What Concepts Are Best Conveyed Using Tactile Learning
Tactile learning, also known as kinesthetic learning, is a type of learning that involves the use of physical movement and hands-on activities to learn and retain new information. This type of learning can be particularly effective for certain concepts, such as:
- Spatial relationships:
Concepts that involve the arrangement of objects in space, such as geometry, can be difficult to understand through purely visual or auditory means. Using hands-on activities, such as constructing models, feeling tactile graphics or manipulating physical objects, can help students better understand spatial relationships.
- Fine motor skills:
Skills that involve precise movements of the fingers and hands, such as those used in crafts or surgery, are best learned through practice and repetition. Tactile learning can help students develop these skills by providing opportunities for hands-on practice. A tactile graphic, which is a piece of paper that has raised lines, is a fast and easy way to generate these types of hands-on experiences.
- Physical concepts:
Concepts related to physical phenomena, such as force, motion, and energy, can be difficult to understand without experiencing them firsthand. Hands-on activities, such as experiments or simulations, can help students understand these concepts by allowing them to observe and manipulate physical objects and systems.
- Sensory processing:
Some students, particularly the blind or those with sensory processing disorders, may have difficulty processing and interpreting some sensory information. Hands-on activities can help these students engage with the material and better understand concepts by providing multiple modalities for learning. Tactile graphics provide an excellent sensory experience for both sighted and blind students.
Producing teaching aids for kinesthetic learners using tactile graphics can be quickly achieved by using a Swell Form machine and Swell Touch paper (specialized paper for creating raised graphics). Additionally, the Tactile Library at https://tactilelibrary.com offers thousands of free, pre-made and downloadable graphics for teachers to easily build a tactile lesson plan with. A Swell Form machine for tactile graphics can be used safely within a supervised classroom setting.