Tuesday, December 2, 2008


When a teacher uses flashcards in the classroom the children will probably learn more quickly. Repetition would be the key. A teacher can use flashcards to teach the class, send them home with to study for homework, or ask them to make pairs in the class before a test to quiz each other with their flashcards.
Sometimes it is really easier to learn from flashcards than any other type of lesson plan. Once the teacher has explained the topic of the class, the students will be practicing with those flashcards related to what it was explained that day. It is really useful because it is a method of review for the class. Also, this will give us as teachers an idea of how well the class understood the lesson and help us focus on what the next thing to do will be.
Flashcards can be a great tool for the English teacher, it is easy to learn from them. They are designed to make reading easier—learning phonics, sounding out words, practicing identifying letters, grammar etc. (As you can see in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMC4KLyQezI )
In English teaching we can apply simple vocabulary flashcards that can be used in the classroom or at home and will help students learn their vocabulary much faster. Flashcards can be used with a parent or teacher—or when studying alone. They never stop being useful, they help with grammar and translation too. For example: using a full sentence on one side of the flashcard and having the translation of that sentence on the other side to help the child put together both vocabulary and grammar.
So, what are you waiting for? are you going to start using them more often?

What do you think?

Children learn in a better way if they are stimulated with flashcards that illustrate the topic they are learning so they understand it easily and with more interest; however, should we as teachers use this method with teenagers? Teenagers are difficult to please, they do not find interesting grammar, writing or reading long texts; so in this cases, pictures are a good option? Would they find it childish? Their interest would increase? It is important to take into account that teachers should put teenagers in a real context, they should make them interact one another, so do you think that to accomplish this it is necessary the use of images or a teacher should look for other ways to enhance communication among students? What other ways as a teacher would use in this case? Please, give your opinions.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Research into static and dynamic illustrations in text and computer based instruction may give some guidelines as to how graphics are used and when they are useful or distracting in web design [1, 4].
Functions of Graphics in Instruction

Levie and Lentz [4] identified four functions for graphics:

* attentional - pictures or graphics attract attention to the material or direct attention within the material - hopefully using graphics in this way will heighten the likelihood that a user will remember the material.
* affective - pictures enhance enjoyment or affect emotions and attitudes (Kitty's PageWorks is a great example of this category)
* cognitive - the cognitive use of graphics involves using pictures to increase comprehension (for example, providing elaboration for a text explanation), to improve recollection and retention, or to provide information that is not otherwise available (Here's a section from the cellsalive.com website - Enhancing the Microscope Image which really uses graphics effectively to elaborate on text points)
* compensatory - the compensatory use of pictures involves helping poor readers by adding pictorial clues to decode text (Pie, Patience and Robert's Great Ideas is a story which uses graphics to illustrate the main events of the story)

Proper Use of Graphics

Anglin, Towers, and Levie [1] looked at the research on the use of graphics and pictures in text instruction and reached the following conclusions:

static visual illustrations can facilitate the acquisition of knowledge when they are presented with text materials. However, the facilitative effects of illustrations are not present across all learning situations....

* illustrated visuals used in the context of learning to read are not very helpful
* illustrated visuals that contain text-redundant information can facilitate learning
* illustrated visuals that are not text-redundant neither help nor hinder learning
* illustration variables (cueing) such as size, page position, style, color, and degree of realism may direct attention but may not act as a significant aid in learning
* there is a curvilinear relationship between the degree of realism in illustrations and the subsequent learning that takes place (p. 766)

Misanchuk, Schwier & Boling [6] suggest that there are various issues which need to be addressed in considering how to use graphics or whether to use graphics at all. These issues include:

* Germaneness - Germaneness means that a picture is not only relevant to the discussion, but essential. It cannot be removed without harming comprehension.
* Realism - although it would seem evident that high quality, realistic pictures would be most effective, research has not verified this understanding. In many instances, "the detail of a photograph may also overwhelm the learner with irrelevant information so that instructionally salient features are difficult to discern" [Lowe, (1995) p. 294, as cited in 6]. In many instances, simplified drawings will prove better instructional aids since they focus attention on the salient points under construction. [3]
* Complexity/Simplicity - "The general rule of thumb is to use graphics that are as simple as possible. Complexity should be added only where absolutely required." [6]
* Size - Reeves and Nass [7] discovered that larger pictures caused more arousal, were better remembered and were better liked than smaller ones. Since larger pictures are more memorable, it would seem important to include the largest pictures you could possibly use on your page. As Misanchuk et al. (in press) point out, however, the larger the picture, the longer the download time and the more likelihood that your user will become frustrated and leave your site. It is necessary to balance the need to have a graphic which is large enough to be comprehensible with the need to have the page download quickly before users move on. It is also important that you design graphics which are not too large for the user's screen. Lynch and Horton [5] have included recommendations for maximum width which would be viewable across platforms.
* Cultural factors - Since it is possible that users from other cultures will be viewing our sites, it is important that care is taken to ensure that the use of certain colors or graphics does not offend users from other cultures. Horton [2] gives recommendations about using graphics in culturally sensitive ways.

They conclude:

Visuals that complement the text information being presented increase the likelihood for retention of that information, but visuals which are not related to the text have no effect on retention. When bandwidth is a problem, gratuitous visuals would seem to be unnecessary in page design. [6]

[1] Anglin, G., Towers, R., & Levie, H. (1996). Visual message design and learning: The role of static and dynamic illustrations. In D.H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology . New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan.

[2] Horton, W. (1993). The almost universal language: Graphics for international documents. Technical Communication, 40(4), 682-693.

[3] Houseman, J. (1997). If you build it will they come: or, do you have to give a mark for it? Paper presented at the Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada , Saskatoon, SK., June, 1997.

[4] Levie, W.H. & Lentz, R. (1982). Effects of text illustrations: A review of research. Educational Communications and Technology Journal, 30 (4), 195-232.

[5] Lynch, P. & Horton, S. (1997). Web style manual, 2nd ed. Yale Center for Advanced Instructional Media. [Online]. Available: http://info.med.yale.edu/caim/manual/contents.html

[6] Misanchuk, E., Schwier, R. & Boling, E. (in press). Visual design for instructional multimedia.

[7] Reeves, B. & Nass, C. (1996). The media equation: How people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.


http://www.eslhq.com/gallery/ =)In this site you will find a gallery of flashcards really helpful; http://www.mes-english.com/ in this one, there are a lot of materials, games and flashcards all printable, also there are power point flashcards to present in a lesson, visit this site and you will create your own materials.