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Mi and technology

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  • 1. Integrated Instruction: Multiple Intelligences and Technology IAN J. MCCOOG Abstract: Advancements in technology have changed a half, adding naturalistic and a possible existentialist. the day to day operation of society. The ways in which Over the past twenty plus years, not only have education we teach and learn have begun the same process. For professionals embraced his theory, but experts in psy- this reason, we must reexamine instruction. In this chology, anthropology, and other disciplines also have. article, the author analyzes the changing environment Gardner (2003) theorized that we all possess each of educational technology and how to incorporate the intelligence to some extent. A gifted musician will have theory of multiple intelligences. The teaching strate- an obviously strong musical intelligence but may also gies presented outline how to enhance student perfor- possess the logical intelligence necessary to improvise. mance by blending new technologies with time-tested Simply considering which intelligence is strongest sug- pedagogy. The author explains and matches up each gests the presence of a basic intrapersonal skill. MI intelligence with an effective technology tool. He also theory questioned the idea of general intelligence, provides examples from scholarly publications and which was customarily based on linguistic and logical actual classroom practice. ability. Gardner maintained the gold standard of gen- eral intelligence to be a law professor. This definition Keywords: instructional technology, multiple intelli- of intelligence left out athletes, musicians, and environ- gences, technology integration mentalists, to name a few. MI and technology blend in the modern, changing environment of education. To compete in the world T echnology has changed the appearance and opera- tion of modern society. Our world has become digi- tal, and our classrooms are steadily following suit. The marketplace, today’s students must acquire twenty- first century skills, such as global awareness and social responsibility, while in high school. Technology allows teacher remains the focal point, but new resources are these skills to be presented. The teacher’s instruction adapting how instruction occurs. For example, a liquid must then focus on student achievement so that the crystal display (LCD) projector was once an unheard-of technology integration is effective. One of the best expense for schools. The power of the projector has now ways to meet these needs is to differentiate instruction evolved from simple presentation device to the heartbeat through the use of Gardner’s MI. Each intelligence is of interactive whiteboards, which bring content to life for broadly defined and allows flexibility when making all learners. Technology integration is not only changing adjustments to existing curriculum. the way we think but also the way we teach. The first step to incorporate MI theory into a In 1983, Howard Gardner (2003) equally revolution- technology-based curriculum is to assess students’ ized the way we view intelligence with the introduction strong and weak intelligences. MI tests can be acquired of multiple intelligences (MI). He originally listed seven from numerous online and paper sources. Most tests intelligences: linguistic, logical–mathematical, spatial, are approximately seventy-five questions long and can musical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intraper- be completed quickly. The examinee is given state- sonal. Since then, he has expanded the list to eight and ments and asked how much he or she agrees with each. Ian J. McCoog, MEd, is the technology integration specialist for Southern Columbia High School in Catawissa, Pennsylvania. Copyright © 2007 Heldref Publications 25
  • 2. 26 The Clearing House September/October 2007 Sample statements express sentiments such as “I enjoy teacher can project a geoboard (interactive pegboard keeping a pet” or “I am very proud of my personal that measures angles) on his or her interactive white- library.” Once the test is completed, an evaluation board. Students can then attach bands to the pegs explains which intelligences are strong and weak for of the geoboard by touching the screen. This creates that individual.1 angles that can be measured and incorporated into the Next, the teacher must assess and teach to his or her geometry lesson.2 students’ strengths. Each intelligence supports certain instructional strategies. Some are more complex than Spatial others. Differentiating instruction along these param- Spatial learners are extremely visual. These students eters takes creativity and commitment. The ultimate look to artists and architects for inspiration. Creativ- goal is to meet the overall needs of each learner in the ity is the key for these learners. They enjoy digital and class and therefore might require designing multiple video-camera projects. Computer-aided design and lessons. Student choice is another important aspect of paint programs can also maximize their potential. Like this process. The teacher must allow students to do the the logical learner, spatial learners are result driven. projects that most interest them. In most cases, students Their final projects usually differ from those of the will choose the one that best fits their MI profile. logical learners in that spatial learners focus on inter- pretation and beauty (Lamb 2004i). Linguistic Learners An engaging lesson for spatial learners incorporates Linguistic learners are characterized as students with visual aspects into the set curriculum. Students can excellent written and oral skills. They excel in the research famous quotes and images and then give a humanities and focus on careers in journalism and short introspective speech. Internet research gives stu- politics. Instructional strategies that work for linguis- dents the ability to find an almost unlimited number tic learners must focus on self-expression. Using the of quotes and pictures. Once their research is complete, Internet for research and then presenting their findings they can share their work with the use of presentation