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Transforming Teaching and Learning: Using Technology to Differentiate Instruction and Intervention

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How do we as educators ensure that we create learning experiences and environments that optimize opportunities for all of our students to learn and to become fluent, independent readers – regardless …

How do we as educators ensure that we create learning experiences and environments that optimize opportunities for all of our students to learn and to become fluent, independent readers – regardless of varying levels of background knowledge, readiness, language acquisition or varying learning style modalities and personal interests individual students may have? Well-designed instructional technology. Technology, when integrated appropriately into RTI2 models, is a powerful tool that can help teachers to differentiate instruction and meet individual student learning needs.

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  • Transform Teaching and Learning:
    Effectively Using Technology to Differentiate Instruction and Intervention
  • Not some separate process used exclusively to identify SLD students, but increasingly this model is the school-wide approach to intervention used for all students.
  • Wait to Fail Model – achievement discrepancy
    Student Study Teams typically made intervention recommendations on the basis of the classroom teacher’s description of the students’ academic or behavioral performance. Many of the descriptions were anecdotal; few were data based.
    There was a fatal flaw in prereferral interventions. Usually classroom teachers requested a Student Study Team meeting only for students that they realized they were not helping. They felt that these students needed help that was far beyond the teacher’s current skill level. Providing brief suggestions on how to help this one student often backfired. The classroom teacher was often at a breaking point, and the relationship between the teacher and the referred student was often troubled. Suggestions were rarely perceived as ways to help teachers build their capacity to teach reading or develop prosocial behavior in children; rather they were usually designed for helping the teacher work with one particular student, a student who teachers often felt did not belong in their classes. Thus, in general, prereferral interventions, despite the initial enthusiasm they generated in the profession, rarely helped students learn to read.
    In addition, because the norm was not to consider special education placement until a student completed second grade, they rarely involved early intervention in reading. IDEA 2004 specifically states that districts should not rely on wait to fail models, but instead “In determining whether a child has a specific learning disability, a local educational agency may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention…”
    Questions to answer before special education placement
    Is learning problem instruction or disability?
    Did the school provide student with high quality reading instruction in the regular classroom?
    Are other students learning?
    Did the school provide student with highly qualified teachers?
    Was student progress monitored?
    Did multi-tiered interventions work for other students?
  • Learning disabilities account for nearly half of all children enrolled in special education programs. This led experts in the field to question the models for identifying children with learning disabilities. Experts in the field of learning disabilities believe that many children identified with specific learning disabilities are “victims of poor teaching. The statement that many children identified as LD are “teaching disabled” is often accurate. Unfortunately, many students simply did not get the help they needed because their teachers were not adequately prepared.
  • Overrepresentation and disproportionality of minority, high poverty, and language minority students in Special Education.
  • But the truth is, almost all children can learn to read if taught appropriately. And Response to Instruction and Intervention is based on the recognition that when it comes to learning, one size (or instructional approach) does not fit all. So, how do we as educators ensure that we create learning experiences and environments that optimize opportunities for all of our students to learn and to become fluent, independent readers – regardless of varying levels of background knowledge, readiness, language acquisition or varying learning style modalities and personal interests individual students may have?
  • Tier 1 – Core Instruction - High quality first instruction all students receive (how can technology be used to enhance whole class instruction?)
    Tier 2 – Strategic Intervention – Students designated for Tier 2 intervention are struggling with core instruction, as evidenced by poor performance on curriculum-based measurement (CBM) and/or universal diagnostic screening and need supplemental instruction and practice to master content (How can technology be used to provide supplemental practice and alternative presentation of specific skills taught in core?)
    Tier 3 – Intensive – Students designated for Tier 3 intervention are also struggling with core, but have greater gaps in learning which may span several grade levels. They are receiving Tier 1 and 2 support, but are not responding due to learning deficits that must be addressed. They need individualized, intensive intervention to fill individual learning gaps, in addition to Tier 1 and Tier 2 support.
  • Tier 1 – High Quality First Instruction (standards-aligned, well-designed learning experiences based on research, professional development)
    Teachers must know (professional development) both:
    what to teach (standards) and
    the best way to deliver instruction in order to enhance and deepen learning of all students (well-designed and research-based = differentiated instruction, UDL, UbD, multimodal learning, SIOP, SDAIE, digital natives, brain research)
  • Understanding by Design (UdB) – Backwards Design – importance of standards (learning outcomes) – What we want students to learn
    UdB - Targets achievement through a “backward design” process that focuses on assessment first and relevant instructional activities last and asks us to think of curriculum in terms of desired “performances of understanding” and then “plan backwards” to identify needed concepts and skills.
    What is the learning outcome for students? How will it be measured? What kind of learning experience needs to be created to support outcome?
