Seeing is believing when it comes to Visual Learning Techniques

“Everything for me is visual. That’s just how my head works,” explains Whoopi Goldberg. The Oscar-winner is not alone when it comes to visual thinking as the autistic scientist Temple Grandin has said, “I’m a visual thinker, not a language-based thinker. My brain is like Google Images.” It’s these types of statements that may have inspired cognitive scientist and psychologist Steven Pinker’s observation, “We are visual creatures. Visual things stay put, whereas sounds fade.”

Even German football manager Jurgen Klinsmann agrees as he has stated, “The young generation has a different curiosity that is more visual.” Perhaps that’s why the teaching style known as visual learning has caught on.

Visual learning techniques rely on graphic organizers to visually represent concepts. This enables students to focus on the meaning of an idea and retain it via their visual memory since studies have shown people can remember images better than words.

“As bad as we are at remembering names and phone numbers and word-for-word instructions from our colleagues, we have really exceptional visual and spatial memories,” explains journalist Joshua Foer.

“It has been said that 80% of what people learn is visual,” notes businessman Allen Klein. His sentiment is echoed by cartoonist Joe Sacco who seems to sum up matters by saying, “It’s a visual world and people respond to visuals.”

No wonder, pie-charts, bar-charts and other graphs are used in schools and offices to better depict situations that require problem-solving or learning retention. In fact, the four visual learning techniques begin with Retention. This is followed by Reading Comprehension; Student Achievement; and finally Critical Thinking.

Since people think visually, it’s beneficial to be able to jot down drawings or diagrams anytime, anywhere. And even better if you can erase them to make room for new visual thoughts. To help in this endeavor, Whiteyboard offers dry-erase boards in different sizes and styles (classic, matte, ghost) as well as dry-erase notepads, paper and notes.

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