Hello and welcome. Today, I would like to briefly present to you ways in whichmultiple intelligences and educational technology can work together to createmultiple entry and exit points to learning.We will begin by quickly reviewing the two major implications of multipleintelligences theory, and considering the affordances that MI and educationaltechnology have in common. Next, we will look at a variety of tech tools that canbe used to enhance learning and create multiple entry and exit points, both inface-to-face and in online settings, while engaging multiple intelligences. Finally,we will look at the “why” behind it all. For what reason do we want toincorporate MI and educational technologies in our classroom?As we have heard from Howard Gardner and many of the other distinguishedspeakers here at the MI World Symposium, there are two major implicationsregarding Multiple Intelligences. First, educators should differentiate so that eachchild can be reached in the optimal manner specific to that child. Secondly, anydiscipline, idea, skill or concept of significance should be taught in several ways,and should ideally activate a combination of intelligences in order to reach allstudents and ensure learners have a deep understanding of the topic. To put thetheory into practice, teachers must design curriculum and instruction that isindividualistic and pluralistic, yet often teacher preparation programs are notsufficient in educating pre-service teachers in how to do this, focusing more oncurriculum and content standards than instructional design. Furthermore, with allthe pressure to cover the content of multiple disciplines for standardized testingthis becomes an increasingly difficult task. If we add in the modern push toeducate for a global society that utilizes 21st century skills such as creativity andinnovation; critical thinking and problem solving; communication andcollaboration; information and media literacy; and information technologyliteracy, the commission may seem daunting.However, linking educational purposes with MI and with well-chosen technologiescan enable teachers to meet their goals of differentiation and depth of coveragewhile exemplifying skills needed in today’s world. Both MI and educationaltechnologies promote learning that is creative, authentic, exploratory, reflective,
interdisciplinary, and rich with a variety of entry and exit points. So what mightthe combination of MI and technology look like in the classroom?It may take the form of digital storytelling that ranges from creating historicalreenactments using tools such as Xtranormal, a text to speech movie maker tosynthesizing content to create a powerful human rights public serviceannouncement using iMovie; or from programming a simple animation usingScratch to authoring and illustrating one’s own original story using a graphicstablet and flash animation. Students are engaged in higher order thinking whilehaving the opportunity to activate linguistic intelligences as they write their story;logical-mathematical intelligences as they program, story board and createanimation timelines; musical intelligence when they incorporate or create musicfor their project to help communicate the meaning of the story; and spatialintelligence as they produce their visual project. Make it a collaborative projectand add interpersonal intelligence as they learn to work effectively with others,not to mention the many 21st century skills that are embedded within the contextof the project.Authentic simulations are another way to harness the power of MI andtechnology. Via immersive environments, students can explore the world aroundthem. Simulations such as River City and Ecomuve allow students to exploredisease and environmental problems, conduct experiments, track data, andformulate and test hypotheses, bringing into play logical-mathematical andnaturalistic intelligences. Augmented reality, location-based hand-held gamesallow students to be physically present in real-life environments while roleplaying, delving into content, and collaborating. Projects such as the BlackHeritage Trail AR project, currently in production in Boston, immerse students in ahistorical setting, “meeting” characters from the past, reflecting on personalpriorities and making decisions about viable courses of action. The program usesGPS, helping students to navigate the space they are in while providingdevelopmentally appropriate movement as they learn.Computer-aided Design programs such as AutoCAD and Google Sketch-up allowusers to design the world around them in both two and three dimensions.
Students can “build” scale models of architectural structures related to units ofstudy such as ancient Greece, helping students to explore the time period frommore than one perspective. Integrating math and science, students can create alandscape design with these software programs that incorporate plant biology,recognition of patterns and textures, spatial relationships, scale models, materialand cost calculations, topographical and functional use problem solving, andaesthetics. Within an authentic activity such as this, students touch on naturalist,logical-mathematical, and spatial intelligences. Take the project a step further,and have them do the design for a “client,” giving them an opportunity to developinterpersonal and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences as they discuss the needs of theclient and take hands-on measurements of the property. Designing immersiveenvironments such as in Second Life and similar open source programs alsoreplicate this spatial form of learning.Web 2.0 technologies are another group of tools that allow students to activatemultiple intelligences. The purpose of web 2.0 is to create and share user-generated content. Blogs and websites provide opportunities to publish and getfeedback on writing and projects, increasing the authenticity of the assignmentand often motivating students to perform better because their work has anaudience. This audience also tends to post comments and discuss the writings,adding an element of debate and reflection on the points being made. Websiteand user interface design components can add logical-mathematical and spatialintelligences to the linguistic intelligences already in place via the writingassignment. Wikis, such as Wikipedia, allow users to collaborate on creatingcontent. Web 2.0 tools are designed for collaboration and communication.YouTube, Google Docs, Diigo, Facebook, Flickr and other sites allow users tocreate, share, and respond to each other. Interpersonal communication is nolonger just face-to-face. There is a whole form of online etiquette andcommunication used in today’s world that students must also be aware of.Moreover, students must learn to reflect on what to post online and whatpersona they are creating by the content they generate.Recent advances in computer assisted instruction and artificial intelligence areallowing these programs to become disruptive in the field of education, offering
easily implemented opportunities to personalize learning. Writing outlines can bedeveloped through the use of mind maps, helping students develop betternarratives by brainstorming and creating sequences of events. While manyprograms still focus on mathematical-logical intelligences and traditional entryand points, the key takeaway here is that they allow for differentiated learning inface-to-face and online environments while engaging these traditionalintelligences.It may seem like a great deal of work to incorporate MI into your instructionaldesign, not to mention adding in technology, so why bother? My answer to thatis “Good Work.” Ethically speaking, multiple intelligences help to level the playingfield between those who are smart in the traditionally tested linguistic andlogical-mathematical intelligences and those who are smart in other ways.Technology can provide realistic ways in which to develop these otherintelligences and use them in formal assessment in the classroom. Additionally,by embedding 21st century skills into your instructional design, you are helping tolevel the playing field of the future as we move from an industrial to aninformational society. MI and educational technologies both engage students byhelping to target student interests, encouraging project-based learning, andproviding a means of differentiation. They also allow students to explore andexpress their knowledge using a variety of entry and exit points. Multimediaproduction, web 2.0 tools and CAI can be especially helpful in bringing multipleintelligences into online environments by creating opportunities for logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, intrapersonal, and interpersonal activities in anarena that is typically very laden with linguistic entry and exit points. Finally,using MI and technology in the classroom inspires excellence. The opportunitiesto apply, analyze, create and synthesize encourage critical thinking and problemsolving rather than rote memorization. Additionally, the in-depth look at contentrather than the typical shallow view one finds when covering broad scopes ofcontent ensures a better understanding and ultimately a better final product asstudents demonstrate their comprehension and abilities.As an educator, I aspireto do Good Work, and it is for these reasons I am inspired to design with MI and
educational technologies in mind. I hope that something I have said here todaywill also inspire you.