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Tagged With: differentiation

Differentiate with Tech–Starts June 12th!

How to Make Differentiation Fast and Easy with Tech

Starts Monday! Last chance to sign up. This Ask a Tech Teacher online class is only offered for college credit. Click the link above and select MTI 563.

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Categories: Online education | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #127: 12 Tips on Hard-to-teach Classes

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #127–12 Tips on Hard-to-teach Classes

Category: Differentiation

Sub-category: Teaching, Classroom management, Pedagogy

Here are twelve ideas:

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Categories: Classroom management, Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #126–7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #126: 7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

Category: Differentiation

Sub-category: Teaching, Pedagogy

Here are seven ways to differentiate instruction every day:

  1. While some students take their time to carefully finish a project as suits their learning style, others slam through the steps, looking for ‘what’s next’. Both are fine. Have a lot of authentic activities going on in your classroom so students are encouraged to work at their own pace. Let them self-manage their education. Be clear about your expectations, and then trust them to find their way. Have links on the class internet start page for organic learning like keyboarding practice and sponge websites that tie into subject area inquiry.
  2. Let students communicate ideas with not only text, but layout, color, and images. These can be graphic organizers like Venn Diagrams or pyramids, or an infographic made in ly. Let students
  3. Show students how to add pictures, borders, and fonts. Some students will tolerate the words to get to the decorating.
  4. Use online tools like Discovery Education’s Puzzle Maker to review concepts. Move away from rubrics and study guides. Anything that gamifies learning will go down easier with students. They are digital natives so let them learn in a more natural way.
  5. In fact, gamify anything possible. There are an amazing number of high-quality simulations that teach through games–Minecraft,iCivicsMission US, Lemonade StandHere’s a long list. There’s probably one for every subject. Take advantage of them.
  6. If students aren’t excited by the tools and widgets you offer, let them suggest their own. If they can make the argument for it, let them use it.
  7. Always offer do-overs. I call them ‘Mulligans’. In a differentiated classroom, let students redo an assignment. What if they didn’t understand? Or were sick? How does trying harder defeat education’s goal of learning? With technology, all students do is open their project and continue work based on your feedback. That’s cool. Rest assured: When you offer this in your classroom, most students won’t take you up on it. It’s too outside-the-box. You won’t be deluged with double the work. But, be happy if you are.

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Categories: Classroom management, Education reform | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

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Categories: Classroom management, Images, Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

169 Tech Tip #146: 18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #146–18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: Classroom Management, Writing, Differentiation

Here are eighteen ideas for class warm-up and exit tickets:

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Categories: Classroom management, Tech tips, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

4 Ways to Use Podcasts in the Classroom

podcast in the classroomAs teachers get more creative about differentiating for student needs, we’re turning to tools that use other approaches than writing a report or creating a class play. One I hear more and more about is podcasts. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Emily Southey, has some thoughts on how to integrate podcasts into your lesson planning:

In the age of technology, students and teachers alike listen to podcasts in their spare time. They are funny, entertaining, and often educational. Podcasts are episodic series of audio, video, or PDF files that can be downloaded or streamed through the internet. In addition to the podcasts that already exist in the world, there are enormous benefits to having your students record podcasts of their own. I have found that podcasts can be used both as material for class and as an evaluation tool. What follows are 4 ways that podcasts can be introduced into the classroom. Enjoy!

As an alternative to an oral report

Oral presentations can get old for both the students and the teacher. Having students record their presentations as podcasts and upload them to the class website can be both a class time saver as well as a medium where students can express their creativity with the option to include music or interviews. In addition, assigning a podcast instead of an oral report may allow the shyer students in the class to flourish, as their fears about standing up in front of their peers will be mitigated. This lesson plan from Dr. Pastore highlights several topics that students could create a podcast on with links to examples of podcasts that cover courses ranging from French as a second language to math.

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Categories: Multimedia, Web Tools | Tags: | Leave a comment

7–no 10, wait 12–OK, 13 Skills I Teach With Blogging

Kozzi-little_boys_with_laptops-857x606Blogging has become de rigeur in the Grade 3-8 classroom. It is flexible, scalable, and encourages diversity in both learning and teaching. Handled right, blogs can be used for pretty much any need that arises in the classroom. It has the added benefit of being an activity that students want to do. They like that it’s online, with lots of multimedia options, and a focus not on writing but communication.