  • True understanding
    Move students through Bloom’s taxonomy from knowledge to true understanding – from recall and restate to deconstruct and remix
    Lessons should be purposefully designed to allow for gradual transition from receptive to expressive. New Cycle of Teaching/Learning:
    I do, you watch
    I do, you help
    You do, I help
    You do, I watch
  • Educators are continuously redesigning learning experiences in order to increase and deepen learning for all students, as evidenced by the recent literature on differentiated learning. Their efforts are much more likely to succeed when their work is informed by the latest research from the neurosciences (how the brain functions), the cognitive sciences (how people learn), and research on multimedia designs for learning. Optimizing learning for each student requires more fine-grained differentiation of instruction that takes into account – and leverages – each of the three areas mentioned earlier: how the brain functions, how people learn, and multimedia design. (Metriri Group)
    What research says is the best way to teach (or rather design learning) + professional development necessary to marry the two and effectively deliver in the classrrom
  • Differentiated Instruction (Content, Process, Product, Learning Environment)
    Not all students are alike. Based on this knowledge, differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning so that students have multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. The model of differentiated instruction requires teachers to be flexible in their approach to teaching and adjusting the curriculum and presentation of information to learners rather than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum. Classroom teaching is a blend of whole-class, group and individual instruction. Differentiated Instruction is a teaching theory based on the premise that instructional approaches should vary and be adapted in relation to individual and diverse students in classrooms. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process.
    Recent research in neuroscience shows that each brain processes information differently. The way we learn is as individual as DNA or fingerprints. CAST has identified three primary brain networks and the roles they play in learning:
    Recognition networks – differentiate the process
    Gathering facts. How we identify and categorize what we see, hear, and read. Identifying letters, words, or an author's style are recognition tasks—the "what" of learning.
    Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
    To support diverse recognition networks:
    Provide multiple examples
    Highlight critical features
    Provide multiple media and formats
    Support background context
    Strategic networks – differentiate the product
    Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas. Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks—the "how" of learning.
    Multiple means of action and expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know
    To support diverse strategic networks:
    Provide flexible models of skilled performance
    Provide opportunities to practice with supports
    Provide ongoing, relevant feedback
    Offer flexible opportunities for demonstrating skill
    Affective networks – differentiate the learning environment
    How students are engaged and motivated. How they are challenged, excited, or interested. These are affective dimensions—the "why" of learning.
    Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn
    To support diverse affective networks:
    Offer choices of context and tools
    Offer adjustable levels of challenge
    Offer choices of learning context
    Offer choices of rewards
  • Until very recently Western philosophers and psychologists took it for granted that the same basic processes underlie all human thought. While cultural differences might dictate what people think about, the strategies and processes of thought, which include logical reasoning and a desire to understand situations and events in linear terms of cause and effect, were assumed to be the same for everyone. However this, too, appears to be wrong. Research by social psychologists shows that people who grow up in different cultures do not just think about different things, they actually think differently. The environment and culture in which people are raised affects and even determines many of their thought processes.
    Digital Natives Preferences
    Prefer receiving information quickly from multiple multimedia sources.
    Prefer parallel processing and multitasking.
    Prefer processing pictures, sounds and video before text.
    Prefer random access to hyperlinked multimedia information.
    Prefer to interact/network simultaneously with many others.
    Prefer to learn “just-in-time.”
    Prefer instant gratification and instant rewards.
    Prefer learning that is relevant, instantly useful and fun.
    (Richard Naeish, e.learninage magazine (2008))
  • School administrators must be model digital citizens as well. Are you a digital immigrant? Have you learned the language? How heavy is your accent? Link to Quiz here.
    Digital Immigrant Educators Preferences
    Prefer slow and controlled release of information from limited sources.
    Prefer singular processing and single or limited tasking.
    Prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds and video.
    Prefer to provide information linearly, logically and sequentially.
    Prefer students to work independently rather than network and interact
    Prefer to teach “just-in-case” (it’s on the exam).
    Prefer deferred gratification and deferred rewards.
    Prefer to teach to the curriculum guide and standardized tests
    (Richard Naeish, e.learninage magazine (2008))
  • Based on the latest research in neurobiology, there is no longer any question that stimulation of various kinds actually changes brain structures and affects the way people think, and that these transformations go on throughout life. It can be, and is, constantly reorganized. The brain constantly reorganizes itself all our child and adult lives, a phenomenon technically known as neuroplasticity (Prensky, 2001). And, according to Gary Small's book, "iBRAIN: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind," the dramatic shift in how we gather information and communicate with one another via technology has touched off an era of rapid evolution that may ultimately change the human brain as we know it. (Interlandi, 2008). Children raised with the computer in the culture of the digital age ― think differently from the rest of us. They develop hypertext minds. They leap around. It’s as though their cognitive structures were parallel, not sequential. As a result of repeated experiences, particular brain areas are larger and more highly developed, and others are less so (Prensky, 2001). For example, thinking skills enhanced by repeated exposure to computer games and other digital media include multidimensional visual-spatial skills, inductive discovery (i.e. making observations, formulating hypotheses and figuring out the rules governing the behavior of a dynamic representation), attentional deployment (such as monitoring multiple locations simultaneously), and responding faster to expected and unexpected stimuli (Prensky, 2001).
