What makes the iPad brilliant is that it caters to all different intelligences. In fact most apps touch upon all different types of intelligences. I’ve tried to match all of my favorite educational apps with their corresponding intelligences. For those apps that matched with more than one, I’ve used equivalents. For example, Showme and Educreations are interactive whiteboard apps that have got the same functions and both fit in the Visual and Aural box. Just like I don’t believe all students fit only in one intelligence box either. All skills need to be developed and the iPad especially makes it do easy to jump from one to the other and more importantly incorporate the different intelligences.
Students can use whichever app they chose to study. For example they can make a mindmap with Popplet, record notes with Dragon Dictation, make flashcards with MiniTeach, Skype with an expert, touch the equations with Algebra Touch. Each student will naturally develop their own study style and use it to it’s full potential.
Take the brilliant app “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” a beautiful read (intrapersonal + linguistic) with gorgeous graphics (visual), read aloud (aural) and readers influence story by tapping on objects (bodily-kinaethetic). So this one app alone already touches upon 5 out of 9 intelligences.
The debate whether Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences really excist or not has been contested quite a few times. I personally don’t believe that students really have just on or two type of intelligences. The point of categorizing these apps is that the students or teacher can easily work out which type of app optimally serves their purpose of learning the concerned content. As cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham wrote:
Children do differ in their abilities with different modalities, but teaching the child in his best modality doesn‘t affect his educational achievement. What does matter is whether the child is taught in the content‘s best modality.
So much like the ideas behind TPACK, consider which type of intelligence best serves the content and not just the student. For example, a student might do a multiple intelligences test and decide he is a visual learner. However, the best way to study the English irregular verbs is still to rhythmically repeat them one after the other thousands of times to make them stick in your brains. So don’t base your pedagogy on a tests and go and give this student a whole list of irregular verbs to passively read or draw pictures of.
Click on the app icons to see the app in the App Store.