Teachers know that students have different learning styles. Some are visual learners, preferring pictures and images. Others are auditory learners and respond well to sounds and music. Words appeal to another group who enjoy expressing themselves in speech and writing. Kinesthetic or tactile learners use their bodies and sense of touch, logical learners use logic, reasoning and systems, and social learners prefer learning environments that include other people. And, to make things even more complicated, students often learn most effectively using a combination of two or more of these learning styles.
With all these variables, it’s no wonder that teachers often have a hard time creating lesson plans that appeal equally to all their students. Even after spending hours developing rich content, they often find that while one group seems absorbed in the material, another group is lost or distracted.
What if there was a way to present material to appeal to different learners at the same time? Our company, Sprout Labs, has developed several content rich iPad apps on a variety of topics in the Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Chemistry. Visually intensive, they also include sounds, music, videos and interactive quizzes. All our apps appeal directly to different learning styles by offering opportunities to read and learn, touch and learn, see and learn, watch and learn and quiz and learn.
Our Forms of Energy HD app draws in visual learners to images that jump off the page to illustrate kinetic energy with sprinters starting a race and children beginning their descent down a playground slide. Auditory learners will appreciate the soothing background music as well as the ability to have text information read aloud to them. Both visual and auditory learners will enjoy the app’s engaging videos on such topics as Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy and Energy Transformation. For those who prefer to learn through words, the app includes relevant facts at the bottom of the screen that the reader can scroll through. Learning is reinforced for kinesthetic or tactile learners by the ability to tap screens to advance through the app, activate videos or uncover text information. And solitary learners can proceed at their own pace and move back and forth between sections as they wish.
For teachers, these apps are a great opportunity to appeal to different learning styles in a single platform. And, they do not have to go through the time and expense of creating their own videos to do so. In offering these apps to their students, teachers can use class time more effectively to provide physical learners with opportunities to learn through experiments, logical learners can ask questions and debate concepts, and social learners can participate in group discussions or activities that bring the concepts to life.