Friday, February 29, 2008


The traditional wisdom has been that the brain gray matter and intelligence are static. It had been assumed that learning could be accurately measured by an IQ test. This test is still used in K12 education in 2008.
The current wisdom about intelligence assumes more than one learning capacity. The multiple intelligences paradigm assumes at least eight intelligences not measured by one paper and pencil test.
It is now found that brains can change and reroute functions. They are not static but dynamic in nature. Computers allow us the privilege of differentiating instruction for individual learners using their intelligences. Chapter 1 of Teaching Every Student puts it this way:

Because of their inherent flexibility, digital technologies can adjust to learner differences, enabling teachers to (1) differentiate problems a student may have using particular kinds of learning media from more general learning problems and (2) draw upon a student's other strengths and interests that may be blocked by the exclusive use of printed text.

Furthermore, I am reading about recent brain research where people's brains can be retrained to find alternate routes around damaged areas. For education, that means.... (you fill in the blank)
Technorati Tags:
Reference: Rose, D. H. & , Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. ACSD.
Photo by Jane M Sawyer, added to Morguefile 09 24 2005, available at


NJTechTeacher said...

For education, that means if I see something is not working I can modify, create, or collaborate on an alternate method.

Bridget said...

I like how you said that the multiple intelligences are not measured by one paper and pencil test. Many people might agree with this, yet this is how we still test our students. Why is it that we understand that there are at least eight intelligences, yet when a student might be smart but not do so well on an Op-scan test that we don't try to find another way to 'test' them? I hope to see that in ten years from now we will be trying to test our students’ intelligence in more than one way.

Bridget Hood

Teresa Nowell said...

In one of my classes in college, we just studied the flaws and inaccuracies of the IQ test. I never realized how over trusted this test is. Actually, most standardized tests are overused and fail to truly measure intelligence.

We also learned about the multiple intelligences, which I've considered more accurate in defining intelligence. It seems like too many times narrow routes of testing and learning kill the love of learning in many students. Like you, I hope schools can start applying technology to individualize to students' intelligences. I imagine students will like school better, achieve more, and become more successful later in life.

Raeanna Bauer said...

I think that it’s really interesting that you say that the technology we have today can measure each individual person’s intelligence. I know that there is a lot of controversy about whether or not there is a distinction between the different intelligences and whether or not they actually exist. If this were to be the case, how would the computers be able to really measure children’s intelligence if there are no certain patterns of intelligence? Further more, how can a computer actually gauge where each child falls within Gardner’s intelligences if some children (according to Gardner) have a naturalistic way of learning? These children would not be interested in answering questions at a computer, or even sitting there. Could it be possible that the computer (or researcher) accidentally marks the student for having an intelligence that they do not because of lack of effort by the child?
However, I do think that by creating computer software to help students learn depending on their intelligence, students will be more interested in the material and more willing to learn and will also be able to succeed. There are always positives and negatives about anything.

Raeanna Bauer

Anonymous said...

I am very much looking forward to learning about results of research such as this. Written exams, IQ tests and standardized testing are definitely three things that I think our education system should do away with. And do away with quickly. For starters, I am completely empathetic with students who get so nervous our frustrated with exams such as these. As cliché as it may sound, I am a terrible test taker. I dread taking tests and I get so flustered in preparation for exams that I feel my study skills begin to lack effectiveness.
Furthermore, I feel that filling in bubbles on a piece of paper should NEVER be a determinant of any student’s abilities, intelligence and especially not their future placement in college (such as SATs/ACTs). I strongly believe in multiple intelligences, because not all students will excel in the same areas of study. And not all students have the same interests, so the ones that apply themselves more in a heavily weighted subject area are not necessarily smarter than the students who did not apply themselves due to lack in interest or knowledge in that particular subject matter.
Again, in the future, I am looking forward to results of these kinds of research operations and have high hopes that they will be applied to classrooms. As a future teacher, I am not interested in giving my students exams that will be a main predictor of their grades. I feel that what students can take away from the classroom setting, each other and modified/customized technology will be much more effective than memorizing a study guide and making sure all the right opscan bubbles are filled in.
Knowing the history of exams was created to determine human superiority through Eugenics, I think the entire concept is ridiculous. On the flip side, I am still a little reluctant to technology and don’t want to become too dependent on it. However, if programs such as these that focus on differentiating instruction for individual learners can be successful and effective in helping my students absorb and retain information, I will have not reservation to incorporate them into my classroom. Each student needs to learn at their own pace and according to their abilities and I have high hopes for the future that this fact will be taken into consideration within all schools.

Rachael Bruketta