Web links

Curriculum Design

Educational Policy

Educational Technology

New Dimensions

Pedagogy

Teachers In India

Assesment and Evalution

Classroom Management

Educational Technology

How Technology Enhances Howard Gardner's Eight Intelligences

How Technology Enhances Howard Gardner's Eight Intelligences

Introduction by Dave Keefe for Contribution by Dee Dickinson

A very appropriate use of technology is to help teachers and students understand the individual learning strengths of each student across the full spectrum of learning. Howard Gardner's 1983 publication of "Frames of Mind" provided the concept of Seven Types of Intelligence as a structure for exploring this spectrum. Recently Gardner added Naturalist Intelligence to expand his model to eight different forms of intelligence.

Dee Dickinson, CEO and Founder of New Horizons for Learning, is one of Gardner's most articulate and supportive advocates, and is currently working on a chapter on Naturalist Intelligence for Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligence by Linda Campbell, Bruce Campbell and Dee Dickinson (Allyn and Bacon, 1998).

Dee was America Tomorrow's first contributing author and has provided excerpts from the book on ways that Technology enhances each of the Gardner Intelligences. This document will form the basis for an asynchronous discussion between Dee and the Johns Hopkins University graduate education class on "Online Coaching and Instruction on the Internet"

Dee comments to the class: "You are the first to see the section on technology and the Naturalist. It is too long for the book, but I found so much interesting material I wanted to write it up. I will have to cut it, but here's the whole thing for you.

I am looking forward to your questions, comments, and discussions about this and related subjects. Am especially anxious to learn from you. See you online soon!" --Dee Dickinson

Technology That Enhances Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence

Just as the printing press revolutionized learning and thinking in the 15th century; so the computer has created a similar revolution today. Through worldwide databases and computer networks students have direct access to current information. In every field of knowledge, educational systems are transforming as both teachers and students learn to use multimedia technology. Children who cannot yet read are writing stories on the computer with software that in some cases reads back to the students what they have written. New programs allow children to write and insert graphics in rebus-like texts such as "Wings for Learning"/ Sunburst's "Muppet Slate." Other programs, such as Microsoft's "Pine Artist and Creative Writer," make it possible to format writing projects in different shapes, write words in unusual forms and sizes, add accompanying sound effects, and wrap illustrations around the text. Such programs are highly motivating for both beginning and more accomplished writers.

Today's computer banks filled with information on every conceivable subject, plus on-line experts including university professors, researchers, and scientists, offer students an inexhaustible supply of information. Course content in any subject can be enriched and updated from such sources, and it is frequently the students themselves who access and share the information.

A high school student talks about "surfing the Net" one evening and coming across the Magna Carta. He had never seen the document even though he had read about it in many of his history books. Excitedly he printed it out and took it to school the next day with a strong sense of ownership. Such discoveries make learning personal and exciting as students make knowledge their own.

Increasingly user-friendly computer programs are making it possible to combine information in different forms, including words, images, and sounds. Students can store, sort, and cross-reference information, notes, bibliographies, and create multimedia reports to make an adventure of learning. Teachers are able to develop their own courseware, create databases linking documents, present preprogrammed slide presentations from videodiscs, and enrich their courses with a wealth of the technology described in the chapters on each of the other intelligences.

The computer encourages students to revise and rewrite compositions and thus develop greater fluency and a more effective style. Recopying by hand or typewriter often inhibits ongoing correction and revision, but the computer facilitates these processes and gives students a greater sense of control over their writing. When students see their work in professional-looking formats they become more interested in studying and mastering the mechanics that will give it final polish. Some of the most popular word processing programs include Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, and Ami Pro for Windows.

Learning keyboarding in early elementary school today is as important as learning to write with a pencil, and learning to use a word processor is as important for students as learning to type. Children are encouraged to use these skills in communicating and collaborating with distant students on a variety of projects, through an increasing number of electronic networks. Telephones and modems essential to this process should be standard equipment in every classroom.

Electronic technology is having an enormous impact on the development of speaking skills, as children find it possible to communicate with new friends around the country and world. Most school districts have access to projects such as the National Geographic Kids Network. Just as the computer has enhanced writing skills, so audiotape-recording, video-taping, and video-conferencing are having positive effects on oral fluency. When students observe and hear themselves speaking, they learn to express themselves effectively.

