Visual Learning is a form of learning in which ideas, knowledge and information are represented by images, symbols, diagrams and other graphic forms.
- Images and pictures are often connected by simple text and arrows.
- Visual learning aids students as they organize, analyze, synthesize and internalize knowledge and information.
- Students working visually are better able to see patterns, relationships and connections.
- Visual learning, also a creative process that is fun and exciting for learners.
One method of visual learning is through graphic organizers.
- Use a web, chart, cycle or timeline to visually develop and explain your ideas.
- Graphic organizers, traditionally created on paper, help students clarify their ideas, organize and analyze new information, see patterns, and integrate new ideas with their existing understanding.
- Both the visual shape of the graphic organizer, as well as the addition of visual images and colour, help students better understand and remember their learning.
Computerized Graphic Organizers
Once graphic organizers are created using technology, specifically in Inspiration and Kidspiration, visual learning is taken to new heights.
- Using a computer students are no longer bound by their ability to draw, design and write.
- The computer allows them to move ideas around, find images that support understanding and quickly alter and make changes to the organizer, all the while focused on ideas and concepts rather than writing or drawing.
- In addition, Inspiration and Kidspiration also have a linear written outline connected to each organizer that is created. When anything is developed in the diagram mode (whether it is a web, flowchart or writing framework) a written outline is simultaneously created.
- This integrated format allows the teacher or student to plan, organize and structure almost any learning task in both a visual, creative way and a sequential, linear way.
- This integrated format is crucial as it helps to ensure that the student can transfer what they know and understand visually into written formats such as reports and essays.
Beyond Graphic Organizers
- With Inspiration software, visual learning goes beyond graphic organizers to Digital Organizers.
- These Digital Organizers blend the benefits of computer graphic organizers (as described above) with the support of digital media.
- Digital media provides students with additional means of accessing, understanding and presenting information beyond just visual learning, and usually incorporates video, sound, and digital text such as that found on the internet.
In Inspiration software, digital media can be included by:
- Adding sound files such as instructions, music, audio books, etc.
- Adding video files such as instructional videos, movie clips, etc.
- Using the "Record" feature to record up to 30 seconds of ideas or sentences for each symbol/topic
- Using the "Listen" tool to have any text in the Inspiration template read out loud
Hyperlinking to the internet and email
- Hyperlinking to other inspiration templates such as a completed example, another related or follow-up activity, etc.
- Hyperlinking to other files on the computer such as mp3, video, word documents, InspireData, etc.
- Visual Learning has long been recognized as an excellent way to address the many and varied learning needs of individuals.
- Research shows that the use of graphic organizers improves student learning in all curriculum areas.
- Once these organizers are created in Inspiration or Kidspiration, the benefits of using the computer, such as the ability to alter images quickly and correct errors easily, are apparent.
- In addition, Inspiration and Kidspiration’s integrated diagram/outline further supports visual learning by connecting the visual concepts developed in the diagram, with the expansion of these concepts and ideas in the written outline.
- This is a powerful tool. Students not only benefit from learning visually but they also develop stronger writing skills.
- Finally, Digital Organizers, created through the addition of digital media (such as sound and video), provide students with multiple means to learn and understand.