Learning Styles and Changes
An odd thing can happen while you are waiting for change to take place; often, the change occurs and you are surprised that you missed the event. When Thinkwell first offered its products, we were sure that we had good ideas that would address multiple learning styles, as well as bring great teachers to students across the globe. However, the idea of offering the core content via video lectures, online exercises and homework, and mixed media presentations was new and untried. Today, though, many teachers and students would balk at the idea of returning to the days of drill and practice on a piece of paper, and mixed media is well established in all levels of educational publishing. The change happened.
There are good reasons for this. Students get immediate and relevant feedback by doing online homework, which helps them correct mistakes while it reinforces understanding. And mixed media addresses multiple learning styles to empower all users. I think this is good news for everyone; more learners find content that meets their styles and instructors have new tools. It is clear that the evolution continues; take a look at the Pew Foundations report,Â The Internet and Education. I like to think that Thinkwell has been one of the drivers for change.Â
This brings me back to great teachers.
No matter what tools we all use, nothing can replace a great teacher. In the study released last fall by the National Governors Association, entitledÂ Accelerating the Agenda: Actions to Improve America's High Schools, one of the major goals was to provide "excellent teachers" to schools, and Malcolm Gladwell not only points out how important teachers are but also gives us insights into how to find them in his essay,Â Most Likely to Succeed.
Thinkwell's underlying mission has always been to provide great teaching, and technology has come a long way toward helping us make that happen. I am happy the change has come.
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