Kinesthetic Learners Achievement Levels in Technology Rich Term Paper

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Kinesthetic Learners Achievement Levels in Technology Rich Classrooms

Hypothesis With Operational Definitions

Computers and Kinesthetic Learning

Existing Research

The Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project

Collaborative Visualization (CoVis) Project

Apple Classroom of Tomorrow Project

American Culture in Context: Enrichment for Secondary Schools

SchoolNet / Rescol Report: The emerging contribution of online resources and tools to classroom learning and teaching

Lehrer HyperAuthor Study

The Highly Interactive Computing Environments (HI-CE) Group

Lego/Logo Project

Interactive technologies that are appealing to kinesthetic learning such as multimedia, hypermedia, and visualization in virtual learning environments hold great promise for enhancing the learning experience. A variety of research studies have produced results ranging from the ability of interactive computing not only to enhance the student's ability to absorb complex information, but also to fundamentally reshape the learning process.

Interactive computing holds exciting potential to create student-controlled learning environments in which students are more responsible for their own instruction. And, interactive computing may change the learning behavior of students leading them to carry over the concept of information associations in multimedia and hypermedia into their own thought processes where they reach out to a broader range of external resources; form a greater consideration of who their information will be presented to; interact in longer-term projects with a broader context; and make stronger connections to subsequent learning and events.

Currently, technology implementation in schools is far ahead of the learning curve for understanding how technology can be used to best improve education and what the implications of this are for the educational process. There's still an incredible need for research to understand how technology can be used to improve education.

1.0 Introduction

This paper researches the impact of computer technologies on kinesthetic learners, one of seven learning intelligences identified by Howard Gardner in 1983. Because the characteristics of the kinesthetic learner include learning through touching, moving, interacting with space and processing knowledge through bodily sensations, only highly interactive technologies that appeal to this group such as multimedia, hypermedia, visualization, and interactive computer programs are included in this research.

The research results of eight studies covering education and technology are summarized and then analyzed for their impact on learning and the learning process itself.

These studies include:

The Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project

The Collaborative Visualization (CoVis) Project

The Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) Project

SchoolNet / Rescol Report: The emerging contribution of online resources and tools to classroom learning and teaching

The American Culture in Context: Enrichment for Secondary Schools (ACCESS) Project

The Lehrer HyperAuthor study

The Highly Interactive Computing Environments (HI-CE) research

The Lego/Logo project.

2.0 Statement of the Problem

Computer technology has made its way to the classroom even though its impact on learning isn't fully understood. Some educational experts question the value that technologies such as multimedia, hypermedia, visualization, and interactive computing have on the learning process. Others are concerned that these tools may be useful, but will dramatically change the learning and teaching processes in ways that should be better understood.

3.0 Hypothesis With Operational Definitions

New computer technologies such as multimedia, hypertext / hypermedia, visualization, and interactive computer programs can all contribute to the learning process by engaging students in their work. Not only is technology likely to accelerate learning, it is also likely to fundamentally improve the way the learning process and the classroom environment.

Multimedia is defined as more than one concurrent presentation medium such as CD-Rom or a Web site. Multimedia is used in this report to mean the combination of any of the following.

Text and sound

Text, sound, and still or animated graphic images

Text, sound, and video images

Video and sound

Multiple display areas, images, or presentations presented concurrently

The use of a speaker or actors and "props" together with sound, images, and motion video

Multimedia can be distinguished from traditional motion pictures or movies because it is smaller and less expensive and because it can offer audience interactivity or involvement. Multimedia is more complex in both production and presentation than simple text-and-images.

Hypertext is the organization of information units into connected associations that a user can choose to make.

An instance of such an association is called a hypertext link. Hypertext was the main concept that led to the invention of the World Wide Web which is information content connected by hyperlinks.

Hypermedia extends the notion of the hypertext link to include links among any set of multimedia objects such as sound, motion video and virtual reality and typically connotes a higher level of user interactivity than hypertext.

Interactive computer programs allow a dialog to occur between a human being and a computer program.

Games are an example of a program that fosters a great amount of activity. Although business applications such as an order entry application allow a user to interactive with the program, they do so in a very constrained bi-directional way and are not classified as interactive computer programs.

Lastly, Visualization is the process of representing abstract business or scientific data as images that can aid in understanding the meaning of the data. Visualization is only explored within the context of multimedia and hypermedia for the purposes of this study.

4.0 Literature Review

4.1 Background

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner and presented in his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner identified seven learning intelligences and how these groups are able to best learn:

Intelligence How they best learn


Saying, hearing and seeing words


Categorizing, classifying and working with abstract patterns/relationships


Visualizing, using the mind's eye and working with colors/pictures


Using rhythm, melody and music


Sharing, comparing, relating, cooperating and interviewing


Touching, moving, interacting with space and processing knowledge through bodily sensations


Working alone, individualized projects, self-paced instruction

In addition to multiple intelligences, people also have different learning styles to process information. People either receive information through what they see (visual), what they hear (auditory), or through their sense of touch and body awareness (tactile/kinesthetic).

Computers have proven to be a very effective learning tool, due in part to its ability to appeal to different intelligences and learning styles. Computers technologies, in general, may provide the following beneficial impacts:


Impact on learning:


Enables computer to "read" and "listen" (voice recognition; speech synthesis)


Provides opportunity to tap into multiple learning styles; gets kids attention; show and tell


Engages learner by giving choices in which sequence information is presented


Gives access to vast amounts of information in electronic format


Provides opportunity for distance education and collaborative learning

4.2 Computers and Kinesthetic Learning

According to kinesthetic learning experts, there are differences in the way kinesthetic intelligences like to interact act with and use the computer in the learning process. Those with kinesthetic intelligence like to be actively engaged in learning and typically relate well to the following technologies:

Keyboarding, mouse, joystick, and other devices for movement

Scientific probes and microscopes

Video production - skits, dances, sports, role playing, demonstrations

Animation - Macromedia Flash

Claymation - sequence of movement

Handheld Palms and Alphasmart - you can carry them everywhere

Virtual Field Trip - using and creating

Lego Logo and Robotics - other construction kit projects

Digital still and video cameras - skits, plays, role playing, demonstrations

The computer's reliance on eye-hand coordination for their operation such as keyboarding and the use of the mouse or touch-screen are highly effective for making a kinesthetic student an active participant in the learning process and for reinforcing learning. The popularity of video games is due to the total engagement of the player and skillful physical response to the challenges.

Computer programs such as "Lego Logo" offer ways for kinesthetic learners to connect the computer to external manipulatives, such as Lego blocks with gears, wheels, and motors. Using these, students can invent different machine types to control through computer programs they develop themselves. Other computer 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 either physical or scientific experiments and the program analyzes and displays the results on a computer screen.

Computer simulations enable students to experience events seldom encountered in everyday life. With "Electronic field trips." 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.

Multi-media technology 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. The production of filmed plays or dance programs also involves and exercises kinesthetic intelligence.

4.3 Existing Research

In 2002 there were approximately forty-five…[continue]

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