When I first heard the phrase differentiated instruction I was skeptical about it because we always talk about equity. The more I read about it I realized how I used differentiated tactics in my classroom to accommodate different learning styles without really knowing it was called differentiated instruction. I have used flexible grouping, multiple modes of representation, tiered assignments, and independent study as differentiated tactics in my classroom. However, I have not really incorporated technology up to now for these DI tactics.
As teachers, inclusion should be one of our top priorities and DI is a great way to make our classrooms more inclusive. Every student have unique learning styles and it’s hard to identify these different learning styles at the beginning of a class. It takes time to get to know the students and in that get-to-know time period, most likely, students will be excluded and discouraged. This is where technology can play a big part and incorporating technology into the curriculum can provide unique learning opportunities right from the beginning. The technological tools such as audiobooks, screen reading software, and text-to-speech software can be used to accommodate students who struggle with reading. Choosing captioned videos in class is a simple tactic that can help ELL students to learn English. There are many other DI tactics with technology ranging from simple to complex that we can adopt in our classrooms.
When teachers think about DI they think it’s mostly related to students with disabilities but DI can be used to help all students to develop unique skills. I am glad I picked DI as my topic of inquiry and looking forward to learn a lot more technological DI tactics that I can use in my classroom. Here is a great link to learn more about DI in the 21st century.