Identifying the right program for differentiated instruction calls for a checklist with these baseline features:
■ Activities are inspired and backed by education research and proven studies and they also make learning fun for the kids;
■ Formative assessments are adaptive for efficiency, allow for immediate identification of the right follow-up instruction, and use game-like functionality so that students don't even notice they're learning;
■ Data profiles for each student present immediate, accurate results that are understandable and usable by teachers; and tracking progress across groups, classes and entire schools allows administrators to monitor the effectiveness of the overall program;
■ Teacher resources include complete scripts for the educator directed lessons, online lesson libraries, assignments, grouping mechanisms, printables and interventions;
■ Connections are made between school and home by equipping students as they head out of the classroom with entertaining interactive lessons, printable books and practice activities that encourage them to navigate their own learning; and a parent portal gives families quick access to their children's progress;
■ Timely, customizable professional development is available face-to-face and online, along with technical support that's within easy reach ready when it's needed.
Given the complex combination of strugglers and high achievers -- and all skills levels in between -- how can educators meet the needs of every student? Technology can help bridge that gap, including assessments and other indicators of progress along the way. Reports and analysis of how students are performing should also come into play with a robust platform so educators are always informed and able to engage students where they are.
Download a guide on differentiated instruction and technology’s role in its success.