j0423100.jpgVisual Supports

Who does it help?
Students who benefit from:
  • seeing relationships between information;
  • having maps and charts to help clarify information and focus on essential information;
  • using an graphic representation to get their ideas down and organized before generating narrative or expository writing;
  • communicating through non linear strategic thinking to build meaning from pictures or models instead of words;
  • combining images (from image libraries) with text to increase comprehension or demonstrate understanding;
  • using “real images” or video to integrate current and past knowledge;
  • having information reduced so they can focus and remember information;
  • having a visual representation of relationships between concepts.(http://www.wested.org/cs/tdl/view/tdl_topic/8)

Professional Resources to Support Visual Thinking

Why use visual supports? Humans process visuals much faster than text. Beginning any lesson with an image helps you provide your students with a non-linguistic representation, and builds multiple means of representation into your lessons. This gives students a frame of reference, and helps them to see the big picture. Use of visuals can trigger recall of prior experiences and background knowledge. Using illustrated materials improves retention and recall, and increases generalization of knowledge.

The Object of Their Attention - Examining objects closely is an excellent way to motivate and sharpen student thinking. Educational Leadership February, 2008

Discovery Streaming

Available by subscription, but many school systems have accounts. Check with your media specialist or technology director regarding availablility in your district.

Many videos have Closed Captioning features available. Turning on Closed Captioning can support learners who have difficulty hearing and provide literacy support for all students. Look for the CC icon.
How to Enabling Closed Captioning in Windows Media Player v10 Windows_Media_Player_Closed_Captions_v10_Feb08.pdf


SchoolTube provides students and educators a safe, FREE media sharing website that is nationally endorsed by premier education associations.SchoolTube is the recognized leader for moderated, internet media sharing for teachers and students. All student created materials on SchoolTube must be approved by registered teachers, follow local school guidelines, and adhere to our high standards.

Categories - is a direct link to a searchable list of videos sorted by content. "I use SchoolTube to show my students what can be done, and to set goals and practices based on what they see." Sam Morris, Video Production Teacher, Judson B. Walker Middle School

Sample videos:
America the Beautiful - history of some of America's greatest national parks including Yellowstone and the Wrangell St. Elias National Parks
The Great Depression
Going Green
1:1 Ratio

SchoolTube now offers picture sharing! You can share your pictures of events and projects that your video cameras can not catch. It is just as easy as uploading videos, and pictures go through the same approval process.Click on the Pictures tab.

Mind Mapping Tools

  • Inspiration Check with tech support in your building/district. Many schools have site licenses.
  • FreeMind Very similar in appearance and function as Inspiration, but available as a free download.
  • Concept Map Free for educational use for both Mac and PC platforms.

Links to Images

  • LIFE Photo Archives - Google and LIFE team up to bring historic LIFE photos, available free, online and ready for classroom use.
  • Pics4Learning - Copyright-friendly images for educational use. Photos are submitted by photographers who have given permission for school use of their work. Well organized and categorized.
  • Microsoft Clip Art and Media Microsoft Clip Art and Media Search by topic and media type: clip art, photos, animations or sounds.
  • Flickr Store, search, and share photographs for classroom use without signing up.
  • Woophy Flickr Woophy Flickr WOrld Of PHotographY is a visual, logical and associative collection of images that represent the world's beauty and uniqueness from different cultural perspectives. Search begins with a world map. Registration for a free account is required.
  • Morgue Files - Free high resolution digital photography for public use.
  • Commons Project - images section of Wikipedia

Additional links to images.

Electronic assessment tools Classroom Performance System

Now, instead of trying to gauge the class' comprehension from one or two students, you can easily poll the entire class. Having real-time data gives you more control over your lectures and allows you to adjust on the fly for each class.

TurningPoint audience response system integrates 100% into Microsoft® PowerPoint® and allows audiences and students to participate in presentations or lectures by submitting responses to interactive questions using a ResponseCard® keypad or other hand-held/computer devices.
Using a TurningPoint audience response system, your PowerPoint presentations become powerful data collection and assessment tools that collect real-time audience responses and dramatically improves productivity and results for your business or educational organization.