Educational Technology Innovation and Impact/Why use Technology in Education/Tactile-Kinesthetic Learners

There are various learning-styles, experts and theorists have classified learners as visual, auditory, or tactile (touching) and kinesthetic (moving). Learners that prefer the kinesthetic learning style like to learn best when they are involved or active and find it difficult to sit still for long periods, they may often use movement as a memory aid. Those who prefer a tactile way of learning may use writing and drawing as memory aids and learn well in hands-on activities like projects and demonstrations (Teaching English Website 2006)

Visual and in particular auditory learners tend to do well in the classroom. Tactile/kinesthetic learners typically do not. Research increasingly suggests that the majority of students classified as "at risk" of academic failure fit the description of concrete/common sense learner style, and favour the tactile/kinesthetic mode. Kinesthetic activities make abstract concepts concrete.

This is extremely important for students/learners who have difficulty dealing with abstractions. Whether the learner's preferred modality is auditory, visual, or tactile/kinesthetic, it is known that none of us always remembers what is seen or heard, and all of us remember best what we have had an opportunity to do.

An old Chinese proverb expresses this: "I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand."

The tactile learning style is essentially touch. It is activated through receptors in the skin. Our tactile sense gives us information about size, shape, texture, and temperature. The kinesthetic system is activated through movement, with its receptors located in the tendons and muscles. It is the kinesthetic system that recognizes, for example, when a dance sequence you are practicing has not been properly carried out (TRCC website 2006)

Tactile/Kinesthetic learners engage in the learning process through the use of role play, dramatization, cooperative games, simulations, creative movement and dance, multi-sensory activities and hands-on projects.

What teaching methods and activities suit the tactile or kinesthetic learner?, the following examples highlight some of these; • the game charades, it could be played as part of a vocabulary-building lesson • a historical event might be role played or dramatized • learning of new information might be demonstrated by creating a mural, diagram, model or decorated time line or mind map • students might be assigned to sort and arrange in proper sequence index cards with information and dates related to the topic being studied (MSET website 2006)

References (accessed 23/2/06) (accessed 2/3/06) (accessed 2/3/06)