Technology offers new communication and learning opportunities to students with multiple handicaps and "different abilities." For example, students who are physically unable to move can talk into a computer that writes as they speak. Others who are able to move but not speak can write on computers that then "say" what was written. Specific examples include:

• for deaf students; Microflip's "Full Talk," LTJ Design's "Wee Talk."
• for physically-handicapped students: "Smart Keyboards" fit the body shape of their users and are developed by Arjan Khalsa for Unicorn.
• for blind students: Eduquest's "talking mouse"
• for hearing-impaired students EduQuest's "Speech Viewer" and "Phone Communicator.
• for visually-impaired students: EduQuest's "Screen Reader" and "Voice Type"

The development of linguistic skills for all populations can be catalyzed by remarkable new electronic tools for accessing and managing information and communicating, learning, and developing intelligence in unprecedented ways. classroom.

Technology That Enhances Kinesthetic Intelligence

Learning through technology is a highly active and interactive process when used appropriately. Computers rely mostly on eye-hand coordination for their operation--keyboarding and the use of the mouse or touch-screen. This kinesthetic activity reinforces learning and makes the student an active participant in the learning process.

The popularity of video games is due to the total engagement of the player and skillful physical response to the challenges. Games such as "Pong" and "Breakout" were among the first to demonstrate the appeal of this kind of technology. Later, "Tetris" was designed by Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian mathematician, researcher in artificial intelligence, and member of the USSR Academy of Sciences; it is now published in Apple software. It demands fast decision-making and hand-eye coordination, along with quick testing of hypotheses. Undoubtedly, it is these action-packed challenges which engage students who might otherwise be bored in conventional math classes even though they call for the same kind of spatial and logical thinking.

Programs such as "Lego Logo" offer ways to connect the computer to external manipulatives, such as Lego blocks with gears, wheels, and motors. Starting with these, students can invent innumerable kinds of machines to control through computer programs they develop themselves.

Other kinds of programs that combine kinesthetic activity with the development of analytical thinking are Broderbund's "Science Toolkit" and IBM's "Personal Science Lab." The student creates physical or scientific experiments, the results of which are analyzed and displayed on a computer screen. These are just the beginning of a whole new series of computer programs that are connected to physical activities.

Some computer simulations enable students to experience events seldom encountered in everyday life. Observing and responding to nuclear plant malfunctions, emergence of new life forms, operation of different vehicles or machines, or the passage of geological epochs provide students with enriched classroom experiences.

"Electronic field trips." may not involve the physical body, yet students feel as if they are actually exploring the depths of the sea or the inside of a volcano as they accompany researchers in areas where very few can go. Recently, classrooms of students, linked electronically to explorers investigating the tectonic plates in the depths of the Mediterranean, were able to communicate with the scientists, ask questions, or request the viewing of areas or objects more closely. The students were almost there.

For teachers interested in learning about microcomputer simulations, software reviews can be found in The Computing Teacher and Electronic Learning. Additionally, the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory located in Portland, Oregon publishes a review entitled Microsift that contains software ratings generated by teachers who have used the programs.

Multi-media technology also involves much actual physical activity as information is gathered from databanks, books, and photos, as new information is generated by camcorders, and finally as all of it is pieced together electronically through hypermedia programs such as HyperCard or LinkWay. Needless to say, the production of filmed plays or dance programs also involves and exercises kinesthetic intelligence.

Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury, co-directors of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City, have found exciting uses of technology in teaching dance. They enhance dance with computer-generated slide images or have a camera operator videotape and instantly edit a performance) while projecting the edited version on screens behind the dancers. This kind of collaboration among choreographer, recorder, and dancers creates a whole new dance form. Dramatic productions are also making use of these combinations of technology and physical activity. For example, in a recent production of Macbeth a hologram (a laser-produced image which seems to hang in the air) of Banquo appeared with the live actors on-stage.

At a time when technology makes it very easy to become a passive observer or only a recipient of information, it is not only possible but also essential for students to become actively engaged in learning, as these foregoing examples demonstrate.

Technology That Enhances Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-Mathematical intelligence can be exercised and developed through many challenging and innovative kinds of multimedia technology- Students of every ability level can learn effectively through interesting software programs that offer immediate feedback and go far beyond drill and practice and "workbooks on computers." Many of them offer challenging opportunities to exercise and develop higher order thinking skills that are essential in problem-solving. Following are a few examples of the many outstanding programs that are now available.

