Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Multiple Intelligences, Technology, Teaching and Learning

While the growth of our understanding of learning has matured with and without technology, the presence of technology within our educational systems needs to be reexamined. Noting that “technologies out to be mobilized for better instruction” (Gardner, 2000, p. 33), we need to begin to see how technologies can help students. It is not the presumption that all technologies can help all students equally, but that certain technologies can help certain students (Veenema and Gardner, 1996).

Understanding learning styles is critical to integrating technology into teaching (Grasha and Yanbarger-Hicks, 2000). By understanding how students learn and how our teaching can impact learning, we can begin to identify how technology can be matched to a particular learning style and, ultimately a teaching style (Gardner, 2000). Extending this to the theory of Multiple Intelligences, we can begin to imagine multiple modalities of instruction, multiple forms of assessment and a modular-type classroom. Students working together, in small groups, with a facilitator or teacher as a resource. Technology would be available, but not required. Students could determine what technology they needed. Learning becomes learner-centered and learner-focused.

Gardner, H. (2000) Can technology exploit our many ways of knowing? In D. T. Gordon (Ed.), The digital classroom: How technology is changing the way we teach and learn (pp. 32 – 35). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Letter.

Grasha, A., & Yanbarger-Hicks, N. (2000). Integrating teaching styles and learning styles with instructional technology. College Teaching, 48(1), 2-10.

Veenema, S., & Gardner, H. (1996). “Multimedia and multiple intelligences.” The American Prospect 7(29), 70-75.

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