Our campus has been having some great conversations centered on developing tiered lessons that allow for differentiation depending not only on ability level but on learning modality. How can we reach a student at their appropriate cognitive level while respecting whether they are an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner? Now, I am no cognitive scientist nor am I an expert at developing curriculum. But I do know that meeting kids where they are is a good idea. How we implement that is a different story. Haven't figured that one out.
Last year I had a student who would have bounced off the walls if I didn't keep him engaged. Getting this kid to do homework was nearly impossible because it interfered with his gaming time.
"Look over your notes tonight," I'd say.
"Yeah, right," he'd think. "What do I want to do that for? I gotta date with Xbox Live!"
But then I started a channel on blip.tv where I would upload any mathcasts I created so students would have access to them from home. Dang it if this kid didn't subscribe to the RSS feed. It hit me when one day after a test, he told me:
"Hey Mr. Cox, that test was easy. I watched the examples on my PSP last night."
Do these digital natives process information differently? Is this a new modality?