Differentiating Instruction

Premise: A textbook is not the best tool for differentiating instruction.

Most textbooks are:
  • not motivating or exciting to most students
  • one size fits all
  • not accessible to most students
  • information and graphics overloaded
  • not divided into appropriate "chunks" of information

The following are pedagogical features that lead to effective differentiating:
  • Student choice for process and product
  • Multiple resources for different needs
  • Information chunks
  • Language support
    • Linked glossaries
    • Different levels of text
    • Visuals
  • Graphic organizers
  • Multiple practice opportunities
  • Multimedia = Engagement

Mobile technology works for differentiation because:
  • It supports the pedagogical features described above.
  • It provides a way to bridge the gap between 30+ of them and one of you!
  • It is motivating for students.
  • It is inexpensive enough to be done 1:1.
  • It can facilitate tutorials, practice activities, mini-lessons, and projects.
  • It provides students with a private environment for their learning.
  • It can be used by students at home, bringing equity.


CAST - Differentiated Instruction

ASCD - Differentiating Instruction

Benjamin, Amy. Differentiated Instruction Using Technology: A Guide for Middle and High School Teachers. Larchmon, NY: Eye on Education, 2005.

Rose, David, Anne Meyer, and Chuck Hitchcock, ed. The Universally Designed Classroom: Accessible Curriculum and Digital Technologies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2005.

Tomlinson, Carol Ann. How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2001.