Edmark's "Millie's Mathhouse" is a delightful and successful computer program that introduces number and math concepts to preschool and early elementary children. It is alive with color, sounds, and graphics and works with a touch screen. Children are introduced to essential math concepts as they build animated bugs, operate a cookie machine, count wiggling critters, and make patterns with talking animals and shapes. As they explore and discover, children learn about numbers, shapes, sizes, patterns, and problem-solving.

For primary students, IBM's "Math and More" programs introduce students to patterns and relationships, geometry, probability, and statistics through highly motivating video, manipulative, and printed materials.

Wings for Learning/Sunburst's "King's Rule" and "Safari Search" for older children develop sequencing abilities and logical-mathematical thinking through visual-spatial, manipulative tasks that are in the form of thought-provoking and challenging games.

Broderbund's "Geometry, Physics and Calculus" software make abstract and sometimes difficult subjects more concrete and easily understandable as students manipulate colorful graphics. Videodiscovery's multimedia videodiscs, "The Physics of Auto Collisions" and "The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse," use real events to relate physics to practical applications. As students analyze real world events in scientific and mathematical terms, the principles of physics become more meaningful and relevant.

"The Adventures of Jasper Woodbury," developed by Vanderbilt University's Cognition and Technology Group, provides additional rich contexts for developing mathematical thinking and problem solving about real-world situations through what is being called "anchored instruction." At the present time, there are six dramatic episodes on videodisk (with six more to come), that present complex mathematical problems for students to solve.

One of the first adventures, 'Rescue at Boone's Meadow," presents the task of transporting a critically wounded eagle to a veterinary 65 miles away as quickly as possible. Because of the difficult terrain, students must figure out optimal combinations of using a truck, ultralight aircraft, and hiking, taking into consideration fuel, payload, weight, and different starting points. The students use a combination of the random-access videodisk, maps, and computers to generate alternative solutions. Fifth-grade students of average ability have been fascinated with the task, and have been motivated to solve it with solutions that require over 15 steps.

In many of these new "authentic learning" projects, learners become contributors to the collaborative knowledge base of the community. In the Global Lab project organized by the Technical Education Research Centers (TERC), an international group of teachers, high school students, and global-change researchers are collaborating in studying local and world ecological change using instruments such as ozonometers, ion-selective probes for soil and water monitoring, and field data loggers. Students learn to collect, analyze, and report data that is used by the scientists. And in the MicroObservatory project at Harvard University, secondary school students are using remote computer-controlled optical telescopes to do their own research projects in astronomy.

Increasing numbers of multimedia software programs are focused on developing the critical and creative thinking skills of students. IBM's "Modern Solutions" and "Wrinkers" (combination of thinking and writing) offer challenging projects that utilize logic, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in creating and problem-solving. Seymore Papert's "Lego Logo" program also offers an opportunity for students to develop the skills of analysis and logic as they learn to use a new computer programming language and apply it to controlling the movement of Lego "machines" that they create.

"Learn Smart" is a new software program developed by Key Technologies that is based on Guilford/Meeker's Structure of Intellect methods of developing intellectual skills. The program assesses individual strengths and weaknesses in cognition and offers strategies to strengthen intellectual powers. It is appropriate for students at all ability levels.

Stanley Pogrow's "HOTS" (Higher Order Thinking Skills) program combines Socratic thinking in small groups with activities utilizing computer technology- This program- focused on learning how to understand and problem-solve, demonstrates clearly that most students, including the "at risk" and "learning disabled," are capable not only of learning the basic skills, but of developing and applying higher order thinking skills in the process.

A number of recreational games also have much to offer in the way of new intellectual challenges. For example, Sierra's "Lost Mind of Dr. Brain" exercises all of the intelligences in challenging puzzles and problem-solving activities. Logical and mathematical skills, anticipatory thinking and quick decision-making, symbolic thinking, effective reasoning, and other higher order thinking processes are exercised as players meet a variety of unexpected challenges. As they unscramble Inverted melodies, break codes, navigate through mazes, use different retrieval systems to find scrambled files, and manipulate and rotate mental images, players get a "total brain workout." They have options of playing on several levels of difficulty, and can access helpful "scaffolding" hints from Dr. Brain's lab assistant. When used in classrooms, teachers may wish to follow with related activities to assure that transfer of skills will occur and persist.

Many of the programs described above are consistent with the current recommendations of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and with current research on "situated cognition." The focus of this research is on demonstrating that learning and thinking are always situated in a context, that knowing and doing are strongly linked, and, as a result, that authentic learning activities and direct experience provide rich opportunities for successful learning.

