A Smart Board combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer. It’s an electronic whiteboard that interacts with users in a number of different ways: it can project the contents of a computer to the entire class (for example, the teacher’s laptop, or the iPad of the student doing a presentation, or from the Internet), and it can also be a gigantic touch screen that registers input from fingers and special Smart Board pens.
This technology encourages active collaboration by students, because it allows them to access large volumes of data, share their findings with others (even those who are not in the same geographic location) and save their work. Even quiet and withdrawn students respond well to Smart Boards and increase their classroom participation through interaction with this gadget.
Visual students love the colourful pens, the images and the video clips. Auditory students appreciate the sounds that accompany their interactions with the Smart Board, such as different beeps to right and wrong answers. Tactile students enhance their learning experience by manipulating data on the touch-sensitive Smart Board.
On the other hand, Smart Boards don’t offer kids an adaptive or individualised learning environment. They don’t provide social feedback. The teacher still controls the content and the lesson plan. At the end of the day, it's still just a blackboard that’s white, more appealing to techno-junkies and more media-enabled.
Working long hours is not a badge of honour. Being busy does not equate being successful. How would you like to work half the hours you’re working right now and still achieve the same results? You can, with Working Style Analysis
Understanding whether you work best in low or bright light may prevent you from feeling lethargic or burned out. Discovering your most productive time of day – early morning, late morning, afternoon, evening - could drastically increase your productivity. Learning whether background noise helps or hinders your work could further help you concentrate on tasks at hand and cut the hours you spend at the office.
Working in a team or alone, sipping water, adjusting the thermostat in the room – they all may have an influence on how much work you get through every day. Check what makes you more productive
and shorten your hours – today.
There are many tried and tested ways in which your business can lose customers: unreliable products, unhelpful staff, insufficient market penetration, convoluted purchasing process. Today, though, I’d like to name another potential pitfall: not catering to your customer’s Working Style
Although you might think a working style has nothing to do with how a person spends money, research disagrees. People whose social preference is for groups will more likely spend more money on socialising than those people whose working style is working alone. People who function best in bright light will be drawn to generously lit window displays. And people whose working style lends itself to computer work (non-preference for mobility, preference for working alone, visual, tactile) will want to shop online. They will want to shop online so much that they will be tempted to buy from a competing vendor as long as they don’t have to visit a physical store.
Let me give you a real-life example. A friend of mine wanted the latest iPhone. She was up early the morning they were released and ordered it online at 5AM. A confirmation email told her she’d receive it within three to five working days. She was prepared to wait that long. However, when the phone didn’t arrive after a week, she started making enquiries. Two fruitless days of phone calls later, she discovered the online store didn’t have any iPhones in stock, because the physical stores were given preference when it came to stock availability, and that her best course of action would be to drive to a store herself. No word of apology about breaking the service agreement. No offer to phone up the stores to find out which one had the physical stock. How tempted do you think my friend was to buy the phone from another supplier, one who could deliver it to her door?
We are all governed by our working styles, whether we’re aware of it or not. The decision to switch on music when you walk into the lounge: working style. The inability to deviate from a recipe when cooking: working style. Choosing what products to buy and from whom… you guessed it.
What is your working style? Find out here
If your child is auditory - they like to listen and talk - try one of the following homework hints:
- Make a learning tape together with your child. Let her explain the new topic into the tape recorder.
- Discuss the lesson together.
- Encourage your child to compose and record a song, a poem or a radio play about the topic (e.g., World War II, global warming, flower pollination, Mexico).
If your child is visual - they like to read and look at images - try one of the following homework hints:
- Create a mind-map, illustration, cartoon, poster, slide show, costume, historical time line, illustrated report.
- Watch a DVD about the topic (“The King and I” about Thailand, “Little Einsteins”).
If your child is tactile - they like to handle objects in order to learn - try one of the following homework hints:
- Make use of question-answer jig-saw puzzles), electro- boards (a bulb lights up for every correct answer), flip chutes, etc.
- Encourage your child to make their own memory aids: sculptures of molecules or board games depicting new topics.
If your child is kinesthetic - they learn best through physical experiences - try one of the following homework hints:
- Bake a cake together to teach conversion from grams to kilograms.
- Pantomime or act out a history lesson.
- Play a board game to discover new facts.
- Take a field trip to the zoo, a court house, a factory.
- Put on a puppet show together.
There are two kind sof people, we're told: those who excel at maths, and those who don't. But if you read this excellent article
, you'll notice that research suggests something quite different.
