Equptment and AidsIntroduction
I chose this topic because a teacher should be aware of what training equipment and teaching aids may be available. However, because they are available does not mean that you must use them. With this in mind, I will highlight some areas for consideration with the more common teaching aids and equipment.
Training aids and equipment are objects that you choose
to assist with your teaching and the students? learning. They are not the lesson and care must be taken in their selection. Training aids should support and enhance the learning process. Consider these questions:
Is it relevant?
Is it clear, visible and easily understood?
Is it relative and imaginative?
Does it assist with learning?
How to introduce, use and dispose of the aid with minimum disruption.
These are a useful resource to consider if using rooms that are not dedicated classrooms or power is not accessible. They are easily transported and can be suspended from two nails if a dedicated stand us unavailable. In their use consider the following;
They are positioned for the whole class to view.
Use a selection of colors to highlight key points and enhance learning.
Ensure your writing is legible, clear and spellings are correct.
Avoid filling-up the sheet as it will become cluttered.
Prepare complicated topics in advance.
When writing stand to the side.
They are best used with small to medium sized groups.
White boards have become more widely used in the modern classroom. Chalk boards are a good aid once they are in good condition and a selection of coloured chalk is available. They do have the added disadvantage of chalk dust production but share the same considerations as white boards.
They are usually fixed in place and can limit the seating arrangement you wish to use. When writing on the board you usually have your back to the class and may also be talking to the board, both of which should be minimized. Again, ensure you have a selection of colors and a suitable eraser at hand.
Handouts & Worksheets
Handouts are very useful as they are prepared in advance and sufficient copies can be made for the class size. They can also be used with different classes at the same level or with some content changes can be used for lower or higher level students.
They allow the students to work with both reading and writing skills and depending on the activity the teacher can move among the class to assist, clear up any points and give encouragement.
When preparing the handouts avoid elaborate fonts and layouts. The addition of a picture or cartoon can aid the student, providing it is relevant.
This teaching aid is quite useful and allows the teacher a great deal of flexibility in the classroom. They are usually in a fixed position, and require a fixed, clean, bright projection surface or a pull down screen. However, a simple white bed sheet will suffice.
Transparencies can be prepared in advance for most materials and overlays can be used for more complicated topics. A separate slide can be used to write on so as not to disrupt a slide that you will reuse in the future.
The same considerations must be given to handwriting, colors, size, spelling and cluttering as previously mentioned. In addition, access to a suitable powerpoint, safety in relation to trailing cables, noise due to the cooling fan, heat generation and the possibility of equipment breakdown should be anticipated.
Advancements in technology has made hardware and software more accessible. So much so that some teaching and learning can be lost in its use. Computers and the abundance of software packages allow the use of presentation packages, access to the internet, use of video recording and playback, all of which are only limited by your knowledge and imagination. Their cost, transportability and need for power are important considerations.
In conclusion it is worth stating that the management and use of training aids and equipment needs to be approached with enhancing learning and teaching. After all, without students and teachers there is no learning.