Technology That Enhances Visual-Spatial Intelligence

Today's students have grown up watching television and are highly oriented to visual learning. Slides, overhead transparencies, filmstrips, and movies are important adjuncts to their learning. Copy-machines and computer- printers are also essential support systems for any kind of academic work. When interactive systems are also part of the learning process, students move from passive observers to active thinkers.

For example the VCR, which is available to most teachers, lends itself to active learning in numbers of ways. Rather than running a program from beginning to end, teachers can take advantage of the opportunity to stop, rewind, and replay. Frequent opportunities to discuss what students have already seen and what they are about to see next make possible the anticipatory and participatory learning that are critical to the educational process.

In presenting dramatic productions, teachers may wish to preview a film to make note of the location of various segments that can be played out of context ahead of time for the purposes of comparison and contrast. Or the film may be stopped before the ending, allowing students to guess what occurs next. The VCR is a flexible and adaptable tool that can be utilized for innumerable educational purposes.

It is a logical next step to use a newer form of technology, the interactive videodisc (IVD). The IVD combines into one system all the different media and delivery options, including lectures, slides, films, video, and computer-based instruction. The disc can hold 54,000 frames or slides on each side, 30 minutes of video, and two 30-minute audiotracks. It can randomly access from a menu any video or audio segment in 3.5 seconds, when the user presses a button or "mouse" or moves a wand over a bar graph.

Operated through a videodisc player, a television monitor or two, and a personal computer, the system is easy to learn and operate. It is flexible enough to incorporate other emerging technologies such as compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM), digital video interactive (DVI), compact disc interactive (CDI), and artificial intelligence.

In a 1986 study of a number of IVD classrooms, IBM reported a 30-to-50% increase in learning scores and a 300% increase in the number of students reaching mastery level.

Geographic Television (GTV) is currently one of the most recent developments in interactive video for the classroom. It has been developed by the National Geographic Society in association with Lucasfilm Ltd., and combines the interactive capabilities of the computer with instant access of the videodisc composed of National Geographic pictures. The subject of the first program is U.S. history with an emphasis on geography; other subjects in the proposed series are under way at this writing.

Another pioneering educational effort is The National Geographic Kids Network, a telecommunications system that links students throughout the world. Students share information with each other about geography and experiments in science using computer-generated maps and charts.

The availability of camcorders makes it possible for students to produce their own videos as an alternative to written reports. Teachers may also produce videos as lesson presentations-- this is one way for teachers to clone themselves and reduce class size for portions of the day!

Students with special needs can also be helped in new ways through visual media. For example, those with speech difficulties can actually see their speaking patterns through IBM's SpeechViewer; from this visual feedback, they learn to make appropriate changes. Students who cannot move, may talk into the computer and it will print out what they say; others who can move but cannot speak may work with computers that say back what they have written on the screen. Children with delayed speech may be helped by using a "Wolf" board with overlays of pictures or words that "say" what they are when touched.

Computers allow visually oriented students to learn through their strengths as they interact with the technology. They can take advantage of opportunities to see and manipulate the material they are accessing or creating in many different forms before they make final copies of a written project. Such publications as Stanley's Exploring Graphic Design: A Short Course in Desktop Publishing offer helpful information on the essential principles of design and how to apply them to the preparation of publications.

By using HyperCard or LinkWay software, students can create multimedia reports. Or, they may create a report totally in visual form, combining film clips, slides, photographs, and other illustrations. These multimedia productions make learning a fascinating process, as students work with knowledge in many forms. Scholastic "HyperScreen" is one example of a software program that contains built-in fonts, clip art, and drawing tools. Each screen can contain up to 15 "hotspots," or buttons, that make it possible for users to interact with the lesson or report.

Scholastic "Slide Shop is a program for creating computerized slide shows, producing audiovisual aids for talks, video title and credit screens, or for creating illustrated pages in student-produced books. Students can design their own screens using clip art, backgrounds, borders, fonts, music, and sound effects from this program.

An increasing number of graphics programs, such as "IPMNT" or "SuperPaint," offer a wide range of experiences that can enhance artistic creativity and fluency by facilitating the technical processes involved in graphic design. Students can create their own works of art or modify existing ones as they explore such com- positional devices such as perspective, balance, and color.

Interactive videodiscs are also becoming more available in the classroom as costs for equipment and software decrease. Valuable information for teachers using this technology is available through The International Society for Technology in Education Hyper/multimedia Special Interest Group and the HyperNEXUS... Journal of HyperMedia and MultiMedia Studies published by ISTE.

