#ISTE18 Session: 4 Edtech Ways to Differentiate in a Student-Centered Classroom

Monday, June 25 – 4 Edtech Ways to Differentiate in a Student-Centered Classroom

**Note: I don’t proofread live blogs due to the intensity of these conferences. So, apologies in advance for typos or ramblings!! Just trying to capture the learning here, people!

Differentiating assessment

  • Think of formative assessment as a GPS. They aren’t a gotcha- they are a guide.
  • Formative assessment doesn’t only drive learning, but it drives instruction. It’s the only way to know where the kids are in their learning (well yeah).
  • When you use formative assessment and find out that no learning has taken place, you have to change the instruction, not the learning
  • Polleverywhere- you can drop pins (need to look into this)
  • Quizzizz (similar to Kahoot but built in memes)
  • Flipgrid (OBVIOOOOOO) – now free! woo hoo!!
    • video reflections
    • record short message, comment, etc.
  • Let’s Recap – free, similar to flipgrid – the teacher can post a short video and the students can reply
  • Pear Deck (free premium subscription to everyone in the session!)
  • REMEMBER – you have all this data from these tech tools. Be sure you’re using it! Don’t bother using the tools if you aren’t going to look at the data. Remember that their primary purpose is to help YOU know where your kids are in their learning.

Differentiating content (readiness and interest)

  • Teachers in differentiated classrooms know what makes kids learn – it’s an art.
  • Content = requirements in the form of standards
  • Content is standard but students are not.
  • Do an interest inventory at the beginning of a new unit – find out what they’re interested in and using that to pique their interest (google form, padlet, draw, etc etc etc…the options are endless)
  • Don’t lower standards/expectations just because a kid may not be on grade level. The point is to make the content accessible and bring them up in an appropriate way.
  • Newsela – use this to help students access content at their level.
  • CK12 Flexbooks – Steven says they’re amazingggg. Open source textbook (educator/peer reviewed/editable/scalable to reading level) (ck12.org). You can edit the textbook and make it work for you- maybe you want to reorganize and teach stuff in a different order. You can also add stuff to it. Adjust reading levels. Mind = blown. And it’s free (the whole state of Utah has adopted it as their textbook model, FYI).
  • TweenTribune
  • The Kids Should See This (high-engagement videos)

Differentiating process

  • Even though learning styles are controversial, it still doesn’t hurt to have different formats of things.
  • Gamified learning
    • Classcraft
    • DuoLingo
    • Minecraft EDU
    • Classbadges
    • BreakoutEDU
  • Assistive technology
    • Bookshare
    • Rewordify
    • Newsela
    • Snap & Read
    • etc etc etc (I’m getting overwhelmed; there are so many)
  • Make sure kids know what assistive tech is already built into the devices (screen size, change font, brightness of screen, siri, etc.)
  • Do some research on choice boards- they are starting to replace webquests.
    • Gives the kids choice on how they can access information, but it’s controlled choice. They don’t have 1,000 options for how to learn, maybe 3.
  • Remember, it’s not good enough to use tech just for engagement. There needs to be a strong educational reason behind it. Ex: you can’t just go into a class and make your kids make podcasts because you went to a session and someone said “podcasts are awesome!”
  • Remember that there is no “right way” to demonstrate learning. Kids deserve better than recipes!
  • BookCreator is now available in the cloud, so they can make books on whatever device.
  • Snapchat idea:
    • Give an assignment where kids have 24 hours to do a snapstory for 24 hours where they show a day in the life of what it’s like to be George Washington. ;
    • But remember to follow the terms of service!!!! Don’t use apps below the age that they’re allowed to be used for.
  • Seesaw (more for elementary)

Remember that we teach students, not content! Keep that in mind, give them choice, and that will help you differentiate!

Differentiated assessment, content, process, and product. But remember that you can’t do this all of the time! It’s not gonna happen. Need to figure out – what is it that I’m trying to do in my class today? That should be your guide to what needs to be done to meet all the needs in your classroom.

Person to look into: John Hattie (visible learning)


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