Monday, March 30, 2009

Technology Empowers Differentiated Instruction

Technology offers a great potential to help students and prepare them with 21st century skills but how does that same technology help teachers differentiate instruction for all students? In January of this year ISTE provided several examples of classroom projects that helped students learn while keeping them engaged.

Certainly students enjoy school better and learn more when they are being taught in ways that respond to their readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. Teachers can better meet these needs by changing four elements of their instruction:
content, process, product, and learning environment. Teachers can differentiate their instruction by changing some of their instructional strategies, management strategies and including software applications, video streaming, the Internet and other technology resources. Differentiated Instruction should include digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication, and high productivity which should lead to better student achievement.

Teachers can better understand their students by doing interest inventories, surveys, observations or interviews. You can check out:

Differentiated Strategies

  1. Tic-tac-toe board of activities where students choose to demonstrate their understanding of a topic by making a choice from the board. To learn more about tic-tac-toe boards go to

  2. I-Search – students work individually or in pairs using the internet and other research tools to investigate a topic of interest. A couple of examples:

  3. WebQuests - students work collaboratively using web research tools to investigate a teacher-designed topic of interest. Examples:

  4. R.A.F.T.T. – this strategy integrates reading and writing in a non-traditional way with students creating a product that illustrates their understanding.
    • R.A.F.T.T. stands for:
    • Role – the role of the character
    • Audience – audience for the product
    • Format – the way a student choose to show their understanding
    • Topic – the final product: who, what, when where, how
    • Technology – software application used by the student
    • What is R.A.F.T.T. –

  5. Jigsaw – students are assigned a subtopic of a particular topic of study within a group. Students research their subtopic and then “jigsaw” with other subtopic experts from the other groups to produce information about the subtopic. Once complete the student returns to the original or “home” group to share their knowledge. The home groups can build a wiki to share the information learned.

For more information about differentiating instruction using technology go to


    Linda McDermon said...

    Great list of resources -- it's so difficult to stay current with so many subjects and topics and ways to present information in elementary school -- this list is great! Thanks!

    sample said...
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    Free Online Quiz Maker said...

    Great Post!
    Keep it up...

    online survey and poll said...

    Nice post!
    This list is great!