As we all know, this generation is all about technology and how to accomplish goals effectively in shorter amounts of time. We like to get immediate answers to our questions, and in the easiest form possible. Over the years, our brains have evolved to naturally use technology in our everyday lives. We rely on technology for many jobs now, which many believe is a faulty trait, when in reality it is not. Using visual aid to support or clarify information in a classroom setting increases our focus, comprehension, and long-term memory of that said information.
Textual information, such as reading from textbooks or simply listening to lecture, is only retained in our short-term memory. Text is not remembered for nearly as long as visual information is. In classrooms all around the world, lessons have been taught through lecture generally partnered with a Powerpoint slide show and maybe a movie nudged into the lesson every once in a while, but that needs to change. The amount of visual aid, including pictures, charts, videos, documentaries, etc, used in a classroom environment should increase substantially. It has been proven that students retain information better and for longer when more visual aid is used. Visual aid such as videos also increase students’ attention in class by almost 75%.
Here is a video that shows a teacher using a video to grab and maintain his students’ attention in class:
The generation before us, Generation X, did not have advanced technology, or even any technology for that matter. The people of that generation always learned either through lectures or textbooks, they had no other way of learning and retaining information. This is why we are still taught in classroom settings that are strictly lecture. Many do not realize that our brains do not function in the same way that peoples’ brains did 50 years ago. Our brains need to use visual aids when being taught now, because our brains understand information more clearly when it is expressed through various types of visual aid.
Above is a tweet that is using visual learning to make the written language of Chinese easier.
Some of the many benefits that visual learning has for students is that: “technology enables them to reinforce and expand on content (74%), [and] to motivate students to learn (74%),” the remaining reasons can be found here. Other reasons why visuals are more effective than text can be found here.
Overall, there is no reason not to increase the amount of visual aid used in classrooms. We have the technology, the tools, and the access, all we have to do is incorporate it.
“Generation X, Y, Z and the Others.” The Social Librarian. n.p. n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
ME.A. (me_a_news) “Chineasy- A visual way of learning those Chinese characters. chineasy.org” 25 Nov. 2014, 8:05 p.m. Tweet.
Parkinson, Mike. The Power of Visual Communication. Billion Dollar Graphics. PepperLip, Inc., 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
“PBS Survey Finds Teachers are Embracing Digital Resouces to Propel Student Learning.” PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, 2013. Web. 1Dec. 2014
Roodt, Sumarie, and Dominic Peier. “Using Youtube in the Classroom for the Net Generation of Students.” Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology 10 (2013): 473-488. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
THE FOOTBALLER, Steven. “The Most Creative Teacher Ever.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 3 Jun. 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.