Differentiated Instruction: Getting Personal with Technology How a South Carolina elementary school has used computers to engage students in a learning process calibrated to their individual needs and abilities. First grader Victoria, left, uses an AirLiner remote slate to do math problems on an interactive whiteboard from a distance. At right, Forest Lake Elementary prominently displays all the awards it has earned on the school facade. Credit: Grace Rubenstein When you walk into any given classroom at Forest Lake Elementary School, in Columbia, South Carolina, you see there is no one thing happening. Then again, one thing is happening everywhere in the classroom: Students are thoroughly engaged in learning. Forest Lake, a public school with a diverse population of 592 students in grades preK-5, is a technology magnet school. One Teacher's Journey: Hear Susan Crabtree, a 30-plus-year veteran teacher, describe how she overcame her fear and learned to love high-tech teaching. Many Sizes Fit All Running Time: 5 min. Playing to Their Strengths
Inclusion in the 21st-century classroom: Differentiating with technology - Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice In this video, students in a gifted classroom use the multi-user learning environment Quest Atlantis to explore issues related to the creation of a game reserve in Tanzania. Interviews with the teacher and students offer perspectives on the value of using virtual worlds in the classroom . About the videoDownload video (Right-click or option-click) The diversity of the 21st-century classroom creates numerous challenges for teachers who may not have known the same diversity themselves as students. While many teachers express frustration over high-stakes accountability standards, they acknowledge pressure to “teach to the test,” fearing non-proficient scores, dissatisfaction from school administrators, and in smaller systems, the potential risk of embarrassment when scores are made public. Differentiation as effective instruction By contrast, the practice of differentiating instruction helps teachers address rigorous standards while responding to the individual needs of students.
Digital Differentiation Technology is a tool that can be used to help teachers facilitate learning experiences that address the diverse learning needs of all students and help them develop 21st Century Skills. At it's most basic level, digital tools can be used to help students find, understand and use information. When combined with student-driven learning experiences fueled by Essential Questions offering flexible learning paths, it can be the ticket to success. Here is a closer look at three components of effectively using technology as a tool for digital differentiation. Note: The interactive graphics you see below have been updated. The goal is to design student-driven learning experiences that are fueled by standards-based Essential Questions and facilitated by digital tools to provide students with flexible learning paths. Essential Questions: Student-driven learning experiences should be driven by standards-based Essential Questions. Teacher Facilitated Learning Experiences:
Technology empowers differentiated instruction ISTE webinar offers new strategies for ensuring that all students learn by tailoring instruction to their abilities, needs, and interests By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor Read more by Meris Stansbury February 2nd, 2009 Although many educators realize technology’s enormous potential to help them differentiate their instruction so that all students can learn, regardless of students’ needs, abilities, or learning styles, it might be hard for them to find concrete applications of this approach to emulate in their classrooms. The webinar, titled “Differentiated Instruction + Tech = Powerful Learning,” was presented by Grace Smith and Stephanie Throne–authors of the book Differentiating Instruction with Technology in K-5 Classrooms and the soon-to-be-published Differentiating Instruction with Technology in Middle School Classrooms. Smith and Throne described differentiated instruction (DI) as a strategy that is centered on the belief that students learn in many different ways. First steps
100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner For those unfamiliar with the term, a learning style is a way in which an individual approaches learning. Many people understand material much better when it is presented in one format, for example a lab experiment, than when it is presented in another, like an audio presentation. Determining how you best learn and using materials that cater to this style can be a great way to make school and the entire process of acquiring new information easier and much more intuitive. Here are some great tools that you can use to <a href=">cater to your individual learning style, no matter what that is. Visual Learners Visual learners learn through seeing and retain more information when it's presented in the form of pictures, diagrams, visual presentations, textbooks, handouts and videos. Auditory Learners Auditory learners do best in classes where listening is a main concern. Kinesthetic Learners Kinesthetic learners do best when they interact and touch things.
What Works for Differentiating Instruction in Elementary Schools Customizing your teaching to suit each child makes eminent sense. Kids are different, they learn differently, so we should teach them differently, right? But when you're staring out at 20 or 30 students as individual as snowflakes, you may find yourself asking that ever-daunting question: "How?" The short answer is: one step at a time. Here are their tips -- combined with some advice from Edutopia bloggers and members of the Edutopia community -- on how you can get started. In 5 minutes you can Read students' files. In 5 days you can Arrange desks into collaborative clusters or stations. In 5 weeks you can Make a scaffolding toolkit. In 5 months you can Get to know the diverse cultures and experiences in your classroom. In 5 years you can Continue building your strategies and tools. What do you think of Schools that Work?
