• Raffi Bandarian

The Best App for Visual Learning

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

Ancient Greek philosophers recognized the importance of imaging. Aristotle said, “It is impossible even to think without a mental picture.” The mere act of remembering needs to take account being able to image. Aristotle illustrated his point by describing memory as a “state induced by mental images…”

Fifteen hundred years later, Thomas Aquinas reiterated Aristotle by stating, “Man’s mind cannot understand thoughts without images of them.” In other words, we make sense of our surroundings and events by creating mental schemes.

Imaging develops in sequence with other cognitive functions as children develop. Students who have yet to develop the ability to image have difficulty with tasks that require visualization of information. Kids with this type of weakness often have trouble following directions. Reading comprehension is weak. They forget steps in performing calculations because they can’t see the correct sequence of steps in their mind’s eye. Writing can be laborious as they struggle to create a visual sequence to tell a story or describe their thoughts.

One way to help students develop imaging skills is to use technology designed to enhance visualization. Inspiration allows students to create graphic organizers, develop ideas, and expand topics for writing assignments. Inspiration allows students to add pictures to represent concepts, in turn, exercising a student’s visual thinking skills.

Inspiration can also be used as a study tool. Students can build idea maps with concrete images for remembering details, events, important people, and concepts. Students map and link words in text bubbles, then add visual images.

By creating images, higher order concepts become easier to recall. Words take on a whole new meaning that is dynamic and interesting. Over time and with practice, students retain a better understanding of concepts. They enhance their memory and become more engaged in the learning process.

Inspiration can be used with students in educational therapy to enhance their ability to retain concepts for learning.

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