Monday, 28 November 2011

Learning Styles

An article from Steve Wheeler, about the fallacy of learning styles. He suggests that there is no valid or reliable evidence to support the 'theory' of learning styles.  people who prefer to learn visually will not always learn better when information is presented visually, similarly for people who prefer to learn by listening. What is important is that learners understand the meaning of what they are learning.

A holistic approach, with rich content is more likely to lead to good learning, even if it is simply used to provoke interest from the learners. Regarding the use of multimedia he quotes an article from Reiner and Willingham:
...learning-styles theory is sometimes offered as a reason to include digital media in the classroom. While including multimedia may be a good idea in general (variety in modes of presentation can hold students' attention and interest, for example), it is not necessary to tailor your media to different learning styles. We shouldn't congratulate ourselves for showing a video to engage the visual learners or offering podcasts to the auditory learners. Rather, we should realize that the value of the video or audio will be determined by how it suits the content that we are asking students to learn and the background knowledge, interests, and abilities that they bring to it. Instead of asking whether we engaged the right sense (or learning mode), we should be asking, what did students think about while they were in class?

Monday, 21 November 2011


Looks a bit sparse, but then these are the tools I use and get my information from. Where do colleagues fit on this - do they have to, given that this is an online PLN? I'd put them in the Staff Room.

Personal Learning Networks

An article from Steve Wheeler. Apparently everyone should have a PLN, otherwise you are not fully equipped as a professional. The tools listed are not recommended, but what perhaps should go in the respective sections. My version will follow.



Saturday, 5 November 2011

Pedagogy versus Technology

Pedagogy versus Technology - a  recent post by Doug Woods.  I have to agree with him. Did we have this debate when pencils replaced the slate and chalk, or when OHPs were invented? I think it's often an argument used by people afraid of technology and see it as a threat in the classroom. I think this view is often linked to Number 5 in this List of Myths of Technology in Education, also by Doug. You can pick up a piece of hardware or an application and just use it, see how it works, then think about how it could be used in teaching - have a go with it first - what harm can it do just to try something out? The formal training can come later.