Differentiating instruction

Another great post over at A New Adventure.  He talks about differentiating instruction and then gives the clearest example I have ever seen, using weather forecasts that we all probably look at every day.

He makes a great point:

Wouldn’t it be great if we took the power of technology to help represent information in different ways for different students? Instruction using audio, video, text, animations, pictures, or a combination of all of them. We don’t need to create all the content. Some is created and if we learn to share we can all create part of it.

If we could work together in schools, in disciplines, or even around the world, we could make this a lot easier than it would be otherwise.  That would also allow us to create materials in a way that makes sense for us.  I know that I am a really text-oriented person.  I am trying to learn to use images and audio, but it doesn’t come as easily to me as text does.  But if you are more audio oriented or image oriented, we could collaborate or share or work to provide more alternatives for our students.

This semester I am really trying to include more variety in my classes, but I know I could do much more.  So far, we are just using images, but it is a start.  And I wouldn’t even have the image on the wiki I am using with one class if someone hadn’t asked me how I could make it more interesting by adding an image.  It just doesn’t enter into my thinking when I am designing materials.  But I am conscious of the need to do this, and I am trying.

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