being able to see, hear or get hands-on with a certain topic helps students learn and understand the information much faster than when presented one way. Not every student learns in the same way, so having aids in the classroom helps teachers instruct in a way that addresses these differences. In addition to promoting comprehension, teaching aids get students excited about a topic making them more likely to engage in discussion and activity. This provides teachers with valuable information about how well students are learning and retaining the information.