2e – Summary & Evidence

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2e. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product, and learning environment based upon student readiness levels, learning styles, interests, and personal goals.

The biggest work I did on this standard was developing a workshop proposal for the Northwest Council for Computer Education’s (NCCE) 2018 conference in Seattle on Differentiating Professional Development for Teachers. My proposal was not accepted but I still want to continue to work on the idea.

Since I am a coach and work with teachers I wanted to look at how we could move away from the traditional sit and get of many professional development settings. I have found large group technology training to be frustrating for me and for my participants. Every person in my training has different levels of fluency and confidence with technology, they all come in at different levels, they all learn at different speeds. Not unlike a traditional classroom. I either need a way to differentiate individual tools or personalize for everyone. Maybe a little of both.

I started off thinking about using technology to differentiate and personalize learning 8 years ago when I was teaching a multiage highly capable class. This was at the beginning of Common Core standards implementation. I started looking at the math standards first because the Common Core standards did not spiral in the same way the older standards had. Students were expected to master standards at their grade level so they would be prepared for the next step. The problem was, I was trying to do that for three grade levels of students (4th, 5th and 6th grades), some of whom actually were working at 7th and 8th grade levels in math. By my second year I was in a panic that I was not able to give all the time necessary to math and I was worried my students were going to fall behind. At the time I did not know enough about differentiated learning to really understand how to put that into place but I did know there were ways I could use technology to personalize learning for my students. I used a tool called 3D Game lab (now Rezzly) which was a quest based, gamified platform that I used to build learning modules around every math standard for all three grade levels. It took me weeks to create. Of course now, there are personalized math solutions every where but I was able to put together something that allowed my students to keep moving forward in math without me as the teacher having to do direct instruction on everything. I saved my time for working individually with students and pulling small groups. I did not have the data tracking skills at the time to make it as effective as it would be if I did it now but it was a step forward.

In my proposal, I used the Mastery Paths feature in Canvas to experiment with differentiation. I gave students an assessment on the tool we were going to learn about, video conferencing,  and it automatically put them into groups based on their scores. I had intro videos and step by step instructions for the basics users, some work time with me for intermediate students to plan a video conferencing project and an independent task for the more experienced users. I liked the idea but was never able to develop it or design a structure that I could use consistently so that I was not starting from scratch for each new tool. I would like to try it again because I think it might be a good way to address the wide range of learners in a typical technology training.

In terms of personalization, I have been researching the idea of using a video based platform called KyteLearning (Developing Tech Fluency for Teachers) and micro-credentialing (The Potential for Micro Credentialing in Support of Adult Learning) because the two of them offer the opportunity for mastery based learning for teachers. It would allow them to create their own learning plans based on their classroom needs and their skill deficits or interests and potentially become experts at something. The more experts we have the more resources we have to train others.

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