ISTE Teacher Standard 2c: Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
What materials/tools can I use to customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources to enhance learning in my 4th/5th grade class?
Before I set out to discover answers to this question I already had a pretty cynical mindset that whatever I did find would be impractical for my classroom in which we have 1 computer available for my students – that’s about as tech savvy as we are in Western China!
However, I was surprised to learn that I could still support student learning using the 1 computer. The website that I found most helpful was: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-free-web-2.0-tools-lisa-dabbs
The website aligns well with my philosophy of how technology should be used in the classroom. They state, “We need to remember that it’s not about the specific tools we use with our planning and our students, but why and when any given tool is needed. Ideally there also needs to be a culture within the school that values using technology to build lessons that ultimately will be used in the classroom.” Some of the tools they suggest using will help not only help customize student learning but also personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, in my 4th/5th grade class. The following four tools are tools that I identified as being the most useful in my class. In addition to the name is a brief summery of how it could be used:
Teachers can use Pinterest to share ideas/activities/lesson plans. This is a website/tool that most of us are probably familiar with and have used at one point.
EdCanvas is a place for teachers to create and deliver lessons digitally. Teachers and students can use EdCanvas to organize their work and present knowledge. I briefly glanced at some other websites to figure out how EdCanvas supports students. An excellent website that further supports the use of EdCanvas and explains how it can be used is: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/08/edcanvas-for-schools-lets-you-manage.html#.Vqhr2lP5jeQ
This is one of my favorite tools that I found. According to edutopia Storybird is, “A fun and easy-to-use tool for creating short, visual stories. Teachers and students can select artwork, drag and organize photos, and add your own text to create beautiful digital stories.” This would be an excellent tool to use in my class. I could differentiate literacy learning experience by using storybird. I could see this tool being used both in small groups and classroom activities.
Skype for education
This tool is especially appealing to me because I live cross culturally and have so many international students. I briefly looked over the website and one of the interesting discoveries I made was that students could take virtual fieldtrips! I will definitely be looking into this.
I am happy to discover that there are many different tools that I can use to enhance my students learning! Fellow classmate Joe Flood shared with us what he discovered about education online tools while reading the article, The 32 Most Innovative Online Eduational Tools to Use in 2015 (https://www.noodle.com/articles/32-innovative-online-tools-to-use-in-2015). He summarized this resources saying, “This article is a review of 32 websites or apps students can use to manage work, collaborate, or communicate. Many of them are targeted at high school students; however, the writers list which age groups the applications are appropriate for.” After reading the article I was encouraged that, despite the fact that I do have to work extra hard to enhance student learning using technology materials and resources, I don’t have to dig to deep to find them! I look forward to learning more about these tools and applying them to my classroom.
Byrne, R. (2013, August 1). Free Technology for Teachers: EdCanvas for Schools Lets You Manage Student Accounts. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/08/edcanvas-for-schools-lets-you-manage.html#.Vq9dQTb5jeR
Dabbs, L. (2013, February 14). Five Free Web 2.0 Tools to Support Lesson Planning. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-free-web-2.0-tools-lisa-dabbs
Storybird – Read, write, discover, and share the books you’ll always remember. (n.d). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from: https://storybird.com