Showing posts with label visual aids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label visual aids. Show all posts

Monday, October 7, 2013

Five Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri for Students

Like all teachers I have found that the right visual aids can make all the difference between students understanding a term or walking away shaking their heads. This pattern is carries over to learning new vocabulary words and or seeing the connections between similar words. Here are five visual dictionaries and thesauri that can help your students learn new vocabulary words.

Got Brainy is a site that I've used since it launched a few years ago. Got Brainy features two sections; Brainy Flix and Brainy Pics. Brainy Pics is comprised of images that demonstrate the meaning of a word. Most of the pictures are submitted by students. Brainy Flix is comprised of short videos that illustrate the meaning of words. Just like with Brainy Pics, most of the videos are submitted by students. This resource has gone offline.

Snappy Words is a free visual dictionary and thesaurus. Enter any word or phrase into the Snappy Words search box and it will create a web of related words, phrases, and definitions. Hover your cursor over any word or phrase in the web to read its definition. Click and drag any node to explore other branches of the web. Double click on a node and it will generate new web branches.

Image Dictionary is a Chrome extension that enables users to right-click on a word and quickly find an image that is representative of that word. To use the Image Dictionary extension just highlight a word on a webpage, right-click, and select "image search." The images that are shown come from Wikipedia. Image Dictionary could be a handy little extension to use when you want to quickly find an image to represent a plant, animal, or perhaps a broad topic.

Word Sense is a neat little service that is one part dictionary and one part thesaurus. When you enter a word into Word Sense it will show you the definition(s) for the word as well as the connections to associated and similar words. You can see any of the definitions of the connected words by simply clicking on them to pop-up a definition. This resource has gone offline.

Visuwords uses a web design to show users the definitions of words and the connections between words. To use Visuwords just type a word into the search box and Visuwords will generate a web of related words. Place your cursor over any of the words and the definition appears. Use the color-coded key to understand the connections between the words in any web.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Humongous Infographic About Our Solar System

Through Larry Ferlazzo I learned about a very very big infographic about our solar system. The BBC Future section recently published an infographic titled Space Race. The infographic depicts the relatively distance between objects in our solar system. The infographic is so large that it actually loses a bit of meaning when it's viewed on a small 13" MacBook Pro. Therefore, I would suggest projecting it on a wall and or viewing it in the version that I created and embedded below.

Applications for Education
The Space Race infographic pairs well with the Scale of the Universe Infographic that I posted a couple of weeks ago. Together these two resources could be helpful in showing students just how large the solar system is and how small we are in it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Create Useful Charts on the Visual Support Engine

Visuals Engine is a useful free resource from ConnectABILITY. The Visuals Engine provides six customizable templates for creating choice boards, story boards, schedules, and achievement charts. To use the Visuals Engine just choose a template then choose images or upload images for each box on your chart. You can type text to accompany each image on your charts. When you've finished editing you can print your chart or save it as a PDF.

Applications for Education
ConnectABILITY provides suggestions for using each type of visual chart for which they offer a template. One of their suggestions is to create "I want boards" to assist children in articulating their choices between two or more options. Another of their suggestions is to create a "token economy" board that contains images of the rewards students can earn for completing tasks.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Overview of the History of Visual Thinking

A couple of weeks ago I picked up Dan Roam's Unfolding the Napkin (affiliate link) which contains some great ideas for using pictures and visual thinking to identify and solve problems. I actually used some of his ideas while planning my Reform Symposium presentation on using backchannels in the classroom. This evening while exploring Roam's website I discovered a video of his SXSW presentation in which he gave an overview of the history of visual thinking and what visual thinking really means.

SXSW 2010: Dan Roam on Visual Thinking from Teehan+Lax on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Roam works primarily with businesses, but the ideas he employs can be applied to planning and designing lessons and presentations for education. If you have a chance, I recommend borrowing one or both of his books from your local library.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Infographic World - 12 Interesting Infographics

Infographics can be good mediums for delivering statistical information in visually engaging formats. Infographic World is a commercial producer of infographics. In their gallery of sample work Infographic World has one dozen infographics addressing topics related to environment and economics. A couple of the infographics that might be of particular interest to teachers are Haiti Disaster Relief and The State of Renewable Energy in the United States.

Applications for Education
Statistics in and of themselves can be kind of boring to students. A good infographic can make statistics appear more interesting. You could use the samples from Infographic World as conversation starters in class. You could also use the samples as models for your students when you have them create infographics of their own.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Is It Better to Rent or Buy? Interactive Infographic
Two Cool Economics Infographics
Cool Infographics - Caffeine Consumption