Engaging Diverse Learners With Technology

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Part 1: Concepts learned Concept 1: Clear, focused learning goals that work for all learners support differentiation Establishing clear learning goals is the critical first step for reaching all learners. A goal that supports differentiation needs to be clear, but not so specific that there is only one pathway to success. Diverse learners can all work towards the same goals when multiple pathways are available. Similarly, there should be multiple levels of achievement possible to enable varying degrees of performance. Clear goals allow us to offer students varied pathways to learning, including scaffolding for support and challenges to extend learning. Further, it is important that learning goals be distinct and separate from the…show more content…
Using pre-assessment to drive differentiation means understanding that readiness is not the same as ability. We must gauge each student’s proximity relative to just what it is we are trying to accomplish in today's lesson and use that understanding to meeting the diverse needs of all students. My teaching effectiveness improves with my ability to provide my students multiple pathways for learning. This new understanding of how to use diagnostic assessments shifts my focus from what my students have to learn (i.e., how far away from goal they are), to how I can get them there. Pre-assessment becomes less a static snapshot of who my students are than a road map for their progress, allowing me to plan learning activities that better meet the needs of diverse learners. Beyond using diagnostic and formative assessments to drive flexible grouping and pacing (what I have typically done), I now see how to use them to differentiate content, process and product. With a better understanding of the end game, I will be able to create summative assessments that answer the question "what do students need to know and be able to do" and address students’ diverse interests and learning preferences by giving them multiple options for showing what they know.. I will also be able to improve my rubrics so they actually reflect what I expect students to be able to
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