ICT Tools and the Visual Learner

VARK as a simple and usable approach to tackling Learning styles. For the classroom practitioner we need something that is simple to apply and use. Gardner's Model of Multiple Intelligences is brilliant work, but it is to unwieldy and complicated to use in the classroom . However Fleming (2001) proposed a simpler model that is easy to used, applied and tested with my students. This model is VARK Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic.

So visual learner are those whose prefered learning style (in a learning situation) is what they see. These learner like

  • Seeing teachers body language and facial expressions
  • Pictures, illustrations and diagrams
  • Posters
  • Cartoons
  • Collages
  • Slide shows
  • TV Shows
  • Films and Videos
  • Flowcharts
  • colouring books
  • Graphs and charts
  • maps
  • Flash cards
  • Underlining and highlighting
So to lets have a look at these different "likes" of the visual learner and match some tools to these. many of these tools can be used again and again

TV Shows Video and Movies

Mind Maps, Flow charts and Brain Storms

  • Inspiration & Kidspiration - the standards - good solid products but perhaps touch expensive
  • Smart Ideas - if you own a smartboard you can buy at a good price a site licience of this tool. Its a good product, java based
  • Freemind - this is an open source product - get it from sourceforge. well worth a look. Great value for move, again java based
  • Cmap - this is a very cool free tool. Not a small download but easy to use and powerful. Perhaps not as kid friendly for the early years but for seniors - http://cmap.ihmc.us/
  • Microsoft Visio - so much but so expensive. Great if you can afford it.
  • Mindmapper, like Mindomo
  • Concept draw - this is great for science and medical stuff
  • Visual Understanding Environment is a mind mapping tool produced buy tufts - good free mind mapping tool - VUE
  • RFFlow - this is a very cool flowcharting program - I would recommend it.
  • Web 2.0 Tools This could include mindmeister Gliffy or Drawanywhere
MindMeister - free for basic edition
MindMeister - free for basic edition
external image DrawAnywhereLogo.gifexternal image logo.gif
external image top.png

Pictures, illustrations and collages

  • Adobe & Corel Products - not free but these are the benchmarks, we mustn't forget Macromedia (opps Adobe) freehand and fireworks.
  • Artrage (limited version is free)
  • The Gimp - this is photoshop for free, very hard to look past this open source tool
  • Inkscape
  • Rasterbator - I love this tool. Take one image, load rasterbator (or goto it online) produce one rastered image of any size (see the picture) http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/ online web 2.0 version http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/wizard.gas?Phase=1
  • Tuxpaint - these are cool for the younger user, add in the stamps and young students can make amazing collages easily - http://www.tuxpaint.org/
  • Kahootz - very cool for the younger user
  • Paint.net - a nice clean and simple downloaded tool -
  • Kidpics
  • Blockposter This cool web 2.0 app will let you increase the size of any uploaded image with very little pixelation

rasterbator.jpg
This is the rasterbator in action.
Tux paint - suitable for younger users - open source and free
Tux paint - suitable for younger users - open source and free
external image Logo3.png

Visual Planning

  • MS Project (Gantt charts, Critical pathways diagrams..)
  • RFFlow - this cool little tool also goes gantt charts
  • GanttProject - this is a simple free and open source project available from sourceforge. Well worth a look and I definitely recommend it. - http://ganttproject.biz/
  • OPenProj - this is a very powerful project management tool - Java based - http://www.projity.com/ - free open source desktop project management software available on sourceforge
gantt_chart.jpg
Gantt project does both Gantt Charts (above) and PERT charts
Open Project - project management tool
Open Project - project management tool

Flash Cards

  • Pauker v1.6 - this another little application that creates flash card. Get it from source forge. Open source and free
  • Moodle Flashcards - Moodle is a LMS or learning management system. One of the many many modules you can load into this does flashcards. Its also open source
  • Hot Potatoes - This is a very cool commercial product that is available free to schools by application. It makes web based learning object. In the match activity tool it will also make flash cards

Mapping Tools

  • Google Earth - several version the free one is brilliant and the pay for version....http://earth.google.com
    • Google Streetview
    • Google Sky
  • Google maps & Streetview - http://maps.google.com
  • Google Sketch up - why include this here. well one of the neat tricks with sketch up is you can build the building at what ever location..i.e. the tower of London and upload this model to Google earth
google_sketch_up.jpg
Google sketch up - with the new component packs is really really cool!

