Learning Theory and Educational Technology (EDUC 8845 – Mod1)

What are your beliefs about how people learn best?

Howard Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences which basically states that every individual has certain strengths and weaknesses that influence the way in which they learn, and that every individual learns in a different way.  Some people tend to be more musically inclined than others and may find it easier to learn topics through song, for example singing the Quadratic Formula to the tune of “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra.  Others may prefer kinesthetic learning and learn best by being physically active, for example having students walk paces to a given coordinate on a coordinate plane taped to the classroom floor.  There is no one way that people learn best.  Instead, we should be recognizing that people learn best in their own learning style.

What is the purpose of learning theory in educational technology?

Howard Gardner (2000) wrote a paper titled “Can technology exploit our many ways of knowing?” in which he discusses how technology can be used to appease different learning styles and intelligences.  With the mass amounts of technology available these days there is a tool to assist every learner.  However, with so many avenues for learning so easily accessible it is up to the teacher to determine which tools are appropriate.  As Gardner stated, inappropriate use of technology in the educational setting “are all too often simply used to ‘deliver’ the same old ‘drill-and-kill’ content” (2000, p. 33).   In it imperative for educators to understand different learning theories so they can choose the tools that are right for their students.

 

Gardner, H. (2000). Can technology exploit our many ways of knowing?. Retrieved from http://howardgardner01.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/can-technology-exploit-our-many-ways-of-knowing1.pdf

 

For more on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences go to:

http://howardgardner.com/multiple-intelligences/

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4 thoughts on “Learning Theory and Educational Technology (EDUC 8845 – Mod1)”

  1. Great Post!!! Howard Gardner had a vision of how education should be, and that is teaching to all the intelligence’s of students. I believe his way of thinking should be adopted in education and used on a daily basis. This idea of multiple intelligence caters to all types of learning styles. No one gets missed and everyone has a fair chance to succeed in education and life. Gardner’s multiple intelligence allows for all individuals to learn at the level they feel comfortable. It gives all learners different ways of understanding new concepts and allows for the individual to take responsibility for their own learning. Howard Gardner created a way that all students can succeed. I just wish his ideas were used more in education.

    1. Tracy,
      Thanks for the comment. I know there are many teachers out there who would like to be able to differentiate instruction more so they could teach the different intelligences, but find it very difficult to do while preparing their students for the high stakes testing at the end of the year. Perhaps technology is the avenue they must take in order to reach all their students, and complete their learning tasks on time.

      -Andrea

  2. Hi Andrea,

    Your post was engaging! I like what you said about how people learn. You said that “there is no one way people learn best.” In addition, I agree with you that people learn best in their own learning style. I teach math and computer science in college level. I always try to reach my students in any possible way. Therefore, I always let my students know my schedule. In fact, my students always know what time I teach a class and the classroom where I teach the class. My students know my learning center hours and office hours. Moreover, my students know my school e-mail so they can reach me electronically. Math and programming languages are not easy subjects for many students to comprehend. Therefore, I try to help my students as much as possible. I try to find my students’ learning style because I believe I can connect with them in a better way by using technology in the classroom. Also, I believe that inappropriate use of technology in the educational setting “are all too often simply used to ‘deliver’ the same ‘drill-and –kill’ content” (Gardner, 2000, p. 33). If I learn my students’ learning style, I will be able to help them more to overcome their difficulties in math and programming languages. I try to use traditional way to go over every lesson in the classroom. In addition, I become a facilitator by going around the classroom when my students solve math problems or write programming codes on the computers. Finally, learning theories are the right tools that every educator has to learn how to use wisely to reach out to every student in the classroom. So Andrea, how do you try to reach out to your students? How do you find out about your students’ learning styles?

    Reference

    Gardner, H. (2000). Can technology exploit our many ways of knowing? Retrieved from http://howardgardner01.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/can-technology-exploit-our-many-ways-of-knowing1.pdf

    1. Konstadinos,
      I am a very easy-going, social person, and my students know that. I try to reach them on a personal level very early on, and very honest with them about what I expect from them and what they can expect from me. I think having a very strong rapport with your students is the first, and most important, step towards finding out how they learn best. Observation will only get you so far, and even then its only your opinion. You could think a student learns geometry best through reading the material themselves because they got good grades on a couple of assignments, but really they may have a tutor at home that does physical manipulations with them or they could be playing geometry games at home. Unless you can be honest with them, and them honest with you, you will never know for sure what is going on inside their head. With my students, I try to have a couple classes during the first month or so where they can complete assignments with little supervision, and I’ll call students to my desk one at a time to have 5 minute one-on-one interviews to get to know them a little better. One of the questions I always ask is “how do you learn best”? Some are shy to answer during this visit, but generally in the next few weeks most students will come to talk to me again and give me their preferences. I let them know that I will always try to accommodate their learning styles the best that I can, but that sometimes it is just not feasible to do so. In those instances I ask that they work extra hard to adapt to the teaching style currently being used. I’ve taught at 5 different high school in the past 6 years (my husband is military and we’ve been moved around a lot) with students of a very wide variety of cultural backgrounds, and I have found that this form of honest and communication has worked very well with all of them.
      Thank you for your comments.

      -Andrea

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