Appealing to Multiple Modalities of Learning Through Technology

6 Jan

Yesterday, I discussed the different modalities of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile), and I mentioned several ways of appealing to learners whose strengths lie in each of the modalities.  Today, I will list some technological tools that are designed to access the varying modalities of different learners.

In the past, teachers have relied mostly on instruction that appeals to auditory learners.  The majority of school instruction in the history of education has consisted of lectures.  Most students, however, are not auditory learners, and they do not learn effectively from lecturing.  If teachers wanted to appeal to different modalities such as visual, kinesthetic, and tactile, they had to be very creative and plan non-traditional lessons.  Not all teachers are creative, however, and planning interactive and engaging lessons is time-consuming.

The introduction of technology into the classroom will prove to be revolutionary in terms of making learning accessible to more students.  I strongly believe that all teachers should use technology in their classrooms in order to differentiate instruction and to make lessons more engaging to students.  There is no way I will be able to address all of the technological resources available to educators in one post, so today I will list only a few of the  websites and tools that appeal to The Four Modalities of Learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile).

Tools for Visual Learners

  • Bubbl.us, A free, flash-based Internet tool that students can use to visually brainstorm and create mind maps.
  • Picture/photo dictionaries and thesauruses: there are several iPhone and iPad apps to choose from.
  • Proloquo2Go is said by parents and educators to be the best app for students with verbal difficulties.
  • YouTube is the most popular source for videos on the Internet.
  • Google Images is an invaluable source for finding graphics to present to students alongside of or in place of texts.
  • Prezi, an alternative to PowerPoint that lets you create presentations in a non-linear fashion. Everything goes on one big canvas.
  • Pics4Learning has a wide variety of images related to educational topics.

Example of a picture dictionary app available on iPad and IPhone

Tools for Auditory Learners

  • Audio books are available on iTunes or in the iPhone/iPad App Store.
  • The SchoolHouse Rock videos that many of us loved as children are available on YouTube.
  • There are many videos on YouTube that feature educational songs.
  • There are many apps for smartphones and tablets that feature educational songs.
  • Most computers, smartphones, and tablets have features that read text aloud.
  • Podbean has a directory of educational podcasts.
  • ProfCast is a tool that students can use to record presentations, and also to transform PowerPoint slides into podcasts.

audiobookheader

Tools for Kinesthetic Learners

  • The use of technology requires all students to become involved in hands-on activities, which will benefit kinesthetic learners.
  • Learner Interactives provides a variety of interactive activities in different academic subjects.
  • Quia users can create educational games, quizzes, and surveys.
  • Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is a popular interactive learning app on iPad for children who are learning their numbers, colors, and ABC’s.
  • Google Sky Map for Android and Star Walk for iPhone and iPad provide a hands-on experience in astronomy. The user points the device at the sky, and it identifies the stars and planets and provides information about them.
  • Xperica provides interactive science experiments for the iPad.
  • ComicBook! is a comic book creation app. The user becomes fully involved in the entire process of creating his or her own comic book.
  • SparkNotes.com provides interactive studying material and activities for a huge selection of books as well as other academic subjects.
  • There are several apps for making flashcards – kinesthetic learners benefit from becoming actively involved in the process of creating their own flashcards.
All students become active when technology is involved.

All students become active learners when technology is involved.

Tools for Tactile Learners

  • Tablets and smartphones with touch screens in themselves are ideal for tactile learners, as they require using the fingertips to operate the majority of applications.
  • Google SketchUp is a free software for drawing 3-D models.
  • SketchBook Pro is a professional-grade paint and drawing app for iPad.
  • iWriteWords is an iPhone and iPad app that teaches children to write by tracing with their fingers.
  • Little Digits is an iPad app that teachers finger counting.
  • Paper by FiftyThree is an extremely simple to use, streamlined sketchbook app for iPad (plus, it’s free!).
  • There are several apps available to assist with note-taking.

ipadtactile

As you can tell from all of these examples, technology makes it easy to appeal to all four modalities of learning.  These examples, however, are only a very tiny sample of what is currently available.  I am eager to learn about more technological tools that can be used in the classroom.

Please share your favorite educational technology tools and apps with me!

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7 Responses to “Appealing to Multiple Modalities of Learning Through Technology”

  1. waitingforyourcall January 6, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Great list! Well there’s also Edmodo, a common platform for discussions and sharing of resources.

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