Thursday, July 18, 2013

Technology as the Differentiation Silver Bullet?

I believe in the U.S. the goal is to give every child an excellent education so they can have the knowledge, skills, and ability to choose what direction they want to take their life. This doesn't always happen (especially in high poverty areas) but I believe that is still the goal. What is the role of differentiated teaching then here in the "land of the free"? How can we help the students who are excelling continue to progress and not get bored, and the students struggling to also move forward and not get overwhelmed or depressed? Is technology the answer? Mmmm. 

An Nguyen - Flickr
I recently had a short and enlightening exchange with two friends about this TED talk below. Check out the talk and add your voice to our little conversation if you would like. Differentiated education is incredibly important, and I think everyone understands that to a certain point. But in the United States we tend to have a harder time than some other countries such as Germany because we don't put our kids on official track to specific trades at an early age. 

Perhaps there is a role here for pop culture and media literacy in general. Using digital tools offers students many ways to approach an assignment, and also can fuel interest and relevant work for students far ahead or behind the main objectives of the specific grade level . . . I don't know, I need to push that idea around for a little. 

And now, the TED talk. 

If you made it through this whole post - don't forget to leave your thoughts in the comments box below!  Polite disagreement is welcome so please let me know what you think.

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