Saturday, October 22, 2011

810 Learning Styles

This is a screenshot of the results of my Learning Styles Profile.
According to the Learning Styles Inventory, it appears that I use a variety of learning styles throughout my daily tasks. I would have to agree with this assessment of my learning styles. In school, I always tried to incorporate a variety of styles into my learning even if they were not presented that way by the teacher. In grade school, I can remember creating songs to help with remembering social studies dates. In high school and some of college, I can remember taking notes in class, re-reading them out-loud, then re-writing them. I did this for several classes. Incorporating visual and auditory strategies into my learning are the two main styles that would impact and increase my learning. Some strategies that were the least effective for me were the strict memorization tasks. If I could not connect the content to meaning other than I needed to memorize it, the challenge of retaining that new material was truly a CHALLENGE!

With so many learning styles within one classroom, it can be difficult to incorporate all the learning strategies into a school day, let alone into one single lesson. Teachers need to truly know the students that they teach which includes the knowledge of the students' individual learning styles. Within the classroom, the focus of teachers need to be the various learning styles of each students and ways to structure lessons so that students are engaged. This also means that the students need to be aware of how they learn best so that when they get the choice of how to consume information, they can make the educational decisions best for themselves. Lessons need to be created so that they can incorporate various learning strategies by possibly giving the students a choice on how to process the information or provide various ways to assess the information. With the recent technologies available, it is become easier to for teachers to have materials available for the various learning styles.

At my school, I see the teachers doing this each day, especially within grade 3-5. For instruction, the teachers are using the SMART Boards to construct interactive lessons where the students are expected to see the material, manipulate the material, and hear the material. Teachers are creating test that can be read to students (who need it) by using Audacity. They are using SMART Response and Turning Point "clickers" to provide quick assessments without doing it with paper/pencil. Now that I have explored (and shared the experience) with Animoto I can see then using this tool as well.

As I mentioned before, incorporation of all the learning styles is difficult. But presenting lessons that allow for multiple modes of learning within the course of the lessons can greatly impact the engagement and knowledge of the students. Teachers need to be mindful of their students and create the tasks that are going to play into the learning styles of the students.


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