It turns out you can exercise your "maths muscles" until you improve so much, you can pass high school with flying colours! And guess what the most important learning style element you need? I'll give you a hint: it's not analytic thinking. It's persistence.
Do your children have what it takes to exercise your maths muscles? Check it out here
How user-friendly is your child’s school report? One of the reasons behind introducing National Standards in New Zealand was to ensure school reports were easy to understand.
The School Report’s Structure
The report should include:
· your child’s progress in relation to the standards;
· your child’s progress in relation to their own goals;
· recommended steps to support your child’s learning.
If you have a child in years 1 through to 8, the report will cover aspects:
1. measured against the targets set out in the National Standards, namely:
· Reading (fluency, understanding);
· Writing (creativity, spelling, punctuation);
2. not measured against the National Standards, such as:
· Science and Technology;
· Health and Physical Wellbeing;
· Key Competencies (works well with others, actively contributes to the class, asks questions).
The report will indicate whether your child is achieving Below, At, or Above expectations. Some schools also have the categories Well Below and Well Above to provide more detailed feedback.
Want to find out more about learning styles and giving your child the best chance of getting good results? Then email us with your specific questions on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In his book, "David and Goliath", Malcolm Gladwell postulates that small class sizes aren't necessarily the best thing for students and their learning outcomes. This doesn't mean larger class sizes are better. The author simply states that just as there is a class size that's too large, there's also a class size that may be too small.
Small classes mean individual attention, but they also mean a lack of a certain energy, variety of opinions, momentum to undertake large projects.
Ultimately, it all comes down to the individual child's learning style
. Check it today at Creative Learning
Some teachers teach to the test, others teach to think and learn. Unless your school has a set policy on that matter, the choice will be yours. What motivates you as a teacher: external recognition, that is, for your students to receive the best grades? Or the internal knowledge that your students actually understand and know the material AND perform well academically?
Also, remember: there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ learning style, just the ‘right’ way for each student (or groups of students) and that test conditions are stressful for most children. Try to remove as much of the stress as possible by letting them learn THEIR WAY, and prepare them for tests in fun and playful ways.
Some students, usually the holistic ones, will need to know the reason why there have to be tests at all. Tell them tests are important to monitor progress, to show how well the teacher is doing his or her job (an idea which will appeal to them). This should remove some of the stress from the students as well. Although it’s a generalisation, we found that holistic children tend to get more stressed by test conditions than analytic ones. Removing the time factor, and not letting them feel that there is a strict deadline for finishing the test, may make them perform better.
But most importantly: teach according to their preferred learning style, because information stored in your students’ brains ‘their way’ is always much easier accessed under the stressful conditions of a test and the danger of ‘blanking out’ is greatly reduced.
Schools all over New Zealand, Australia, Europe and USA are doing it: making tablet computers compulsory for students, ordering smart boards, redesigning classrooms into e-learning centres. It’s cool. It’s trendy. It simulates the future workplace.
But is it for everybody?
By its very nature, e-learning is best suited to highly visual people, because of the wealth of imagery offered by the computer: text, pictures and diagrams, graphs, photos, videos. Please note that we distinguish the following types of visual learners: visual (pictures), visual (reading), visual (internal). While the former two styles are well suited to online learning, the latter one, which relies on forming images in one’s mind, is neutrally suited to online learning (i.e., it is neither enhanced nor limited by the use of computers).
Auditory (listening) learners can be accommodated if the online-learning course uses recorded speech and sound-effects (such as pings). Externally auditory learners who need to discuss the learnt material can be accommodated by using voice chat facilities.
Tactile learners are disadvantaged, although their need can be partially satisfied by touch-pads, mice and/or touch-screens. For the tactile learners, online-learning can be further enhanced by having to match pieces of a puzzle on the screen or match questions and answers using the drag-and-drop technique. Such students can also be encouraged to make their own memory aids offline, such as sculptures of molecules or board games depicting new topics.
The real challenge, however, comes with externally kinesthetic learners who need to move around and learn with their whole bodies. Because they rely on real experiences as the most effective way of assimilating information, online-learning is not ideally suited to this type of learner. To enhance their retention and enjoyment of information intake, the online-learning course should offer off-line projects to enhance the online sessions. These learners need to get away from the computer, move their body and DO something with the information they have just received via the screen. Learning sessions for these students will only be successful (and hopefully lead to understanding, skills, competencies, and knowledge) when they have physically experienced and/or actively ‘done’ something during the learning process.
Is your child visual, auditory, tactile or kinesthetic? Find out today