It is amazing how far technology has come in today’s society. Now, teachers can differentiate using technology. Differentiation is key to ensuring our students are successful. With all of the technology many of our students have access to, it’s important that we utilize these tools to our benefit. Check out this great guest blog post from guest blogger Lyndsey from Lit with Lyns. Lyndsey has been teaching for 14 years and also shares her teaching ideas in her TPT Store.
When I first started teaching, I thought that differentiating (meeting students where they are) was going to be near impossible to do. With the wide variety of learning levels that teachers often have in their classroom, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with trying to meet ALL of their needs. With the implementation of technology, differentiation becomes manageable.
Here are 5 ways to digitally differentiate digitally in your classroom:
- Google Classroom is a free web service that can be used to distribute and grade assignments. With this tool, teachers can assign digital activities to specific students, rather than assigning them to the whole class. This allows the teacher to assign different work to certain students who may not be working on the same lesson as everyone else. If everyone is working on a Chromebook – no one except the student and teacher knows exactly what each student is learning
- Technology can also be used to help students express their ideas in different ways. For example, for your students who enjoy speaking there are websites that are very fitting for their learning preference VoiceThread and Screencast O’Matic are two websites for your students to try. These websites are great for allowing students to express themselves orally instead of writing or typing their responses.
- Websites such as Edpuzzle allow you to personalize learning by finding videos (from YouTube, Khan Academy, your own computer, or any other location) that address particular skills and then assign them to students. For example, if certain students needed help on writing thesis statements, the teacher could assign a video lesson to just those that need to work on this while others can move on to body paragraphs and rough drafts.
- Use collaboration by putting students into purposeful groups and allowing them to collaborate on Google Docs. The teacher could assign a specific topic they would like them to address, or students could be given a few options to choose from.
- Newsela is an innovative way to easily differentiate informational articles. Each article comes in 5 different lexile levels so that your students can all be learning at their own level while still reading about the same topic. There is a free and paid option. Each article comes with 4 multiple choice questions and a short response.