This morning a colleague sent an email to myself and another colleague. He was getting started on a project for a course we are all taking that focuses on educational software and technology and was asking for some pointers about a particular presentation design website we were exploring. I quickly replied that I found the best approach was simply to jump in and start “playing” paying no mind to the lengthy tutorials. I also indicated that I found the templates very useful as they allowed me to back track and see what had been done in the design. At the same time I was sending my email, the other colleague was sending his reply. Without having seen my response, he replied that he found the tutorials extremely beneficial and that starting from scratch with a blank presentation was much easier than following the templates. What a perfect, real-world, real-time example of different learning styles!
I think it is safe to say that a vast majority of educators are on board with the fact that there are different types of learners. From Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to Tomlinson’s Differentiated Instruction to Kolb’s Experiential Learning Styles to Lowry’s True Colors there are many ways to explore and examine who your students are. The most important thing is to embrace the fact that no two learners are alike and to make every attempt to provide opportunities for success that meet the needs of all.