I decided to track the skills I teach through blogging. When I started, I had seven, but as I continued, it exploded to this long list that I’m adding to even as I write this post. Read through these, tell me other ways you use it in your class:

Collaboration

Students collaborate on blogs when they comment on the ideas of others. They can also take it a step further by collaborating on the blog itself. Be co-owners of the blog, themed to a particular topic, and work together to fulfill goals.

Developing a profile

Blog profiles must be pithy, concise, and clear. What a great way for students to think through what makes them who they are and share it in as few words as possible. I am constantly reworking my own as I figure out a better way to communicate the gist of who I am.

Differentiation

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Categories: Blogging, Digital Citizenship, Social media, Tech tips, Web Tools, Writing | Tags: | 2 Comments

Why We Differentiate

differentiateWe all have that student who just doesn’t get what we’re saying. We want to blame him/her–may even start that direction–but then, many of us, we pause to listen. What’s s/he saying–something about not understanding the problem? What’s s/he mean? What if we [fill in the blank with something outside the box]?

Here’s a 12-year old who happily and successfully sees the world as no one else does. And the world is a better place because he does. His message:

Stop learning and start thinking.

Solve problems your own way.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq-FOOQ1TpE&w=560&h=315]

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Categories: Classroom management, Education reform | Tags: | Leave a comment

New Students? 7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

differentiate with techThere are two areas where technology can optimize learning better than any other educational strategy. I’m not talking about iPads or laptops or apps. I mean how you deliver your message–done in such a way that more students are able to achieve their goals.
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The first is problem solving. If you want students to be critical thinkers, to take responsibility for their own learning and in doing so, excel–and you do–you must must MUST use technology to teach problem solving. More on that later.
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Today, we’ll talk about differentiation. If you struggle to adapt your lessons to the multitude of learning styles in your classroom, struggle no more. Technology is like that friendly laugh that diffuses a tense situation, the tale wag from a rottweiler to tell you s/he’s on your side. Tech will become your classroom’s transformative tool–a magic wand that can adapt any inquiry to student needs. Take the cornerstone of literacy–the book report–as an example. When a teacher assigns this sort of compare/contract, who/what/when/where exercise, students thinks paragraphs of words and grammar struggles. Thanks to technology, that project is no longer a nightmare for everyone challenged by phrases and paragraphs. Now, students have options that transcend pencil on paper. Communicate the essential ideas with a comic tool like Zimmer Twins, an art tool like SumoPaint. How about an audio tool like Voki–or a movie maker like Animoto. The challenge for you as teacher is to provide those tech options and then encourage students to be risk-takers in using them to achieve the project goals. The challenge for students is to analyze what’s available and select the tool that uses their learning style.
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You’re probably thinking that before students can use these fancy tools, you have to learn all of them–and teach them. Where’s that sort of time come from–and by the way, you aren’t one of the ‘techie’ teachers. Do I have good news for you. The ideas below require very little prep from you. Students learn to read the screen, look for something that says ‘start’, not be afraid to make mistakes, and collaborate with neighbors on the learning. This can happen as young as 2nd grade. The hardest part for you is to facilitate rather than step in and solve their problems. Students will get used to the new reality that teachers provide guidance not step-by-step instruction. I promise.
Categories: Classroom management, Teacher resources | Tags: | 1 Comment

Dear Otto: Use Tech to Differentiate Lessons?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Ali:

I would love some information on differentiating tech lab lessons. I struggle with that the most in my lab.

I love tech for differentiating. There are so many software programs and online tools that speak to a student’s individual interests–Word (for writing-intensive), Publisher (for multimedia), PowerPoint (for multimedia), Voki (for video/audio), Big Huge Labs (for lots of choices). For 5th grade and up, I have a unit I co-teach with the grade-level teacher. I introduce students to about 18 online tools, then they pick one for a class project (whatever inquiry is going on in the classroom at the time). Here’s a link to my collection. You will want to those that suit your group. Favorites are Voki, Poll Daddy, Animoto, Photostory, a mind mapper. In all the years I’ve taught this unit, I am constantly amazed at student choices. those I would have predicted loved writing pick video tools, and vice versa.

Here are some more ideas for differentiating instruction in your classroom:

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Categories: Art, Classroom management, Dear Otto, Education reform, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment