Reprinted from the Chicago Urban Examiner.
FEBRUARY 23, 2013
BY: MICHELLE RHNEA
What is differentiated instruction for the Digital Age? This educational philosophy says that a teacher should provide students with diverse content, assorted processes, allowing for student to create variant products and artifacts as a result of every lesson.It says that no two learners are alike and to differentiate instruction means to vary the learning environment in recognition of variances in students’ readiness, prior knowledge, backgrounds, partialities, interests, experiences, and learning styles.Utilizing Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom is the ultimate differentiation instructional philosophy. It is based on the idea that no one student is alike. All the guidelines for differentiation are embodied into Web 2.0 classrooms at the mere touch of a key on the computer.
Web 2.0 not only makes differentiation possible, the technologies make differentiation easier than ever.In the past, differentiated instruction has not necessarily been easy for teachers. Web 2.0 technologies play an important part in verifying effectually grouping of students for instruction, to successful develop classroom management procedures, and identify engaged learners.Web 2.0 tools in the classroom is about students changing the way they use social networking to acquire knowledge by engaging in thought-provoking exploration, information storage in a multiplicity of locations, and forming collaborations to share useful information with others world-wide.
As 2013 fast approaches, many schools not only collect cell phones as mention previously, but they are still blocking social networking sites as they did in 1999.School districts who have moved into 21st Century learning are instead having collaborative discussion during professional learning community sessions. They are creating strategies, changing policy, organizing professional development, and promoting the use of social media to involve students in making positive global connections. Teachers, worldwide, are engaging themselves with Web 2.0 technologies so they can immerse their students into deeper involved learning experiences.
What is the real reason why all classrooms, especially those in urban and rural areas have not forged into 21st century teaching and learning? Why can’t students opt to either write in an online journal or digitalize their notes?Why aren’t more teachers digitizing teaching strategies for more effective differentiated instruction that meets student needs, and appeals to the new digital learners sitting in front of them every school day who ready to be engaged in active learning using the technology readily available and most often free?What teachers say about Web 2.0 Technologies in the classroom…
• Highly engages students
• Lessens the digital divide
• Improves students’ communication skills
• Maximizes students’ understand of content
• Increases student academic achievement
• Minimizes teacher workload
• Advantageous for helping teachers maximize class time
• Decreases prep time
• Makes learning fun for students
• Easily differentiates instruction
• Web 2.0 technologies makes my students love my teaching even more!
Should teaching evolve as technology does?
Using social media supports instruction that is appealing, engaging, participatory, involving, evolving, inclusive, collaborative, and exciting.
The old software are the new apps.
Apps are web-based software replacements created to be available for users from the browsers. Without sophisticated software installations, photos can be cropped, document created, files stored, podcasts recorded, videos created, and slide shoes can be shared. Web-based Applications are generally user friendly and easy to use. They don’t require normally special training or knowledge.