Students can become bored sitting in a classroom for hours. Teaching aids can provide a welcome break for students who have been sitting for awhile and listening to an instructor lecture in front of the room. Educators can use various teaching aids besides textbooks to pique students’ interest and demonstrate how things work. Visual aids, such as whiteboards or chalkboards, charts, maps, flash cards, and calendars are commonly used. Presentation tools. such as bulletin boards, audiovisual equipment, and overhead projectors are also utilized frequently along with multimedia displays and computers.
Flash cards are an effective way to teach various subjects. These popular teaching aids are available for many fields, such as spelling, geography, and arithmetic, and the teacher or parent can also create customized flash cards geared toward a specific subject or child. Children who are visual learners will receive the most benefit from the use of flash cards, but auditory learners will also benefit if the information presented on the cards is read aloud.
A pointer is a teaching aid used in many classrooms. It is used to point out items such as words written on a chalkboard or features on a map. The traditional pointer is a long, skinny wand. Laser pointers, which are used to shine a beam of light on the feature the instructor wants to highlight, are becoming more common. The lights in laser pointers are available in different colors, and some can even display various designs such as flowers, butterflies, and animals.
Computers have become popular teaching aids, but overhead projectors still have a place in the classroom. A transparency is placed on the glass and the information on the transparency is projected onto a screen. An instructor can write the information directly onto the transparency. The transparency can also be fed into a laser printer so that information can be transferred onto the transparency from a computer.
Some teaching aids are aimed at a specific subject. For example, driving simulators have been developed for use in driver’s education classes. The student sits in a module that has a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal and watches a movie from the perspective of a driver. He or she reacts to events taking place on the screen by pressing the accelerator or brake and turning the steering wheel. The driving simulator records all of the students’ actions for the teacher to review with the student afterward.