The role of learning means is to easier assure assimilation of information; form certain qualities; evaluate knowledge; assure practicing experiments. They are also important because they train child's mind to systematize, analyze, and conclude.
Learning means are aiming following objectives: support thinking process; stimulate research activity; develop creativity and imagination; put the basis of logical thinking and acting; structure thinking activity and memory; etc.
Learning means can be grouped in following categories:
1. learning means that contain didactic message;
2. learning means that assure easier transfer of didactic messages.
First category includes: beings, biological species (animals, aquariums, plants); artificial, unnatural objects (moulding, samples, models, etc.); graphical supports (maps, sketch, and boards, panel, etc.); symbolic means (formula, tables, graphics, etc.); technical mans (devises, movies, CDs, cassettes, etc.).
Second category includes: instruments and lab devices; technical equipment; computers; instruction machines; sport equipment; musical instruments; etc.
Learning means can be useful and enhance knowledge and abilities only in case they are organically included in scenery of lesson. Still, learning materials and means play a secondary role, they are additional to teaching strategies of teachers. Teacher plays the central role as moderator and observer.
There are opinions that sustain that learning means can be an advantage for any subject, but also a disadvantage.
Advantages: learning means involve all kinds of memories (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.), they offer possibility to easier remember information. It is preserved time that usually is used for learning through traditional methods. Also here is combined traditional narration of teacher with exemplified performance and demonstration. There is time for questions that arise and for detailed studing of subject.
Disadvantage: I some cases phenomena can't be explained by any demonstration or exemplification. That's why in this cases information can be denaturized and reach the recipient in an incorrect form.