I am currently observing a second grade class. The students and teacher in the classroom use many multimodal methods of teaching such as; picture books, videos, smart-boards and computer games.
Every class, during math, the teacher separates the students into three different groups based on levels. When each group meets with the teacher, she uses a smart board to assist in her teaching. The students can come up to the board and write out their answers. The students really like using this technology and they are more motivated to participate since the teacher gives the students the control of working with the smart-board.
While the other math groups are not meeting with the teacher, they are able to use class laptops to play educational games. The student’s use of games reminds me of our lesson on video games. While the students are playing the educational math games they are extremely engaged and challenged. The games seem to emulate Gee’s principle of “pleasantly frustrating”. While the students play, they sometimes verbally express their frustrations, such as when they cannot figure out a problem, but are encouraged by the challenge and continue on playing.
Another area where multimodal learning is very evident is in the literacy centers. While the students are not in the group that meets with the teacher, they have the option to read books, often times with text and pictures, use laptops for educational games, and use laptops to watch book flix . Book flix are a great multi-dimensional way to encourage literacy. Most book flix have a lot of color, one of the design elements in the IX Tutorial. The book flix author is also able to add emphasis through images on the screen, another IX Tutorial design point. This type of emphasis would not be possible if the student were simply reading the book to themselves versus watching it on a screen.
Below is an example of what the book flix are like:
The curriculum that this school uses provides smart-board slides with their math lessons so it encourages the teachers to utilize this technology. By using a curriculum that is up to date, the students will benefit from the integration of modern technology.
After observing in my class, it is clear that students respond well to multimodal forms of learning. Whether it is using the smart-board, playing educational games on the computer, or watching book flix; incorporating multimodal forms of learning with technology has shown to really motivate the students that I am observing.