As I read through the article, I was reminded of my first year teaching in a city school. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, besides Cleveland, which was 30 miles west of where I lived, there weren't many big city school districts in the area. I took a job in Hartford, Connecticut right after I left the military to teach middle school math. I wanted to teach in the city and only in the city. Although I did not grow up in a city, I knew going in on my first day that most of my students were coming to me with more life experiences, both good and bad, that I probably never experienced at their age or even in my lifetime. I knew that I would need to differentiate my instruction to account for these experiences, whether they were social or academic. In addition, I quickly learned that every day would be and was different than any previous day in the classroom. The seven hours that my students were inside my classroom and the school walls we could control. It was the seventeen other hours in the day we as educators had no control over.
Technology was no where near where it is now when I first started teaching. My differentiation toolkit that I started with as teacher has only grown bigger and bigger as I find new and inventive ways to differentiate my instruction and use technology to assist with my efforts. As a teacher with variety of skill levels in my classroom, I am constantly looking for ways to take one topic and present it to my students in a number of ways. Technology has helped me to improve my differentiation instructional strategies by integrating interactive software programs, websites, games, and other tools that motivate and engage my students.
For this week's Storify, I complied a list of tweets, videos, and articles that demonstrate the use of technology with differentiation. Hopefully some of these resources could assist other teachers as well as they search for new and better ways to reach all of the students in their classrooms.