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Your Career• 3 Min read

8th September 2021

What Teaching Aids Will Make Your Job Easier?

Teachers have an infinite supply of teaching aids to take advantage of. From millions of pages of free teacher-made resources online to 40+ years of educational video production to classroom equipment like whiteboards and tablets, teaching aids cover a wide definition! Here’s our guide to making the most of the helpful aids and resources available to teachers and some ideas to incorporate them into your lesson plans:


   Traditional TEACHING AIDS

Teachers have used objects to help them teach, right from the start. The traditional teacher’s aids are the symbols of teaching – blackboards, books and, before the dawn of the calculator, the abacus. These things (except possibly the latter!) are still really important in teaching and make the business of transferring knowledge easier – but they’ve had significant upgrades. Many books, periodicals and encyclopedias are now available in digital form, accessible and searchable from tablets at your pupil’s desks.  Smartboard technology is changing the way that teaching happens, creating a more interactive classroom that offered individualised learning.

Read more about technology in classrooms and how it’s changing the way we teach in our #EdTech blog series


   Visual TEACHING AIDES

Visual aids cover everything from charts and diagrams to photographs and geometric shapes. Visual aids make understanding concepts easier, and not just for those that are deemed to be ‘visual’ learners. Being told that the temperature is rising is less impactful than seeing it in a steeply-rising graph, and visual aids can trigger debates and conversations that deepen understanding in a way that dictation can’t do.

Being able to see (and hold) representations of fractions or angles, prints of famous artworks or follow a route on a map will all encourage stronger engagement with your subject matter – and it’s a cliche, but a picture really does tell a thousand words. Get half your class to draw and half your class to describe an object and see if they agree!


   Audio TEACHING AIDS

Listening is an important skill that children don’t always come to school with – meaning it needs to be taught by teachers in many cases. Audio aids, such as audiobooks, sound recordings and music can all help to improve retention of knowledge by providing extra stimulus. There are lots of interesting ways to incorporate audio into your teaching – they can make it easier to describe an atmosphere, understand a new language or distract your clas whilst you prepare the next task!

Try giving your pupils a true experience of history with sounds from the Imperial War Museum – an archive of over 33,000 recordings reaching back to 1914. In language teaching, audio aides can deliver nuanced lessons on pronunciation and usage and add an exciting new dimension for pupils. Search online for accredited language teaching providers, they often have free libraries for teachers.


   Audio-Visual TEACHING AIDS

Audio-visual resources appeal to all your pupil’s senses and create a more immersive learning experience. Watching first-hand accounts of events, or animations that explain complex processes like the water cycle, cell division or tectonic plates brings ideas to life. The ongoing popularity of creating online content means there are so many exciting, innovative videos available online – we especially love Kurzgesagt – In Nutshell which has high-quality and in-depth videos that explain complex scientific concepts in a really easy-to-understand way. Video technology has moved on significantly from the school video camera – many classrooms have the tech to create videos and watch them back in the moment, perfect for creating further discussion around science experiments or drama performances.

Where Can You Find More Great Teaching Resources?

The days of painstakingly creating your own worksheets to photocopy for your class (and then losing the original!) are long gone, with thousands of high-quality, free printable resources available for teachers. Try:

Lots of teachers share their self-made content online – search the #edutwitter community to find them on twitter, or find local teacher groups on Facebook to connect with fellow educators. Don’t forget to follow us to!

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