Research supports the idea that images connect directly to long-term memory. Images are different from text in that they can communicate “lateral thinking, objectivity and global context”. Acquiring new knowledge is difficult for most learners because they go about it the wrong way. Many of our learners will try to memorize difficult concepts from textbooks. However, our brain isn’t geared to learn this way.Learners can acquire more in chunks by visualizing difficult concepts.
Images provide a great UDL environment. Students learning English and student with learning challenges will learn much faster when images pair with text.
Graphics that include labels for unfamiliar parts or steps in a processes help students focus on key ideas.
Using images or graphs can help students understand abstract concepts in a concrete way.
Graphics combined with text can facilitate learning better than text alone.
Images with labels pointing out important features or processes can make concepts easier to understand.
Images are often needed by students to enrich their projects and reports.
- 3D Toad- A innovative site with interactive 360-degree rotatable images.
- Behold- A nice search engine to use with adult supervision for finding images on Flickr.
- Catalog of Prints and Photos Online searchable catalog from the Library of Congress
- Do2learn.com - Black and white and color pictures designed for making schedules, story strips and other picture support programs for individuals with disabilities.
- Find Icons- A great site for finding free icons to use in the classroom.
- FreePhotoBank- A excellent site for free stock photos.
- Google Images- A great way to search for images but, be sure the safe search filter is turned on.
- Humanline- A new site for teachers and students for free images for art, history, science, etc.
- Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities offers many stories pairing words with icons. A wonderful supportive way for students who struggle learning to read and are visual learners.
- Phillip Martin (Scroll down)
- Picture Dictionary - provides symbols with English plus other languages. Not only can you use these pictures to support learning or in communication devices but it offers activities also.
- Pics4Learning thousands of images that are categorized and have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers.
- Veezzle- A free stock photo search engine and community.
- Visual Aids for Learning offers pictures designed mainly for the SH population to support behaviors, daily activities, home and classroom routines. This is a great site to share with the parents of your students.
- Visual Dictionary- Not only a great place to find educational photos, but also offers descriptions and more.
Widgit produce a wide range of symbol-supported learning materials and symbol stories, including extensive topic-based packs 'ready to go' for special and mainstream education, developed by the Symbol Inclusion Project.
Graphics and Multi-Media Websites: HIAT has a great lists of resources of graphics and multi-media websites that may be used freely. Always remember copyright laws when using graphics. It is not legal to use just any picture you find on the Internet without breaking these laws.
Pearltrees by Shelly Terrell provides you with direct links to many Internet sites focusing on using images in supporting learning.
For more information about Copyright Laws and other resources for using graphics in special education, visit Linda Burkhart's site about finding pictures online. This is a great resource. Danbury Public Schools also provides a nice listing that includes music archives also.
Go out and make it meaningful with that one extra step- graphics!