is an excellent project for these students. They are very software. This activity allows the spatial student to comfortable speaking and benefit greatly from giving express his or her creativity while still covering neces- presentations or doing desktop publishing (Carlson- sary content.3 Pickering 1999; Lamb 2004h). Students with a strong linguistic intelligence enjoy a Musical project such as a class poem. The teacher sets up a few Musical learners focus on listening and creating computers to act as learning stations. Each computer rhythms and patterns. They express themselves through has an open word processing document with lines auditory means. Some career paths for musical learners that are incomplete (e.g., “I am,” “I see,” “I think”). are obvious, such as composer or disc jockey. Others, Students then move to each station and complete the however, such as sign-language interpreter, are less phrase with a statement of their choosing. Linguistic intuitive. A person who possesses strong musical and learners embrace this learning opportunity because linguistic skills might consider this career because there they can use their verbal skills to express an abstract is heavy emphasis on patterns and timing. concept (Haywood n.d.). Musical learners benefit most from interactive books, video and audio recordings, and audio notations. Logical–Mathematical These learners adapt well to cross-curricular projects Logical learners work best with tangible projects and that can incorporate music (Lamb 2004f). results. Their career interests are focused on mathemat- A good technology to use with musical learners is a ics and engineering. The technologies that benefit them software program that synthesizes music into waves. most are databases and spreadsheets. Both of these These students benefit greatly by using their musi- programs allow students to calculate and organize data. cal talents to break down and rebuild melodies. This Logical learners also excel at inquiry-based projects. encourages critical thinking skills that can be used in These students enjoy being presented with a problem all disciplines. It also stimulates the learner’s visual and then given resources to solve it. A definitive answer (seeing music as waves), auditory (hearing and build- is what these learners seek (Lamb 2004e; Rosen 1997). ing melodies), and kinesthetic (manipulating waves) The use of manipulatives is a great activity for stu- learning styles. Synthesizer software is affordable; an dents with strong logical intelligences. The examples online review lists quality software around $149 (Pen- become even more effective if the teacher has access ton Media 2007). to an interactive whiteboard. Logical students’ under- standing of mathematics is strengthened by visualiza- Bodily–Kinesthetic tion of concepts and the ability to move geometric Kinesthetic learners are acutely aware of the roles objects. For example, using a java application, the their bodies play in their learning. Their ideas are best
  • 3. Vol. 81, No. 1 Integrated Instruction 27 expressed through movement. Career prospects for Oftentimes, intrapersonal learners create great prod- these learners include athlete, police officer, and actor. ucts but are not sure how to share them beyond the These students need to manipulate their surround- school community. For that reason, blogs are a great ings to achieve their maximum potential. They benefit resource for intrapersonal learners. They allow these greatly from video production, virtual field trips, and students to express their thoughts and feelings in an PDAs for data collection (Lamb 2004a). ordered way. Students still create a self-reflective piece Susan Griss (1994) is a leader in kinesthetic teaching. in a generally self-paced environment; however, it can Her book, Minds in Motion (1998), outlines numerous then be effectively shared with others. A blog provides lessons to use for students with strong kinesthetic intel- an outlet and might open the door for further oppor- ligences. A great example is a unit on the Underground tunities, such as writing contests. Railroad. The teacher turns out the light and plays spirituals while students duck behind trees and avoid Naturalistic barking dogs. Presentation software and speakers can Naturalists learn best by making connections between be used to simulate this environment. Suddenly, the how content interacts with the natural world. These stu- teacher’s leg is caught in a trap and the students must dents find careers in the fields of agriculture, botany, and decide what to do. This lesson brings learning to life. biology. Cameras are an excellent technology resource Students are not only learning about the trials of run- for these students. They take pride in recording and pre- away slaves but also about how to think on their feet senting the natural world (Lamb 2004g). to save their leader. Showing change over time is another gainful project for these students. Synthesizing the change of seasons Interpersonal or showing the transition of animals are two great Interpersonal learners interact well with society and examples of projects that could incorporate numerous have been labeled in classroom-management circles as visual technologies. Once the students have gathered the “talkers.” They are exceptionally aware of the feel- data, they can catalog it for future use. Electronic data- ings and motives of others around them and are also bases and spreadsheets allow naturalists to not only especially good at starting discussions and encourag- present what they have found but also create a tangible ing participation from other classmates. Interpersonal product for those who come after them (Gen 2000). learners thrive as counselors and salespeople. They enjoy creating products that allow them to express Existentialist themselves to an audience. Presentations, e-mail proj- The existentialist is a new intelligence. These learners ects, and videoconferencing inspire these students focus on the big picture and why the world operates the (Haywood n.d.; Lamb 2004c). way it does. These learners find careers as philosophers Interpersonal students and math usually do not mix. and cultural anthropologists. The best technologies to These