Accommodate All Learning Styles With Whiteboards
Modern educational psychology acknowledges that all students have inherent preferences for processing and retaining new information, and these preferences are known as learning styles. This means that teachers are simultaneously serving a combination of visual learners, auditory learners, reading-writing preference and kinesthetic learners. Ignoring differences in learning styles can mean leaving some learners behind, so school administrators and teachers are turning to whiteboards to help. Whiteboards are an essential classroom tool that allows teachers to accommodate students of all learning styles.
Use your magnetic whiteboard to post photographs and other images. Since they can be moved around easily with magnets, you can keep a laminated set of images on hand for different teaching units. Hang a new image on the whiteboard as its related concept is being discussed and elicit help from the class to label it. When reviewing the concepts, ask students to reorder the images to demonstrate understanding. This is a highly effective way to introduce and review vocabulary items or historical figures. Image-based activities are critical for visual learners who need visual stimulus to effectively process new information and index it for later recall. You can also engage auditory processors by including an auditory component in the activities by discussing the images or playing audio clips. Complete the activity by getting students up to the board to make sure all learning styles are accommodated. Asking students to write labels for the images with dry erase markers gives reading-writing preference learners the practice that they need to process the information effectively, while hanging and arranging the images gives kinesthetic learners the tactile experience that they prefer.
Multi-media lessons are another great way to reach all types of learners; luckily, you do not have to fuss anymore with roll-up projection screens that always seem to stick. Whiteboards are great surfaces for projecting onto, and you can annotate the video clip on the board with dry erase markers. For example, a foreign language classroom that is inclusive of all learning styles might use a movie clip and whiteboard to great effect. First, the teacher previews unfamiliar vocabulary or grammatical structures concepts and writes keywords on the perimeter of the board. After projecting the clip, the teachers asks students to tell a partner what they have just seen in the clip using the words written on the board. To complete the activity, students get on their feet and act out their version of the scene or create a new scene using the target vocabulary items and grammar points. Having access to a whiteboard allows the instructor to write up whatever words and definitions the students want to discuss, making the language lesson much more relevant for the participants. Keeping the new words on display on the board allows students to see and practice the target language throughout the different stages of the activity.
Whether teaching adults or children, educators face an enormous challenge when trying to reach a classroom full of differing learning styles. Use your school's classroom technology to your advantage and get the best possible outcomes for all of your students. Your whiteboard can be a platform for combining reading-writing practice, images, kinesthetic activity, and multi-media input.