Have you had your students Google something lately? If so you have probably noticed something that I having been noticing lately -- the search results show in Google Images. The majority of my students completely ignore the results and click on the image link. Why? Their world is visual.
The most used social media among my middle school students is Instagram. They tell their life stories by photo and video. They learn about their peers through the same. Most children over the age of 3 can take a proper selfie. This is what they know and what they are comfortable with. This is part of their literacy.
As teachers we need to keep this in mind when planning lessons and projects. Here are a few ways to meet them with what they are comfortable with:
- Use visual search engines like Pinterest or EduClipper.
- Use infographics for teaching stats of information.
- Teach them how to read the charts and graphs.
- Have students make infographics from research. Infogr.am and visual.ly are great sites to use.
- Use pictures for story starters.
- Use videos and pictures when giving lectures. Include diagrams and maps in science and social studies.
- Have students find mathematical concepts in pictures of everyday objects.
- Have students create digital stories including pictures.
- Teach them to only use minimal words during slideshows.
- Use a hashtag in Instagram or Flickr to share learning.
- Keep a photo blog of the class throughout the year.
Students' lives are digital and full of photos. This will not take away from reading or literacy but add to it. Use pictures and these skills to enhance learning in your classroom.
Amanda Dykes is a Science and Tech Ed/STEM teacher in Birmingham, AL. She has degrees in technology integration and speaks often on being a connected educator was well as using technology and PBL in the classroom.