What are the advantages of audio teaching aids?

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What are the advantages of audio teaching aids?
Auditory teaching aids can improve student performance. (ear image by Connfetti from Fotolia.com)

Using audio teaching aids in the classroom can improve student performance. According to author Thomas Hoerr, Ph.D., "when teachers offer different pathways for students to learn ... more students find success in school." Using audio in the classroom has many advantages, including engaging auditory learners, adding novelty to activities and using music and mnemonics for memorisation.

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Auditory Learners Are Engaged

According to Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, students learn in a variety of ways, including through listening. Some students are better auditory learners than others and may see more academic improvement when using audio in the classroom. You will serve your students best if you instruct to all intelligences, as all students learn differently. Using audio in the classroom is one way of achieving this. Rather than relying solely on speech through direct instruction, include listening activities around music, noises and interactive listening assignments.

Novelty Gets Noticed

Novelty can be used in the classroom as an attention-getting strategy and also as a way to increase student involvement. According to Science Daily, "Neurobiologists have known that a novel environment sparks exploration and learning." When anyone experiences something new, he is more likely to be engaged in the task and to remember the experience. Using audio in an unexpected way can add novelty to a lesson. Try beginning a lesson with a song or use recording of foreign languages when teaching about other cultures. The more unexpected the audio activity is, the more novel it is for the students.

Music and Mnemonics Help Memorization

Music and mnemonics are proven to help students with memorisation. Mnemonics are phrases or rhymes that people use to memorise information. For example the saying, "30 days hath September, April, June and November" is a mnemonic device. When students learn the song lyrics or mnemonic devices, the information stays with them longer and can improve their performance on tests. There are a variety of educational music resources available to teachers and mnemonic devices can be constructed without much hassle.

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