Thursday, July 21, 2011

iPads and Learning Styles

In the last ten years, computers have become the answer to the complex issue of lifting education standards. Students dropping out of school? Give them computers in the classroom. Numeracy outcomes deteriorating? Here is a website where you can do sums and compete with people in other countries. Too few teachers? No problem: replace them with computers that work 24/7 and never get sick.

This year, a new sub-trend has emerged, with iPads as the latest panacea. Apparently, all you need to keep students motivated and interested in schoolwork is to get iPads.
iPads are cool, no argument there. The education programs available impress with variety and ingenuity: from spelling through division to scientific reasoning and creative writing, you can download an app to suit every student's needs.

Too simple to be true? You bet.

While almost every child (and grownup) will enjoy playing with an iPad, not everybody's Learning Style is suited to this method of learning, iPads are mainly tactile and visual, with a limited auditory output that's not sufficient to satisfy an auditory person. Kinesthetic learners, dreamers and people who learn in social groups are left behind in the iPad revolution. True, they're also left behind in traditional methods of teaching, but what's the point of replacing one inadequate regime with another?

Learning Style Analysis (LSA) is a tool designed to determine a student's learning strengths and needs. Before you go to the expense of buying an iPad for every student in every classroom, spend 5% of that budget analysing their learning styles. You may discover they don't need an iPad nearly as much as they need a quiet place to concentrate or an electric fan on a hot afternoon.

1 comment:

Jobs For Stay At Home Moms said...

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