Employing Multimodal Learning

Written by the Academic Technology Team

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”
- John Dewey

Learning through doing is not a novel educational concept, however, throughout the course of the last year, educators have had to reimagine what experiential learning looks like. All around campus, we are exploring and experimenting with new ways to present multimodal learning opportunities. 

Lower School


Teach Tech Playtime!
Last week, teachers were invited to the InGen to explore some of the neat high and low tech tools available for check-out to help enhance their lessons. By creating this open-ended free exploration, teachers were able to tinker with tools and software that they might not otherwise encounter. Sometimes, just jumping into using something new is all you need to spark curiosity and see how this could fit into your classroom curriculum. 

The teachers who participated in this Tech Playtime will get to dive deeper into the tools they choose and work with Jocelyn Paez and Rebekah Daniell over the coming months to explore more ways to use them. Ally Wickman has already jumped in with both feet and started using the 3D Doodlers with her students on enhancing complex sentence structures. Mary Jo Buckley, Alyssa Brackett, and Jackie Parks have plans to integrate BreakoutEDU into their curriculum. 



InGen Cardboard Challenge
5th graders are growing their knowledge of connecting cardboard through a series of cardboard challenges. By learning and utilizing different cardboard joining techniques, students can build a variety of objects and expand their knowledge of engineering. Students made posters displaying different joining techniques and created a final project that demonstrated their knowledge.  Projects included The Empire State Building, The Capitol, the Giza Pyramids and Mercedes Benz Stadium. 



Middle School


Making Digital Music in 7th Grade
Seventh grade students in Introduction to Digital Design are exploring digital media as a tool for creative expression.  Last week the challenge was to compose two short songs using Launchpad.  After discussing basic digital audio creation concepts like digital audio workstations, genres, audio clips, synching, tempo, and file formats, students were provided time to explore different genres of music to discover what resonated with them.  After a few very “sound rich” moments in class, each student produced two original songs that will be used for a culminating project.  The goal of this experience was to provide an opportunity for students to explore how to create in the digital space while also discovering how to express themselves through music.

Click HERE to hear an example! 

Upper School

       

















 


Ethan Greenberg - Physics and Astronomy
In Honors Astronomy/Astrophysics, students made infographics about solar weather using Canva. It was the first attempt at infographics and blending design, information, and images to learn about and then to teach about a concept of interest related to solar activity. Astronomy is very visual in nature and being able to use graphics and images to assimilate knowledge and then explain the phenomenon is crucial to deep learning. It also provides an opportunity to learn about the importance of design when attempting to convey information. As computer files, the infographics can also have animations which lends itself well to many of the phenomena we study. It is a different way to assess and present and think and challenges students to use multiple modalities which research suggests produces the highest levels of understanding and retention. One student commented how surprised she was that four people choose the same topic and their infographics were all different and that seeing people's personalities come out through their work was, "cool." I agree.


Rebecca Olivares - Math
For students to be successful in trigonometry, they need to have a solid understanding of the Unit Circle. When introducing the Unit Circle, students start with the “Paper Plate Activity.” I give each student a flimsy paper plate (the kind that is horrible at a barbecue) and ask them to provide two writing utensils that are different colors. We first talk about how to find the center of the plate, then I ask them to tell me all they know about the plate if I tell them the radius is 1. They quickly conclude that the circumference is 2pi. From there we make more folds in the plate and discuss how long of a distance it would be to travel halfway around the plate, a quarter of the way around the plate, etc. Every year students love this activity and it solidifies their understanding of the unit circle. This year, students said they planned to use their plates at lunch!
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