The new iPhone 5 just came out. I have some die hard friends who probably waited in a line somewhere to get their hands on it. Heres a Samsung parody to further the point.
So what does this have to do with learning? Learning styles have become an important aspect in the classroom and the workplace. Lets use the new iPhone as an example. When you finally get the phone in your hands, do you read the instructions? Maybe you search for some quick tips on the internet? Do you ask the sales person what the new changes are? Or are you like me just jump in and figure it out as you go? These are examples of different approaches to learning that we all take. Many of us use a combination of styles, but everyone has a predominant style thats used the most.
There are a few different schools of thought on Learning Styles. This week Ill highlight the basic three; visual, auditory and kinesthetic (VAK).
Visual learners: learn through seeing, take notes, sit up front, make eye contact and watch body language, orderly, prefer illustrations, diagrams, videos and handouts, picture the experience, and like to see what they are learning
- Do you hear what Im saying?
Auditory learners: learn through listening, often read aloud, hum or talk to themselves or others when bored, prefer lectures and collaboration, want people to really listen to them and focus on the tone and speed of speech
- Can you see what Im saying?
Kinesthetic learners: learn through moving and touching, active and like to take frequent breaks, use hands to gesture when speaking, hands-on activities and prefers to explore their space, communicate by touching like a pat on the back and often feels that the other 2 styles are insensitive
- How do you feel about the situation?
Now what? Your style guides your learning and how you internally perceive experiences. It also impacts the words you use and how you remember information. Understanding how you learn will help your professional and personal interactions. The key is to also realize how others learn. Maybe your customer needs to see your sales pitch, or how should you prepare for the next employee meeting to insure everyone is learning? Heres the challenge, try to work with each style. It will increase your ability to remember because you are using different parts of the brain for each Learning Style. Ill be back with the other styles, until then try to see, hear and feel what Im saying!