The online EdTech space has surged in popularity use over the last years. Hundreds if not thousands of useful apps and online resources have been created to match the learning needs of all ages. From primary school kids to postdocs, the internet and technology are helping students make progress.
Two cool examples are iPrompt and Sololearn, which help autistic children learn and teach kids how to code, respectively. These quick examples just go to show the wide spectrum of aims in EdTech right now.
Another new trend is the association between childhood learning and technology. The ability for tech to make education unique, engaging and dare we say it, fun, has developed a new era of learning resources.
Many schools have a one-size-fits-all approach, and its methodology is flawed. We can all enjoy learning, but it hinges on what we learn, and more importantly, how we learn it. Modern technology caters to different needs through different learning styles, while being innovative and challenging.
Here we will discuss how interceptive technology can help some students that often get left out when in the classroom.
First, the Different Learning Styles Explained
When reading about learning styles, you will quickly come across the term VAK. This stands for Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic learning. These are the three main styles of learning. Many of us prefer one or two over the other due to our personalities.
- Visual Learning: the student will learn better with visual aids, such as graphs, diagrams or in modern times, fun explainer videos.
- Auditory Learning: the student learns best by listening. Some modern examples of how this can be achieved with technology include talks and podcasts.
- Kinaesthetic Learning: these learners obtain information best by being hands-on. They want to touch and feel things to learn and benefit from activity-based exercises. The touchscreen feature on an iPad usually helps tech to cater to these needs.
VAK Learning Styles and Tech: The benefits
The development of interactive technology is helping cater to visual and kinaesthetic earning styles. Using these technologies and apps, all types of learners can benefit in a plethora of ways:
1. Affording Independent Learning
The software and technologies on offer are creating a network of go-to education solutions. These are accessible to children whenever they need them and especially outside of the classroom at home. Due to the number of tech resources available and their accessibility, it promotes independent learning.
Unlike classroom lessons, these resources can also be reused and allow children unlimited chances to learn whenever they need them. Ultimately, they give learning power to the student.
2. Increase Engagement
Some of the technologies involved are highly innovative with unique interfaces and instructions. Their uniqueness can increase attention between learners, especially those that like to learn visually or kinaesthetically. These types of learners may not be best suited to classroom learning and so technology caters to their needs and drives their interest in subjects.
3. Unrestricted Creativity
Children are renowned for their wild and complex imaginations. It is sometimes argued that those imaginations are quashed in a classroom environment. Traditional schooling techniques may not leverage their potential whereas EdTech may serve them better. There is a wealth of technologies and resources available which can enhance the creativity of children, even in topics that are not associated with the arts.
Although it was touched on previously, accessibility remains one of the biggest benefits of EdTech. Our children only have a certain amount of time with their teachers before an exam, and thus, their learning is limited. However, that learning can be enhanced with technologies at home which give 24/7 access to more learning in a way that suits them.
5. Animations and More
Mobile apps and online resources usually come with animations and moving imagery that even the best teachers and tutors cannot compete with. Not only do these visuals stimulate excitement and increased engagement, but they also cater to visual learners in ways that classroom activities fall short at. Through touchscreen capabilities, kinaesthetic learners become more engaged too.
This is not to say that technology could replace the classroom experience, but it could add to what teachers and tutors are already providing.
6. Children Already Know Tech
There is a debate about technology and children with unanswered questions and shifting opinions. Whatever side of the fence you sit on, we all know that most children have daily access to tech and often their own smartphone, tablet or computer. This means they already know how to work interactive apps and technologies online.
Whether it is dragging, deleting, swiping or something else, children have usually mastered using technology more than some adults. Therefore, using EdTech to learn becomes second nature to them – and it again helps to engage kinaesthetic learners who like to use their hands. Even if the child is not already tech-savvy, using these apps will develop another aspect of modern learning and development.
7. Gamification Works!
Kinaesthetic and visual learners are also some of the biggest beneficiaries of gamification in learning. This is when learning includes gaming-like aspects to maintain engagement and increase motivation to succeed. For example, learners may receive rewards for passing milestones, such as a certificate, badges or receive online points. It increases determination to succeed in these types of learners, something that is not as easy to replicate in a classroom.
8. Schools Can Benefit Too
The benefits of technology and apps to learners is not exclusive to students outside of school. Teachers can also embrace the different technologies becoming available to aid lesson plans and tailor them to all types of learners, including visual and kinaesthetic learners who are notoriously harder to engage compared to auditory learners.
9. The 11 Plus Exam Benefit – The Biggie!
The 11 plus exam is unique because its questions are not like other exams. It requires critical thinking and tries to understand a learner’s natural intelligence. Many classroom activities do not help prepare for the exam because 11 plus contains out-of-the-box questions – but EdTech can help!
Using an interactive way to solve problems is known to benefit 11 plus preparations. This is due to the unfamiliar questions in the exam, especially questions that revolve around problem-solving. By offering learning experiences with an emphasis on visualising problems in new ways, tech can really help pass the 11 plus exam. Not to forget that it keeps children focused on and motivated to succeed through engagement.
10. It Can Be Social!
Some people worry that learning through technologies becomes an anti-social exercise and we may not develop the soft skills we learn by being with others and working in teams. However, many technologies in education harness the same social capabilities as other technology, which allows learning to remain social.
Research has found that soft skills are just as appealing to recruiters, and EdTech is not always going to abandon the social aspect of learning. So, even if your child is a visual or kinaesthetic learner, you will not under-develop other essential soft skills by relying on tech.
How Does 11 Plus Success Help?
The most important thing to remember when helping a child to reach their potential is to provide learning opportunities which match their learning style. Auditory learners get most of these opportunities in the classroom, but visual and kinaesthetic learners are sometimes left behind.
If your child learns best with one of the latter two learning methods, 11 Plus Success can help. Our online course has been made with engaging visuals, elements of gamification and much more. Speak to our team to find out why our online 11 plus course may be perfect for your child!