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5 Types of Teaching Aids

If you run a classroom and are having a hard time controlling the class, keeping the class engaged, and having the class participate, you may benefit from teaching aids. Each of the five teaching aids is helpful in its own way. The best method is to try each one to see which is the best fit for your class.

1. Traditional

Traditional educational aids are things like reading books and teaching on a white or blackboard. These are tools that were used 50 to 100 years ago and are still in use today. Traditional aids can be beneficial for simple concepts or if you, the teacher, are good at explaining concepts.

2. Visual

A visual aid has graphics on a physical, tangible substrate. Posters, models, charts, and graphs are all visual aids. These aides are most beneficial when trying to teach an abstract concept.

3. Mechanical

A newer aid, mechanical, is comprised of objects like radios, projectors, tape recorders, or filmstrips. Mechanical aids are great for teaching older history lessons or for showing the class how people used to live and learn. Providing an opportunity for your students to understand and engage in the same technology as people long ago can help them learn better and understand the lesson at a deeper level.

4. Audio-Visual

These aids are not to be confused with visual or mechanical aids. Audio-Visual aids include videos, films, television, and movies. The use of Audio-Visual aids is used extensively in classrooms today. Movies are commonly shown to help explain certain points or show students things they may never see in their daily life. 

5. Visual Material

Visual material aids are organizational, outline, tabular, and flow charts. This is different from visual aids. Visual material aids are not showing points or information, as visual aids do. Instead, the charts are tools in helping students learn to organize and follow a train of thought.

All of these tools are important in the classroom as each offers something different. You may have to try several aids before finding the best option for your class. 

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