Section Four: Differentiating Instruction through Technology
In the past every teacher at some point or another has caught a student sleeping while giving instruction. Well it is still happening, but now teachers have more ways than ever to change the way they teach and keep students more interested in what they have to say. Students don’t want the same old lecture with the same teacher over and over again, they want to be challenged and they want something new, something that is fun. These new technologies are what students want, they want the smartboards and EBooks, they want something different and teachers have to use these to meet with the ISTE standards.
Technology to Differentiate Instruction
One way to differentiate instruction is to have a student come up and work problems on the smartboard for the entire class. Students get bored very quickly especially if a teacher is constantly lecturing the class, this can lead to them trying to find distraction elsewhere and it also makes it harder for a teacher to notice if a student is not paying attention because they are trying to work a problem on the board. So by having a student come up and working problems the students get to see a fresh face and fellow student work a problem and so will be more inclined to pay attention. This will also allow the teacher to monitor the classroom and make sure that students aren’t misbehaving.
Smartboards can really help in Creativity and Innovation standards because they are so flexible and easy to use. Students can just go up and be themselves and contribute to lessons and discussions in their own way.
There are many ways for teachers to differentiate instruction using EBooks. A teacher could allow students to follow along in a lesson by giving them an EBook to get them more interested in the subject because students like technology and also because some books can be very heavy and difficult to carry around. Also this would give students a tool to continue their instruction at if they forgot their book at school or had to lend it to someone else.
EBooks are really good for research and Information Fluency standards because of how convenient they are. Almost everyone has access to the internet to look up and EBook for research or information quickly. Which will in turn help teach them how to look up information for the rest of their lives because of everything being on the internet now.
Speech to Text:
Every student has a different way of learning, for some instead of listening to a person talk they prefer to read what the person has to say. That is why speech to text technology is useful to differentiate instruction, but it doesn’t just do that. For some kids it can be hard for them to put their thoughts into words, so by using speech to text technology they can more easily communicate with their teacher which will then help with their instruction.
This type of technology can really improve the Communication and Collaboration in the classroom. For some migrate students from different countries who have not learned to speak English this technology really helps them learn as well as for the teacher to be able to communicate with them.
Pros and Cons
The pros of using technology are vast, they can be used for all kinds of learning, but with today’s children a teacher has to use technology to keep them interested. That is probably the best thing technology has done for students, it is a constantly changing problem for them to solve and like most people they really enjoy the challenges of using technology. Another pro to technology is it makes things more convenient for everyone, if a teacher wants to move on to a different problem all they have to is make one click and the page is blank to start another problem. One of the main cons that should be mentioned is also the opposite side of the previous statement, students have to have technology. So many of today’s students rely solely on technology to help them with their daily assignments in class and when the technology starts acting up and not working properly the students are lost. Another con for using technology is constantly having to update, once one update happens everything has to be updated otherwise not everyone will be able to keep up.
Concluding Paragraph (4-6 sentences)
So in conclusion a person should be able to see how different types of technology can help teachers differentiate instruction and how that instruction meets with ISTE standards. Which will then encourage students to follow along more closely in class and overall help their learning process. Just because there are many things to like about technology doesn’t mean that it is perfect, by any means, but it has been linked to improved learning. One important thing to also remember is the reason that all these technologies work is because they are fun and not just for students, but for teachers as well.
Redford, Kyle (November 2013). How Speech-to-Text Transformed a student’s Fifth Grade
(March 3, 2014). The Advantages of SMART boards in the classroom
South University (October 7, 2013). How Students Benefit from Learning with Ebooks