Charts and graphs


Visualisation & Simulation


  • Crocodile Technology - this is a commercial product but worth a look - also has a dance version
  • Crocodile Physics
  • Alice - this is a programming tool for manipulating visual objects - kid friendly and free
  • edusim - visualisation software for the interactive whiteboards

Presentation Tools


  • PowerPoint
  • iWork Keynote
  • Prezi
  • Open Office - very hard to look past this incredable tool - free and very well featured. The latest version open office 3 is very very good. http://openoffice.org

Web Publishing


  • .eXe - this is a tool that produces SCORM compliant and IMS compliant learning objects. Very powerful. Developed in New Zealand and I swear by it - open source, professionally developed. http://exelearning.org
  • Adobe Dreamweaver - the industry standard, hard to beat but not cheap. Very good school deals are available though
  • NVU - very cool free HTML editor. recommended. http://www.nvu.com
  • Adsoft foxeditor
  • Moodle
  • LAMS - A LMS and also can be added into Moodle - worth a look at lamsinternational.org

Comic Creation Tools

There are a number of tools available that allow the user to create comic style presentations and publications. These are brilliant tools for the visual learner. They are engaging, fun and allow for creativity, expression and imagination:
The two that I know of are:

I have produced a couple of tutorials for comic life for windows. Thyey are on teachertube. Here are the URLS:
Comic Life for windows pt 1
Comic Life for windows pt 2

RSVP - Rapid Sequential Visual Presentation

This is a technique for increasing speed of reading. The technique is this:instead of having a page of text to read through, the RSVP tool shows you one word at a time in one spot - you focus on the one spot and can control the speed of sequence. Because of the single focus the rate at which you read increases.
This tool set has its own page - RSVP

Online Dictionaries and Thesaurus

Online dictionaries and thesarus


Web 2.0 tools and the Visual Learner

Web 2.0 Tools and technology lend themselves to Visual Learners. These can be as resource materials or as online tools. Here are some worth considering:

video tools, media portals and sites

These sites have vast amounts of video that is available but in the case of google and youtube a
degree of teacher previewing is very advisable
Video Tools
Name
Url
Photo/audio Tool
Voice thread
http://voicethread.com/
Video Editor
Jumpcut
http://www.jumpcut.com/
Video Editor
Eyespot
http://www.eyespot.com/
Video Editor
Pinnacle Share
http://www.pinnacleshare.com
Video Editor
Cuts
http://www.cuts.com
Video Editor
Splashcast
http://web.splashcast.net/
Video Editor
TouFee
http://www.toufee.com/

Screen Capture Tools

Techsmith, the company that produces Camtasia and Snagit also have an online option
called the Jing - http://www.techsmith.com/jing/ this is available in free and premium editions

Grab is a standard Apple application that allows the Mac user to select either
  • a Selection
  • Window
  • Screen
  • Timed Screen
On the iPad, iTouch and iPhone screen grabs or shots can be captured by pressing the power and home buttons simultaneously.
Snipping tool - is a Windows Vista or higher tool - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Use-Snipping-Tool-to-capture-screen-shots
Skitch - http://skitch.com/ is a mac tool (requires mac OS of 10.5 or higher) also look at this widget from that apps store - Screenshot Plus http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/business/screenshotplus.html
skitch.jpg
Skitch - a free download and install on Apple computers

Hint: check this blog post out - http://www.webdesignbooth.com/useful-screen-capture-tools/

Animation Tools

Animation Tools
Name
Url
Animation Tool
ANIMOTO
http://animoto.com
Animation Tool
DVolver
http://www.dfilm.com/live/moviemaker.html
Graphic Editor
Ajax Sketch
http://www.ajaxwrite.com/
Photo Editor
PicNik
http://www.picnik.com

Cartoon Tools

Cartoon Tools
Name
Url
Cartoon Creation
Toondoo
http://www.toondo.com
Cartoon Creation
ComicsSketch
http://www.mainada.net/comics/
Cartoon Creation
makebeliefscomix
http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/
Cartoon Creation
Bubblr
http://www.pimpampum.net/bubblr/index.php
Cartoon Creation
Captain Underpants
http://www.scholastic.com/captainunderpants/comic.htm
Cartoon Creation
Toronto Library Kid's Space
http://kidsspace.torontopubliclibrary.ca/story.html

Hypercomic also has an online version of their comic creation tool.
Its a simple series of steps with drop down menus to help you create and publish your comic.
http://www.hypercomics.com/
hypercomic_online.jpg

Flowcharts

There are also a variety of tools available on line for this aspect of the visual learners toolkit

