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.
One major realization I have had while in the DEL program is that good teaching is good teaching, regardless of the setting, students, or subject. Therefore, good teaching strategies can make for an effective teacher, not simply a mastery of content. Understanding this has caused me to shift my focus towards mastering instructional strategies proven to be useful in various learning settings and at the core of these strategies is one of my favorite buzzwords, differentiation. Differentiation requires that instructional strategies must account for learner readiness, learning styles, interests, and personal goals.
While differentiated instruction is ultimately means the same for adults and children, I learned that the delivery of instruction between types of learners might lead to some differences. Specifically, adult learners have some unique qualities that need to be taken into account when providing differentiated instruction. In order to understand what makes adult learners unique, I created the infographic below that shows the relationship between adult learning principles, aspects of professional development, and differentiated instruction. The full blog post on this topic can be found here: Differentiating Professional Development.
I have also spent a lot of time this year shifting the lessons I teach my 9th graders so they include more differentiated instruction. One example of a differentiated lesson I created based on learner interests and readiness was the My Hero’s Journey assignment. This project asked students to create an infographic to display a “journey” they experienced that followed the steps of Joseph Campbell’s theory of the monomyth. Students were very engaged in this project as it allowed for creativity, they got to use a new technology tool, and they got to reflect on and share something personal. Below is the finished product.
Another differentiated lesson I created was the The Odyssey Book 10 Leveled Reads. As can be seen in the document below, this is actually four separate assignments, divvied out to students based on their readiness level. Students with higher comprehension completed work that required more analytical skills, while struggling readers were able to spend more time working to comprehend the story.