A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction Introduction Does effectively teaching 30 students in one classroom require teachers to develop 30 lessons, one tailor-made for each student? Or should teachers “aim for the middle” and hope to reach most students in a given lesson? The answer is not simple. While most would agree it is impractical to try to individualize every lesson for every child, research has shown that teaching to the middle is ineffective. It ignores the needs of advanced students, often leaving them unchallenged and bored, while it intimidates and confuses lower functioning learners. What is Differentiation? Simply stated, differentiation is modified instruction that helps students with diverse academic needs and learning styles master the same challenging academic content. How to Start Four planning steps set the stage for effective differentiated instruction. Vary Materials Nonfiction and fiction, written at a variety of reading levels. Vary Process Vary Assessment Conclusion References Good, M. View Full Article
Tools4SucessNotes - Differentiating Instruction Using Technology What Is Differentiated Instruction? (By: Carol Ann Tomlinson) Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Why Use Technology to Differentiate Instruction-- Why Not! One of the major benefits of using technology in the classroom is the ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student. When Deciding On What Digital Tools To Use....ask these questions: Let’s start with a premise: Planning differentiated instruction enhanced by technology is a perfect fit for the principles of understanding by design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) in which teachers plan instruction based on the results they intend for their students. Sample Lesson Student Interactive-Literary GraffitiRubiStar Classroom Strategies Using The Eight Multiple Intelligences Strategies for Differentiating Instruction Strategies That Differentiate-Grades K-4 Assess Your Strengths Use this online quiz to help you determine which intelligences are strongest for you. What Are My Learning Styles
Tools for Differentiation / FrontPage Advocates Say Differentiated Instruction Can Raise the Bar for All Learners | Parents & Community | WEAC | Parents & Community | Wisconsin Education Association Council By Mary Anne Hess* A seventh grade boy spends his time in English class struggling to read at a beginner’s level. A girl at a nearby desk with her nose in the book could probably tackle a Harvard literature class. Seated in between is a youngster who’s a whiz at math but takes a whole period to write three English sentences because he’s much more comfortable in his native Spanish. That’s diversity, as any educator knows, and — in one form or another — it’s always been a part of American education. "In the United States our goal is to educate all comers," says Dr. Many other countries cull the academic haves from the have-nots at various rungs on the education ladder. Teachers have faced this dilemma since the days of the one-room schoolhouse, which mixed 6- to 16-year-olds in the same space. "But our choice isn’t between sending them down the hall or doing nothing,” Tomlinson argues. Teachers Can Benefit "It’s more engaging for the teacher, too. How Differentiation Works How? Carol A.
Differentiation - tools, tips and resources Differentiation is an important aspect of education. Students learn differently, have different needs, different backgrounds, different skills, different ability levels, different interests and more. As educators, we try to create engaging lesson activities that provide a variety of learning experiences and allow students to demonstrate their learning in different ways. Differentiation should occur in both how students learn and gain knowledge and skills, and in how they demonstrate and are assessed on what they have learned. “In the practice of education, differentiation is defined as working to address the abilities, interests, and needs (both perceived and real) of individuals. Here are some resources, tips, and tools on differentiation: Digital Differentiation - ideas and tools for differentiating with digital resources Tools for Differentiation - helping teachers meet the needs of all learners Differentiating with Web 2.0 Technologies
Spotlight on Differentiated Instruction - Education Week Targeting students' individual needs could help build a kind of individualized education plan for every student. January 29, 2010 - Digital Directions Many new teachers need help adjusting to the growing diversity of today's public schools, according to a new survey report. September 10, 2008 - Teacher Many experts say online courses are especially suited to provide students with a personalized learning experience. Carol Ann Tomlinson, a leading authority on differentiated instruction, discussed the core principles of the practice and take your questions on using it in the classroom and as a strategy for whole-school improvement. May 7, 2009 - Teacher (Web) Rather than a focus on national standards, writes Stanford University Professor Nel Noddings, more attention should be paid to problems that are truly pressing, such as reducing the number of high school dropouts. January 7, 2010 - Education Week Carol Ann Tomlinson explains how differentiated instruction works and why we need it now.