From Soundtracks for Learning, Get the Facts: Memorable Presentations and Reviews
Learning Views — Memorable Learning!
The Learning Views technique has to be the best-ever and easiest learning tool using music! And it takes only two to five minutes of class time. A terrific use of time!
When to use Learning Views. Learning Views can be used to present information at the beginning of a lesson, review it at the end of the lesson, or can be run during break times.
How does it work? Learning views gives students essential topic information presented in a visual format with no talking! A supporting soundtrack is used to stimulate interest and focus attention, but there is no speaking during the presentation. Let the visuals say it!
Why does it work? All teachers know that visual aids help students learn and remember. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, something we want to take advantage of to enhance student memory. Once students have an image in their mind, they are often able to remember the information associated with the image upon seeing it again; in addition, they may be able to freely recall the picture later and attach important information to it.
This technique allows students to get the big picture and make connections between aspects of the content you teach, a process that sometimes gets lost when a topic is taught over several days. The blend of visual aids and music in Learning Views is a captivating combination that holds student attention. Students enjoy and recognize the learning benefits of the experience. Believe it or not–it’s actually a relief to NOT have to listen to the teacher for a few minutes and it helps them focus on the images.
How to do Learning Views
This is incredibly simple! Here are variations on how and when to use this highly-effective technique. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs about how music works to help focus student attention. For now–just give this a try and you’ll be amazed at how well it works! Check out the Sound Advice section for more specific ideas about which music to use.
Use as a Topic Introduction
A great way to engage students in an upcoming lesson.
- Make approximately six to 15 PowerPoint slides that represent the most important information you will be sharing in the lesson or unit.
- Organize the visuals in the order they will be presented during the lesson.
- Let students know you’re giving them a ‘preview’ of the upcoming lesson and their task is to sit quietly, without writing or talking, and just get the sneak peak.
- Start upbeat or motivating music, and then begin showing the visuals to introduce the topic before you begin the lesson–but refrain from talking while you do so.
- Leave each slide up for about seven seconds before moving to the next one.
- When done, fade the music down and start your lesson!
Use as a Lesson Review
This one’s a cinch and a powerful tool for reinforcing information you’ve just taught. By doing Learning Views at the end of a lesson, students get a chance to connect the various elements of your lesson together. Research shows too, that having a review–and also having quiet time after learning–supports memory.
At the end of a lesson:
- Let students know they are not to talk or write during this activity. Suggest they simply look at the slides as they are presented.
- Play quiet, calming instrumental music for about 30 seconds before you begin to get students focused and relaxed.
- Without talking, show the PowerPoint slides you presented during the lesson again–in the same order you presented them. Let each play about seven seconds (the minimum–and optimum–length of time to have images shown according to research). It’s essential you let the visuals talk — and not you!
- When done, let the music continue to play for another 30 seconds and fade it out.
Run the visuals for a lesson on self-advancing PowerPoint slides during student breaks or as they are entering the classroom. Present them in the same order you shared them during the lesson. This can reinforce learning during otherwise unused classroom time.
Student Learning Views
There are different ways to involve students in the creation of Learning Views.
1. Ask students to organize a Learning Views review using your existing visuals. They will need to place them in the right sequence, find a soundtrack, and present the review.
2. As an activity for an upcoming topic, have individuals, or small groups of students, develop Learning Views visual materials as homework. Give students key words for the topic.
3. Have students individually create a symbol to represent each item from a list of topic elements. They can share their symbols with a partner, or in small groups, and select their favorite symbol for each element. Symbols that students create are readily remembered because they have gone through the process of making a personal visual association with a concept. Ask student groups to incorporate their symbols into visuals by creating overhead transparencies, computer slides, or a poster. They can select an appropriate soundtrack and present their Learning View to the class.
Other ways to Get the Facts from Soundtracks for Learning include
- Music with a Metaphor
- The Terminologist
- Who’s Who and Why?
- The Learning Scene
- The Learning Journey
- Musical Text Messages
- Metaphorical Stsorytime
- Mind-Mapping for Memory
Watch for more welcoming ideas on my blog or purchase Soundtracks for Learning to get started now.