An interactive disc on Picasso's painting "Guernica" produced by EduQuest is one means for exploring art. In this random-access database, the viewer can learn about the technical creation of the painting, biographical information on Picasso, images drawn from the Spanish war, and historical and mythological sources of the subject matter. The viewer can ask questions that are answered not only in visual images but also in text and voice.

Visual peripherals that reinforce topics and skills to be learned are an important part of accelerated learning classrooms, and needless to say the task of changing them frequently can be made easier through technological "teaching walls." In some newer schools, entire electronic walls may be available; in others, large screens or monitors perform this function. Teachers and students alike can be involved in creating the visuals for such displays, using material, for example, from documentary files of CNN or from live newscasts accessible through computer networks.

And on the horizon, is Virtual Reality technology-which will make all other simulations pale by comparison. Still in its infancy, this computer~generated world, offers memorable learning in new dimensions. A student dons a helmet or goggles, which contain miniature television monitors, earphones, and an electronic glove. This equipment is linked to a computer that coordinates sensory input with physical movement. The computer monitors the location of the gloved hand, and will create "real" experiences. One of the first programs allowed the participant to "walk" down a street in Aspen, observe the surroundings, and even change seasons of the year. When the participant reaches the corner by directing the electronic glove, he or she can turn right or left to continue the tour, and explore the inside of some buildings. It takes little imagination to project what such learning experiences might offer to students of physics, chemistry, biology; architecture) or medicine.

Although these visual-spatial tools are not essential for the learning process, they do offer exciting and motivating ways to engage the learner through exercising visual-spatial intelligence and make any subject more accessible to a variety of students. They will surely be of major value to students with physical disabilities or other special needs. They will, in fact, move what might otherwise, for many, remain meaningless abstractions into understandable, visible reality.

How Technology Enhances Musical Intelligence

The development of musical intelligence can be enhanced by technology in the same way that verbal fluency is enhanced by word-processors. Fledgling composers can hum a tune into synthesizers such as the EPS 16 from Ensoniq or the SZ-1 from Casio, for example, and have it sound like one of many instruments, fully accompanied by an electronic rhythm section. The Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, makes it possible to compose for and orchestrate many different instruments through the computer. Pyware's "Music Writer" and Activision's "Music Studio" are examples of software programs that also make such magic possible.

Menulay's "Musicland" program has been used successfully with children as young as three. It enables children to compose music immediately by manipulating notes and graphic representations of musical concepts on the computer. A student can draw a shape on the staff on the computer screen, and see it translated into musical notation. The student then colors in the notes, with different colors for different instruments, and the computer plays back the composition in synthesized sounds.

"Band-in-a-Box" by PG Software lets students improvise backups to familiar jazz, pop, rock, and folk music. It also features editing capability so that students can create their own musical styles. Their improvisations and compositions can be saved on a MIDI file and sent to a music printing program such as "Nightingale" by Temporal Acuity Products which creates musical scores for other instruments.

One might wonder if such "artificial" music removes the need to understand and learn harmony, notation, scoring, and reading music. In fact, many students are so motivated by what they create through musical technology that they are stimulated to learn more about each of these areas. Their success becomes a driving force for further learning.

It is being discovered that digital technology, which combines digital audio with visual input, makes it possible for many students to learn about elements of music that are often too complicated for beginners to understand. One example is the Voyager Company's interactive multimedia compact disc of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony," which enables the listener to understand the piece musically, historically, culturally, and politically. Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" is even more extensive, progressing from simple to complex concepts; it can be accessed at any knowledge level. The few programs that currently exist are just the beginning of this exciting new way of learning about and creating music.

Warner's "Music Exploratorium" explores various aspects of the orchestra through Benjamin Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra." It presents, in a random-access combination of video and audio, information about the composer and conductor, the players, the instruments, and the structure of the com- position.

The University of Delaware Videodisc Music Series at this writing includes ten full-color video recordings. In each of the programs, the score scrolls across the screen as the music is played. The programs include color-coded musical analysis; supporting slides illustrate cultural highlights of the composers' life and historical period.

Such interactive videodiscs on music make it possible to "break out" and hear individual instruments, see the score while the music is playing, or identify the source of a particular theme or melody. The information on these discs is "random access," making it possible for the learner to follow a particular line of interest in a self-directed manner, at any ability level

The Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI) annually publishes a directory which lists and summarizes all of the existing computer programs, videodiscs, films,

CDROM discs, and music technology hardware on the market. It is available with membership in ATMI.

