Saturday, November 26, 2011
Week 9 Reflections
"Take your seats"
I chose this picture because it perfectly represents the topic discussed this week. The teacher asks students to take their seats but not everyone is happy about it. The teacher has a circular shape, the seats also have a circular shape, and only the students who have a circular shape are happy about it. All the other students who have a different shape are unhappy. But why are they unhappy? That`s because they don`t fit the system, only the ones who fit the system will adapt and succeed. The teacher has his own teaching style and brings with him a series of beliefs, practices and approaches that only a few students actually relate to.
In the readings assigned this week, we were once again introduced to Gardner`s theory of multiple intelligences. The texts discusses the importance of varying activities and teaching approaches in order to cater to a larger audience, and the same applies to the use of technology in class.
Teachers tend to do very similar activities most of the time and it is no coincidence that those activities are usually inspired by their own learning styles. The group of students who learn differently will often unplug and will be mistakenly taken as rebellious, lazy, dumb or uninterested students. Educated teachers will often vary their teaching styles so as to "plug" those students and engage them effectively. The teacher who is not aware of such variety of intelligences or learning styles, will usually resort to more popular practices, like visual lessons. It is true that most students learn easily through visual resources, but there might be others who learn more effectively by listening, moving around, discussing, writing, etc. Consequently, variation can be a garantee that lessons will appeal to a larger audience.
Since the future has come and more and more students are now having access to technology, it is quite natural that this philosophy should apply to activities that involve the use of technology, electronic devices and the internet. Creativity is very important when planning lessons and a lot of different plans displayed in this week`s texts show that many activities can be adapted to different styles.
If the teacher in the picture above knew about multiple intelligence and learning styles, he would provide a seat that would comfortably accomodate each one of the shapes, or in other words, each one of the students.
I would like to wrap up this post with a fantastic video taken from Youtube (worth watching!!!) which talks about all intelligences and technology-related activities that can be used to accomodate such intelligences: