Leveraging Technology to Differentiate Instruction

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What is differentiated instruction? Are you already doing it? How can technology support and enhance differentiation? In this session, we address how to leverage technology to support teaching to multiple learning styles and modalities, with an emphasis on practical technology-infused lessons and classroom management strategies.

Text of Leveraging Technology to Differentiate Instruction

  • 1. Leveraging Technology to Differentiate Instruction by Lauren Fee Instructional Technology Services of Central Ohio

2. A Definition

  • Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meetindividual needs .Whether teachers differentiatecontent ,process ,products , or thelearning environment , the use of ongoingassessmentandflexible groupingmakes this a successful approach to instruction.
  • -Carol Ann Tomlinson

3. Simply Put

  • Response to learner needs
  • Recognition of students varying background knowledge/preferences
  • Instruction that appeals to students differences(Personal Learning Environments)
    • iGoogle
    • PageFlakes
    • ZCubes

4. A lot to consider

  • Learning styles, skill levels and rates
  • Learning difficulties
  • Language proficiency
  • Background experiences and knowledge
  • Interests
  • Motivation
  • Social/emotional development
  • Various intelligences

5. Teachers Can Differentiate

  • According to Students

Readiness Interest Learning Profile Content Process Product 6. Technologies to DifferentiateContent, Process & Product

  • Web searching ( Grokker-WikiMindMap )
  • Simple Searching ( Yahoo!)
  • Podcasts ( Coulee Kids-60 Sec Science )
  • Blog ( Getting started-Edublogs)
  • Wikis ( East Side Community School)
  • Google ( Docs-Custom Search Engine )
  • WebQuest ( Matrix )
  • Video/Photo editing ( Jumpcut)

7. 8. Sternbergs Theory 9. Partial List of Learning Modality Tasks/Skills http://www.usd.edu/trio/tut/ts/style.html

  • make
  • show in lab
  • transform
  • craft
  • simulate
  • produce
  • dance
  • use tools to..
  • act out
  • build
  • demonstrate
  • model


  • pop-up
  • video
  • graph
  • model
  • cartoon
  • illustrate
  • web
  • timeline
  • chart
  • map
  • overlay
  • diagram


  • perform
  • converse
  • argue
  • sing
  • cook/taste
  • debate
  • interview
  • question
  • discuss
  • speech
  • broadcast
  • recite


  • phone
  • speech
  • compose
  • rhythm
  • ad/jingle
  • persuade
  • chant
  • commercial
  • podcast
  • music
  • soundscape
  • radiocast

Auditory 10. Foundations of DI Pre-assessment Flexible grouping Instruction Formative assessmentAdjust Instruction Flexible grouping Summative assessment 11. What to Pre-Assess

  • Readiness
  • A students entry point relative to a particular understanding or skill.
  • Interest
  • Refers to a childs affinity, curiosity, or passion for a particular topic or skill.
  • Learning Profile
  • It is shaped by intelligence preferences, gender, culture, or learning style.
  • TomlinsonThe Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners

12. Technology andPre-Assessment

  • KWL / Online Pre-tests ( Discovery School)
  • Journal Entry/Blog( Edublog )
  • Graffiti Wall ( Wiki )
  • Video
  • OnlineMultiple Intelligence Inventories
  • AbiatorsOnline Learning Styles Inventory
  • Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire
  • Exit Cards

13. Technology and Summative Assessment

  • Electronic Portfolio( Helen Barrett )
    • Process of developing
    • Examples
    • Traditional technology tools
    • Web 2.0 tools
      • Blogs/Wikis
      • Google Docs/Spreadsheet
      • Podcasting

14. Instructional Strategies

  • Tiered Activities
  • Learning Contracts
  • Choice Boards
    • Menu
    • Bingo
    • RAFTs

15. Tiered Activities

  • Teachers use tiered activities so all students focus on essential understandings and skills but at different levels of complexity, abstractness, and open-endedness.
          • - Tomlinson

16. Tiered Activity Writing a Persuasive Essay 4th6th Grade Classroom Students will be able to write a five-paragraph essay that states a point of view, defends the point of view, and uses resources to support the point of view.The essay will meet the criteria on the state writing rubric. Students will be able to state a point of view and successfully defend the idea using two paragraphs that defend the point of view using main ideas and supporting details.The paragraphs will meet the criteria on the state writing rubric. Students will be able to write a five-sentence paragraph that successfully states and supports a main idea.The paragraph will meet the criteria on the state writing rubric. Assessment Students will review thegraphic organizerfor a persuasive essay.Students will be given explicit instruction in locating sources and quotes for their essays. As a prewriting activity, students will use the graphic organizer to organize their essay.Students will also compile a list of five sources that defend their main point. Students will receive a model of a persuasive essay and agraphic organizerthat explains the construction of a persuasive essay.Students will also receive explicit instruction in writing a persuasive essay. As a prewriting activity, students will use the graphic organizer to plan their writing. Students will receive a model of a five-sentence paragraph and explicit instruction in constructing the paragraph. As aprewriting activity , students will list their topic and develop a list of at least three things that support their topic. Instruction/ Activity Students will determine a topic, state a point of view, and write an essay of at least five paragraphs that uses multiple sources to defend that point of view. Students will determine a topic, state a point of view, and write two paragraphs defending that point of view. Students will determine a topic and willwrite a five-sentenceparagraph with a main idea, three supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. Outcome/ Objective Advanced Intermediate Beginning 17. Learning Contracts In essence, a learning contract is a negotiated agreement between teacher and students that gives students some freedom in acquiring skills and understanding that a teacher (students) deems important at a given time.- Tomlinson 18. Designing a Differentiated Learning Contract

  • A Learning Contract may have the following components
  • A Skills Component
    • Focus is on skills-based tasks
    • Assignments are based on pre-assessment of students readiness
    • Students work at their own level and pace
  • A Content component
    • Focus is on applying, extending, or enriching key content (ideas, understandings)
    • Requires sense making and production
    • Assignment is based on readiness or interest
  • A Time Line
    • Teacher sets completion date and check-in requirements
    • Students select order of work (except for required meetings and homework)
  • The Agreement
    • The teacher agrees to let students have freedom to plan their time
    • Students agree to use the time responsibly
    • Guidelines for working are spelled out
    • Consequences for ineffective use of freedom are delineated
    • Signatures of the teacher, student and parent (if appropriate) are placed on the agreement

19. I will read: I will look at and listen to: I will write: I will draw: I will need: Heres how I will share what I know: My question or topic is: I will finish by this date: To find out about my question or topic Learning Contract #1 Name _______________________ 20. Learning Contract #2 To demonstrate what I have learned about ____________________, I want to _ Write a report _ Put on a demonstration _ Set up an experiment _ Develop acomputer presentation _ Build a model