learners are more focused on people and their use with these learners are communication and prob- opinions. A teacher can use this to his or her advantage lem-solving applications. Other strong intelligences for with a simple statistics lesson. A group of interpersonal existentialists are usually naturalistic, spatial, or logical learners can use numerous online survey tools to create (Lamb 2004b). a test for other students. This focuses on their commu- The nature of technology is existential. Use of tech- nication and creative strengths because the topic can be nology continues to evolve how we look at ourselves. whatever they like. The content of the survey is moot; Students with a strong existential intelligence enjoy a synthesizing the results is what matters. Once the other Web 2.0 project. These students can research how Inter- students have taken the survey, the group can create a net collaboration is changing the world around them. visual representation of the results. Text was once written by hand or on a typewriter. It is now digital and ever changing. Look no further than Intrapersonal instant-messaging language and programmer’s code. Intrapersonal learners are keenly self-aware. They are Some of the products existentialists will produce can characterized as self-motivated and learn through meta- be startling. The idea that we all belong to an elec- cognitive processes. Job targets for these students are in tronic world in which computers might one day have research, literature, and entrepreneurship. Computer- the capacity of the human mind sounds like science based journaling, concept mapping, and Internet research fiction; however, it is a sample topic that would help a are all good technology options for these learners. The student with a strong existentialist intelligence flourish final products from these students can vary. If the student (Fisch 2007). also has a strong spatial intelligence, graphic organizers Thoughtful and purposeful use of technology has and concept maps are very effective. If the student has a a great impact on student achievement. It allows stronger linguistic intelligence, then a research paper may other avenues to be explored and helps in the be more fitting (Lamb 2004d). process of differentiating instruction. A curriculum
  • 4. 28 The Clearing House September/October 2007 that incorporates technology and time-tested theo- tional Leadership 51 (5): http://www.mindsinmotion.org/creative .html (accessed March12, 2007). ries such as MI supplements students’ strengths Griss, S. 1998. Minds in motion: A kinesthetic approach to teaching and expands their possibilities. Technology only elementary curriculum. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. provides the backdrop for the twenty-first century. Haywood, E. n.d. Using technology to teach to the multiple intelligences. http://www.mcmel.org/erica.mi/technology.html (accessed March Effective instruction is what directly affects students’ 8, 2007). acquisition of the twenty-first century skills neces- Heinzman, B. n.d. A view of yourself through famous writers. http://atoz- sary to compete in universities and an increasingly teacherstuff.com/pages/454.shtml (accessed March 8, 2007). Lamb, A. 2004a. Technology and multiple intelligences—Bodily/kines- competitive job market. thetic. http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68d.htm (accessed January 30, 2007). NOTE ———. 2004b. Technology and multiple intelligences—Existentialist. http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68h.htm (accessed January 30, 1. Two good sources for online MI tests are the following sites: http:// 2007). www.mitest.com/o7inte~1.htm and http://www2.bgfl.org/bgfl2/ ———. 2004c. Technology and multiple intelligences—Interpersonal. custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/questions/ http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68g.htm (accessed January 30, choose_lang.cfm 2007). 2. The following site, provided by the National Library of Visual ———. 2004d. Technology and multiple intelligences—Intrapersonal. Manipulatives, is an excellent source for manipulatives: http://nlvm http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68f.htm (accessed January 30, .usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html. 2007). 3. Lesson adapted from Heinzman. (n.d.). “A View of Yourself ———. 2004e. Technology and multiple intelligences—Logical/math- Through Famous Writers.” Sources for quotations and images: http:// ematical. http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68c.htm (January 30, www.quotationspage.com; http://www.unitedstreaming.com. 2007). ———. 2004f. Technology and multiple intelligences—Musical/rhyth- REFERENCES mic. http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68e.htm (accessed January 30, 2007). Carlson-Pickering, J. 1999. Teachers in technology initiative. http://www ———. 2004g. Technology and multiple intelligences—Naturalist. http:// .ri.net/RITTI_Fellows/Carlson-Pickering/MI_Tech.htm (accessed eduscapes.com/tap/topic68h.htm (accessed January 30, 2007). March 17, 2007). ———. 2004h. Technology and multiple intelligences—Verbal/linguistic. Fisch, K. 2007. The Fisch bowl: Did you know? http://thefischbowl.blogspot http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68b.htm (accessed January 30, 2007). .com/2006/08/did-you-know.html (accessed March 17, 2007). ———. 2004i. Technology and multiple intelligences—Visual/spatial. Gardner, H. 2003. Multiple intelligences after twenty years. Paper http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic68a.htm (accessed January 30, presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational 2007). Research Association, Chicago. Penton Media. 2007. Software instruments. http://emusician.com/ Gen, R. 2000. Technology and multiple intelligences. http://www.usdla sftinstruments/index2.html (accessed March 12, 2007). .org/html/journal/MAY00_Issue/story02.htm (accessed March 12, Rosen, D. 1997. Do technology based lessons meet the needs of student 2007). learning styles. http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec596r/students/ Griss, S. 1994. Creative movement: A language for learning. Educa- Rosen/Rosen.html (accessed March 12, 2007).