Flowchart
Gliffy
http://www.gliffy.com/

Flowchart
Draw Anywhere
http://www.drawanywhere.com/examples.aspx
external image DrawAnywhereLogo.gif
Flowcharts
Name
Url
Flowchart
Gliffy
http://www.gliffy.com/
Flowchart
Draw Anywhere
http://www.drawanywhere.com/examples.aspx
Mind mapping
MindMeister
http://www.mindmeister.com

Timeline Tools

timeline tools
Name
Url
Timeline
xTimeline
http://xtimeline.com/
Timeline
OurStory
http://www.ourstory.com
Timeline
Dandelife
http://dandelife.com/
Timeline
Time Rime
http://www.timerime.com/
Timeline
TimeToast
http://www.timetoast.com/
Timeline
Dipity
http://www.dipity.com/
Timeline
Time Glider
http://timeglider.com/

Drawing and Imaging Tools

Drawing tools
Name
Url
Drawing Tool
OffSet Type.Network
http://offtype.net/
Caption Images
Caption Bubble
http://www.bubblecaption.com/create.html
Drawing Tool
GE's Imagination Cubed
http://www.imaginationcubed.com//
Drawing Tool
Splash up
http://www.splashup.com/
Drawing / Painting Tool
ArtPad painter
http://artpad.art.com/artpad/painter/
Drawing Tool
Mr PicassoHead
http://www.mrpicassohead.com/create.html
Drawing Tool
Brushster
http://www.nga.gov/kids/zone/brushster.htm
Floor Planning Tool
Floor Planner
http://www.floorplanner.com/tryit/
Application Type
Name
Url
Newspaper Headline Generator
Fodey
http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp
Clapper Board Generator
Fodey
http://www.fodey.com/generators/movie/clapper_board.asp
Graffiti style text generator
Graffiti Creator
http://graffiticreator.net/

Slideshows

The major online productivity suites also include presentation tools. These are obviously suited to slide shows
Here are some of the main ones:

Presentation tools
Thinkfree Show

http://product.thinkfree.com/desktop/show


Presentation tools
AjaxPresents

http://www.ajaxwrite.com/


Presentation tools
Zoho Show

http://show.zoho.com/jsp/zoho_login.jsp?targetURL=%2FHome.do

Maps

Mapping tools abound on the internet from national based products to global ones.
Some have brilliant add-ons that can be used to facilitate "Virtual Field Trips" like Google's Street View
use_street_view.jpg

maps_results_logo.gif googleearth.gif live_search.jpglive_search.jpgmaps_results_logo.gifgoogleearth.gif
google_maps.jpg





A Visual Dictionary

http://www.visuwords.com
This is a brilliant site with a brilliant open source tool. Its an ongoing project that visually draws links between the entered keyword and definitions /related terms/persons etc
visuwords.jpg

Click here for more online dictionaries - Online dictionaries and thesarus

A Visual Search component in Search Engines

This is an add-in or extension for Firefox and now for Internet explorer
visual_search.jpg
visual_search.jpg

http://www.visual-search.net

Customise your search using visual search plugin for firefox. This plug in allows you to modify your search by double clicking on words within the search results.
Goto the web site - http://www.visual-search.net - and install the plug in - Restart your browser
Goto Google and enter a search string in the search field. Then slow double click on the words you want to eliminate or add to your search. + adds the words and - removes them
This refines the search and updates the field.
visual_search_slow_click.jpg
visual_search_slow_click.jpg

A Visual Search Engines

KartOO

KartOO has been around for a while but its quite a neat way of searching the web. It has a small preview screen for the sites in the top left hand corner of the page and you see a visual representation of the links between the sites. KartOO is a visual Meta Search engine - a search engine that searches several other search engines to find the desire results.
http://www.kartoo.com/

kart-oo.jpg
The engine has several useful features like:
  • Saving search maps
  • Printing search maps
  • Opening saved search maps
  • Bookmarking
  • Keyword lists
  • Preview of the web pages found - hover over the site on the map
  • Multiple language support - visual represented by flags
  • zoom etc

kartoo_toolbar.jpg
The KartOO toolbar (above) has graphical representation of the available languages rather than the words - a good visual approach

Search-Cube

search_cube.jpg
http://www.search-cube.com This is a visual and kinaesthetic search engine. The search results appear in the form of screen shots of the pages in a manipulatable cube. You use your mouse or cursor keys to orientate the cube and select the page you want to open. Hovering over an image will bring up a preview of the page or image beside the cube.

search_cube_big.jpg


Posters and Visual representations

Getting the visual student to design a poster is a good strategy. Again there are a variety of web
2.0 tools that will facilitate or enable this task. These include:

Graphic Editor
Ajax Sketch
http://www.ajaxwrite.com/

Photo Editor
PicNik
http://www.picnik.com