Such a technological support system for the learning of music and music-appreciation leads not only to proficiency, but also to in-depth understanding. The development of musical thinking and creativity-musical intelligence itself can thus be enriched and expanded.

Technology That Enhances Interpersonal Intelligence

Students frequently use technology alone, and for purposes such as remediation or personal exploration, this is often preferable. Current research indicates, however, that when students use computers in pairs or small groups, comprehension and learning are facilitated and accelerated. Positive learning experiences can result as students share discoveries, support each other in solving problems, and work collaboratively on projects. In today's workplace, such skills are increasingly important.

There are many ways that technology can be used in the classroom to enhance interpersonal skills. For example, students can be videotaped as they give a presentation or performance. They can then observe their facial expressions and body movements to see whether these enhance or detract from what they wish to communicate. Groups of students can discuss their observations of each other, understanding that they should begin and end with a positive observation and that criticism is only to be offered in a constructive manner.

Interpersonal skills can be enhanced through small technology groups in the classroom, as well as through computer networking with students in other classrooms, schools, or countries. Even more dramatic is the increasing frequency of teleconferencing through satellite transmission. The face-to-face contact with children who can see and hear each other via technology is a highly motivating way to develop communication skills as students in different parts of the country or the world join together in problem-solving environmental, economical, or political issues.

The Copen Family Fund in New York has been instrumental in fostering the development of school-based computer networks: l*EARN links five centers in the United States with projects in fifteen foreign countries. The Global Education Model in Yorktown Heights, New York, links 42,000 students in grades K-12 with students in the Netherlands, Spain, and Indonesia. The Albuquerque Public Schools links 600 users in the district's 120 schools through a district-wide electronic mail network. And the Pacific Northwest Center links Washington State's 34 Schools for the 21st Century. The Copen Fund is piloting on-line, low-cost, computer-teleconferencing for such projects.

Among the large numbers of other networks are National Geographic's Kidsnet, ATT's Learning Network, and Peacenet. The Internet, which is a network of computer networks, includes thousands of networks used by millions of people of all ages. For educators, telecommunications networks offer an important resource and support system. Growing numbers of netw6rks such as America Tomorrow, have been created to link educators with each other, and offer up-to-the minute educational news and resources on educational innovations and restructuring.

Airplane pilots have for some time been learning to handle emergencies and to use new equipment through virtual reality. Medical students can now pertorm their first surgeries virtually. At Children's Hospital in Tokyo virtual reality is used to scaffold the learning of disabled and developmentally delayed children. They may, for example, experience for the first time real sports, such as playing soccer, or experience other physical skills. It takes little imagination to project what virtual learning experiences might one day offer in schools to students of physics, chemistry, biology, or architecture.

Distance Learning facilitates communication between teachers and students in different parts of the community, state, or world. This interactive technology develops expanded and enhanced interpersonal skills and breaks through cultural barriers as students and teachers learn to communicate in new ways appropriate to this medium.
Technology That Enhances Intrapersonal Intelligence
by Dee Dickinson

The development of intrapersonal intelligence can be facilitated through the use of technology to explore and expand the human mind. Technology offers the means to pursue a line of thought in great depth as well as to have random access to divergent ideas. The opportunity for students to make such choices is at the heart of giving them control over their own learning and intellectual development.

Although the most common use of technology in the classroom today is still for drill and practice, many teachers are finding successful applications of computer technology to develop higher-order thinking skills. Classrooms that use computer technology in this way become centers for inquiry~ Students learn not only to use databases, but to create their own. Technology can be used to explore and expand intelligence, as students build "mental models" with which they can visualize connections between ideas on any topic.

Bob Olson, senior Associate of the Institute for Alternative Futures in Alexandria, VA., notes that "hypermedia may thus expand the ability to think holistically-to be able to jump back and forth from detail to overview and to see the 'big picture."' Hypermedia presents multimedia material in a way that is similar to how the human brain works-making connections between ideas and images-just as hypertext does with words.

Computer programs such as Ceres' "Inspiration" are thought processors that make it possible to capture ideas and visualize the relationships between them by combining graphics with text. The programs facilitate individual brainstorming, and as ideas are generated, they can be clustered into mindmaps or into traditional outlines. Mainstay's "Think'n'Time" uses visual outlining to help structure and develop ideas at the same time as other applications are being used. Such programs allow students to manipulate ideas in whatever form best suits their thinking, and they encourage personal ownership of the educational enterprise as students become more active in developing their own learning and understanding.

