Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Learning Styles: Visual, Audio, Kinesthetic...Hypertext?

It has come to my attention that literary/book reading is becoming less and less common. Blame it on whatever you want: TV, the internet, video games, cell phones, blogging, etc. One of my big concerns is the potential effect on STEM education. It seems to me that math, science, and the lot require slow, methodical, and linear thinking that can only be done through book reading. But perhaps I'm wrong.

Is it possible to teach linear processes like physics in a nonlinear fashion? We've seen the emergence of hypertext, nonlinear, and video game-based story telling--so can we get students to learn more serious subjects in the same environments? Some studies suggest that it might be possible (here, here, and here). My question would be, if we cannot adapt necessary learning to the environments kids know, can or should we force them to use plain old paper and blackboards to learn the stuff they'll need to keep up with nations that ARE still using them? What would be the result?

I must contemplate further. Inputs or additional sources/references welcome.

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