How do you differentiate instruction?

Using Technology to Personalize Learning

Whitney Hoffman Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Many schools are contemplating one to one laptop programs, but often teachers aren't sure if this will be a help or a distraction for students. However, some schools with one to one programs have found that students learn, over time, to use the tools responsibly and are as accountable for their work as they are with paper and pencil tasks.

In addition, the ability to submit work electronically helps students, especially those in middle school and beyond, deal with organizational issues. They can't lose their work, because it's online, and teachers know exactly when a project has been submitted, because all emails are date and time stamped.

How do you see technology playing into personalized learning? What are the challenges you see with implementing one on one programs in your classroom? Does this allow you more opportunities to assign work geared towards individual students needs or complicate it?

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Check out Pinckney Schools in

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Check out Pinckney Schools in Michigan. They have been using computers as the text book in middle school and have reciently purchased computers for every student 6 through 12 with the goal to supply k-12. They find that students take better care of the computers than they did text books. Once a student is issued a computer that is theirs until they graduate.

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Programs I've seen like this

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Programs I've seen like this are amazing. My son has hos own laptop, issued by the school district, as part of his IEP. It's become an extension of him, and its encouraged him to start writing long (80+ pages) fiction stories on his own- when on the bus, in the evenings, etc. Kids do amazing things when they have open access to technology and no one telling them what they have to do.

Resource Specialist at Minarets High School in O'Neals, CA

Resource Specialist - Minarets High School

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I am lucky enough to be an educator at 1 of only 43 Apple Distinguished schools in America: Minarets High/Minarets Charter High School. All students are given a MacBook to use at school and home for 4 years. We are a projects-based school that has started our 4th year of existence. My students in Resource are given a Keynote ( like PowerPoint but better) template that I have developed, a couple of weeks before their IEP. They personalize their Keynote and present it to the IEP team at the beginning of their meeting. It is all about them: current grades, CAHSEE scores, goals, future career goals, and various other slides. The slide that makes the biggest impact on the parents and teachers is when they describe their disability and accommodations in their own words. There's a lot more that happens but I think you get the picture.
I've been chosen to present how to implement what I have called "Bringing Your IEPs Into the 21st Century" again at the annual CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF RESOURCE SPECIALISTS (CARS+) convention on February 15th and 16th, 2013 in Oakland,CA

Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

I love using iPads with my

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I love using iPads with my students! We have 1:1 technology in my classroom and it's fantastic - check out my blog about using iPads in the classroom: www.ClassTechTips.com

Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

I love using iPads with my

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I love using iPads with my students! We have 1:1 technology in my classroom and it's fantastic - check out my blog about using iPads in the classroom: www.ClassTechTips.com

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Update on Our District

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In our district, we're currently contemplating a Bring Your Own Device strategy vs. a tech Fee vs some other solution to make sure every kid has adequate access to the internet at least. The problem with BYOD is getting hamstrung by the least capable device in the room. If you had to recommend a "floor" and "ceiling" device for families to provide for their students (with no real support expected from the District) what would you recommend? A tablet, like the ipad or ipad mini or an android tablet? a Chromebook? An ultrabook or slimmed down laptop?

I'm interested in hearing you feedback!

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

This is amazing

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Sounds like things are going well! I recently read somewhere- I think it was in a McRel handout from ASCD, that we've yet to have any good studies that support a correlation between project based schools and higher test scores- are you seeing anything in that regard where you are?
While I will be the first one to say that good teaching, good learning, and a more satisfying school experience, all gained through project based environments, may not be reflected per se in increased test scores, I also know teachers here are worried about the new teacher accountability matrix in PA where at least some portion of their evaluation will be dependent on scores. Yet interestingly, the rubric as you look for the benchmarks for proficient and Distinguished teaching all look like differentiated instruction and project based learning environments. This seems a bit at odds with each other-

what do you think?

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