Individual student learning or personal growth plans, developed collaboratively by student and teacher, encourage the development of intrapersonal intelligence. They can be well facilitated through computer programs that make possible on-going modifications or revisions, as well as the recording of accomplishments in the form of electronic or multimedia portfolios of student work. Research by Allen Tough at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education indicates that individual learning projects account for around 80 percent of all learning during a lifetime. Thus, learning-to-learn is an essential part of preparation for lifelong learning.

Intelligent tutoring systems are very different from earlier models of computer-assisted learning in that they offer students choices in how to learn any topic, keep track of the students' preferred ways of learning, and eventually offer information in forms that make it possible for students to learn through their strengths as well as to exercise and improve less well-developed skills.

John Sculley, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, suggests that "within a few decades people will look back and wonder how anyone in the past could keep up with knowledge without the assistance of such 'knowbots' or 'knowledge navigators."' These are powerful tools that can become an extension of the human brain and facilitate the exploration and expansion of intrapersonal intelligence when used in appropriate, interactive ways that are sensitive to the needs of the student.

Technology that Enhances Naturalist Intelligence

A symposium was held recently in Japan on the effects of multimedia technology on human development. During the first day, presentations were given on learning through new technologies, edutainment, designing and utilizing new kinds of learning spaces to accommodate technology, using the Internet, virtual reality projects, science education in the Internet Age, growing up in a multimedia environment, and the future of "cyber-child" research. At the end of the day, a Japanese lady in the audience asked to speak. She said, "Last week we had a big snow in Tokyo It was very beautiful, and I remembered as a child being so excited about playing in the snow, feeling snowflakes on my face, making snow people, and tossing snow balls. I looked out of my window, and there were no footprints in the snow."

As electronic technologies become increasingly available and part of our lives, it is essential to recognize that they do not replace human interaction and experience in the natural world. They are, however, excellent tools that facilitate scientific investigation, exploration, and other naturalist activities. Telecommunications technologies help students to understand the world beyond their own environments, and help them to see how their actions can actually affect their world. As you will see in the examples that follow, these tools make it possible for students to understand real experiences in greater detail and depth.

The "Wireless Coyote," a joint project of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow and the Orange Grove Middle School in Tucson, Arizona involved middle school students in using electronic technology to learn more about the ecology of Sabina Canyon in Tucson. Twenty-one sixth grade students used a variety of scientific instruments to measure soil and water temperature, wind speed, and soil composition. They also used mobile computers connected to a wireless local area network and walkie-talkies to collaborate with each other and communicate the data they collected.

The students, teachers, and technicians were divided into three groups to gather data in different locations. They communicated the data to another base- camp group that provided equipment, coordinated the activities, and transmitted the findings to yet another group in the school fifteen miles away where students built a database of the results. A naturalist worked with this group to increase their understanding and offer further information, which they communicated, back to students in the field.

Often it is not possible for students to actually explore some sites such as the depths of the Mediterranean Ocean, the cones of active volcanoes, the Galapagos Islands, or Iceland. Through the JASON Project, students all over the United States can actually interact with explorers at such sites. Founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic and who remains an active participant in the project, the project brings real excitement to science classes. Using technology, students participate in an annual scientific expedition over a two-week period tied to a yearlong curriculum. Each year, about 30 students and 6 teachers are chosen by application to accompany the JASON scientists at the expedition site and serve as peer role models during the live broadcasts and online. At the primary interactive sites, (PINS) students can access a network of museums, educational institutions, research organizations where students communicate via satellite links with scientists, operate robots and scientific equipment via live remote control, as well as see and participate in live, up-to-the minute coverage of expedition activities. Through the last eight expeditions, more than 2 million students at the PINS sites have been part of this program, and countless others are finding a "virtual window on the world" through a Web site using emerging Web technologies, (http://www.jasonproject.org).

Many schools are breaking down the walls of the classroom in still other ways. For example, at Clear View Charter School in Chula Vista, California, fourth and fifth grade students participate in on-line sessions with the Electron Microscope Facility at San Diego State University. Students who have been collecting, reading about, classifying and studying bugs can see their tiny subjects in great detail, ask questions, and discuss their observations with an entomologist at the university. You may see this class in action, as well as other examples of ways to activate learning through technology on the Learn and Live videotape produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. The accompanying book and continually added examples of schools utilizing new technologies are on their Web site at (http://glef.org).

In New Hampshire students in grades 2 through 8 participate in three unusual science projects called Batnet, Birdnet, and Treenet. The projects were devised by a group of teachers under the auspices of Project RISE, funded by the National Science Foundation Teacher Enhancement Grant. Students count bats that fly by within a certain amount of time, record their count, air temperature and estimated wind speed, then report their findings on an electronic network that links students in the southeastern part of the state. Other students make records of bird migration, and still others measure the diameter of trees in order to help determine the age of New Hampshire's forests. All of these projects combine the use of technology and real life experiences in ways that not only vitalize learning but also contribute to the adult knowledge base of the environment. The teachers have concluded that network science improves teaching and learning in the following ways:

• It makes science topics more real.
• It lends immediacy both to data sharing and the questions kids ask.
• Students make valid contributions to scientific research, and their notion of research expands. Students learn that data drive the hypothesis.
• Students learn that science really involves questions, not answers, and that there can be many answers to one question.
• Students use technology across curriculum area, integrating many subjects.
• This process offers many opportunities for dialogue among students and between teachers and students, as well as occasions for assessing how well students understand essential concepts.

Projects in other parts of the country also engage students in contributing important information to their communities, demonstrating the value of learning Project, involves a global study of wildlife migration. (See http://www. learner.org/jnorth). The Global Rivers Environmental Education Network involves students in assessing the water quality of rivers throughout the world, and offers software for processing data. (See http://www.igc.apc.org/green). The Globe Program is an environmental science and education project involving students and teachers in over 60 countries in learning more about our planet. (See http://www.globe.gov/ghome.invite.html.)

Among the many organizations offering exciting on-line learning adventures and explorations are:

• the National Geographic Online at http://www.nationalgeographic.com allows students to go on expeditions with famed geographic explorers and photographers.
• Odyssey In Egypt: the Interactive Archaeological Dig takes students in grades 6-8 to the ruins of a Coptic Monastery to work "virtually" alongside archaeologists (http://www.scriptorium.org/oddyssey)
• "Class Afloat," a virtual cruise for students in grades 3--9, follows the adventures of a crew of students aboard the tall ship Concordia as they circumnavigate the globe (http://www.teachtsp.com)
• Microsoft's Mungo Park, an online adventure magazine, offers chat sessions with expedition parties who also report their experiences via the Internet, relying on satellite communications systems, laptop computers, and digital cameras (http://mungopark.msn.com)

Other organizations offer boundless resources not found in any textbooks. For example, Access Excellence, developed by Genentech, describes new developments in biology for high school students and teachers and provides classroom biology projects via their Web site at http://www.gene.com/ae. (http://www.microsoft.com/kids). Ask Asia, an extensive new resource about Asia and Asian American studies designed for use by K-12 students, includes maps, current events, and links to other resources at http://www.askasia.org.

Numerous CD-ROMs are also available, such as Scholastic's "Magic School Bus" series, which takes students on electronic field trips to the Costa Rican rain forest, the ocean, the solar system, and the age of the dinosaurs. The SIM series (http://www.maxis.com) includes Sim Life, which lets you design your own ecosystem, and Sim Ant Classic, which lets you set up an ant world. I Spy and Digital Field Trip to Wetlands are other excellent examples of this kind of tool.

For teachers, New Horizons for Learning offers extensive resources on ways to apply the Naturalist intelligence on its Web site in the form a virtual Building. See the Grounds and Gardens: Environmental Education floor. (http://www.newhorizons.org)

In concluding this discussion of how electronic technologies can enhance the development of Naturalist intelligence, let us turn to the most basic of nature studies, i.e. the study of human nature and the ecology of the brain. Until recent years most of these studies were done in the surgery and by observation of brain-injured people. Now it is possible not only to see the structures of the brain with non-invasive technologies such as PET and CAT scans, but also the watch brain activity through functional MRI's. We are just beginning to understand what this information tells us about individual differences in learning.

The tools and resources previously mentioned are but a few examples of rapidly escalating ways to enliven, activate, enrich, and deepen real learning through technology. The walls of science classrooms are indeed coming down, as a whole world of learning becomes accessible to students and teachers, who can now become partners with scientists and explorers in discovering and constructing knowledge about

 
Go Back
Home   |     |   Our Programs   |   Resources   |   Partners   |  Privacy Policy   | Contact Us   |   Search Jobs