10 Great Websites for Visual Learners

By Rob Klindt

As most K-12 teachers know, students have a variety of learning styles, and  lesson plans and exercises must be flexible enough to accommodate everyone. The three most common student learning styles are:

  • Visual: Students respond to charts, multimedia, demonstrations and flashcards. About 80 percent of students fall into this category.
  • Kinesthetic: These students benefit from tactile activities such as building projects, playing board games and other hands-on activities. About 15 percent of students fall into this category.
  • Auditory: These students thrive on verbal discussions, interviews, lectures and debates. These students account for about 5 percent of classroom learners.

Because visual learners make up the majority of students in most classrooms, teachers should make sure their lesson plans include plenty of tools that will engage them and help them learn.

Fortunately, the Internet has an abundance of free and low-cost visual learning resources. These are a few of the best:

Charts and Flashcards

The clarity of charts and diagrams along with the repetition of flash cards can be helpful to visual learners.

  • Gliffy. This website makes it easy to create diagrams, flowcharts and other drawings that can help visual learners identify, categorize and learn information. Projects can be saved or printed. Free.
    Visit the site
  • InsideStory Flashcards. InsideStory provides pictures to illustrate the meanings of vocabulary wordsThese vocabulary flash cards have lively illustrations that match the meanings of the words printed on them. They can be viewed online or downloaded. Free; premium printed versions are available for purchase.
    Visit the site  

Multimedia

Photos, video and graphics are important tools teachers can use to help visual learners grasp many classroom subjects.

  • TeacherTube. An impressive collection of instructional videos on almost every subject; designed specifically for visual learners in grades K-12. Free.
    Visit the site
  • TubeChop. This nifty site allows teachers to select just a portion of a video from YouTube and save or incorporate it into a lesson plan or classroom presentation. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Prezi. This Web-based presentation tool includes a zooming canvas that fosters classroom interactivity and emphasizes visuals in lesson plans that can be stored online or shared. Free license for teachers and students; registration required.
    Visit the site

Reference Guides

Teachers can find a plethora of photos, words and graphics on the Web that they can use to customize lesson plans for visual learners. Below are several examples.

  • Pics4Learning. Teachers will find a robust searchable online library of copyright-friendly photos and graphics designed for educational use in presentations, multimedia and lesson plans. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Picture History. This detailed site houses an impressive array of digital images that illustrate 200 years of American history. Images are searchable by subject, decade or photographer. Fee-based; registration required.
    Visit the site
  • Visuwords. Words and definitions displayed in this graphical dictionary are connected to related words in a line pattern. Content is provided by Princeton University’s Wordnet. Free.
    Visit the site

Search Engines

Text-heavy results delivered by many search engines aren’t always helpful to visual learners. Below are two custom search engines that emphasize visuals.

  • Spacetime3d. Just type an inquiry into the text field of this search engine to see large photo and video results in an elegant carousel display. Results come from Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and other sources. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Spezify. This search engine returns photo and multimedia results in a bulletin board display in place of text-heavy descriptions. Results are drawn from Flickr, Twitter, Vimeo, Instagram and other sources. An iPhone app is also available. Free.
    Visit the site

Through the use of charts, multimedia, photos, flash cards and other visual aids, teachers can help students who are visual learners keep up with classroom lessons. This academic success also boosts student confidence and morale.

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