  • Multimodal Learning – Best Practices
    Multimedia Principle: Retention is improved through words and pictures rather than through words alone.
    Spatial Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near each other rather than far from each other on the page or screen.
    Temporal Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
    Coherence Principle: Students learn better when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included.
    Modality Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text.
    Redundancy Principle: Students learn better when information is not represented in more than one modality – redundancy interferes with learning.
    Individual Differences Principle: Design effects are higher for low-knowledge learners than for high-knowledge learners (increase comprehensible input)
    Individual Differences Principle: Design effects are higher for high-spatial learners rather than for low-spatial learners.
    Direct Manipulation Principle: As the complexity of the materials increase, the impact of direct manipulation of the learning materials (animation, pacing) on transfer also increase. (e.g. the more complex the more interactive the learning design should be).
  • Digital natives—those who have never known a world without e-mail and text messaging—use their superior cognitive abilities to make snap decisions and juggle multiple sources of sensory input. On the other side, digital immigrants —those who witnessed the advent of modern technology long after their brains had been hardwired—are better at reading facial expressions than they are at navigating cyberspace. Digital Natives accustomed to the twitch-speed, multitasking, random-access, graphics-first, active, connected, fun, fantasy, quick-payoff world of their video games, MTV, and Internet are bored by most of today’s education, well meaning as it may be. But worse, the many skills that new technologies have actually enhanced (e.g., parallel processing, graphics awareness, and random access)—which have profound implications for their learning—are almost totally ignored by educators. (Prensky, 2001). In the realm of technology, the educational community is playing catch-up. Industry is far ahead of education. And tech-savvy high school students often are far ahead of their teachers. This “digital disconnect” is a major cause of frustration among today’s students. Public schools that do not adapt to the technology needs of students risk becoming increasingly irrelevant. Students will seek other options. (USDOE, 2004).
    Link to Vision a K-12 students video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8&feature=related). This video project was created to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways to help students develop higher level thinking skills. Equally important, it serves to motivate district level leaders to provide teachers with the tools and training to do so.
  • Ultimately, technology is a tool which should be used to serve pedagogical goals, not an end unto itself. What are your pedagogical goals? Is technology going to be a help or a hindrance in meeting these goals? In order for technology to be transformative in the classroom, it must meet the same criteria set for determining high-quality classroom instruction: well-designed, research-based, standards-aligned, and professional development.
  • WFD and SME technology-based multimedia rich solutions - Aligned to Standards
    DIBELS, ELA, ELD, SIOP, OCR, Reading Street, & P21
  • Technology is powerful tool to help teachers to differentiate instruction and meet individual student learning needs. WFD and SME technology-based multimedia rich solutions. Teachers can project WFD or SME activities using LCD or interactive whiteboard to enhance tier 1 instruction.
    Waterford: Learning to Read – courses for PreK-2 – Show quick sample of WFD (L3 – Silent Letters Song)
    SuccessMaker Enterprise: Reading to Learn – courses for 3 - 5 – Show quick sample of SMe (RA – Lon Po Po Making Predictions Strategy)
    In particular highlight examples which:
    Activate prior knowledge
    Are personally meaningful or relevant to students
    Help develop/reinforce metacognitive strategies.
    Employ multimodal strategies
    Meet digital native learning preferences
    Demonstrate multiple means of representation, action/expression, and engagement
  • Well-designed and flexible digital media and tools make it easier than ever for teachers to differentiate the content, process, environment, or product and therefore customize teaching and learning to meet the learning needs of all their students. But, teachers must know how to effectively use and integrate the various technology tools they have available in their classrooms to create environments conducive to fostering student learning.
    Waterford and SMe – Pearson Professional Development Options
    Live Training and Institutes
    Synchronous Online – Connected training
    Asynchronous Online (pre-recorded videos, modules and webinars) – Community Connection
  • Universal Diagnostic Screening within first 6 weeks of school to identify students who may need additional instructional support/intervention as early as possible. Students who do met benchmarks or learning outcomes are designated to receive Tier 2 intervention. May be using 6-week benchmark assessments, DIBELS,
  • Individualized intervention curriculum based on student needs
  • Deployment Options
    Option 1 – Teacher presentation station (with LCD or interactive whiteboard in classroom, lab, or media center)
    Option 2 – classroom distributed model (as a learning center in classroom, lab, or media center) – students can work alone or in groups
    Option 3 – lab model (in computer lab, library, or media center)
    Option 4 – combination of other 3 options
  • Assign activities in WFD/Custom Courses in SMe – learning center option
    Saturday
  • WFD Assign Activities
  • Lesson Set editor – RI Social studies track – Ancient Egypt
  • Example of using SMe to automatically identify and systematically individual student learning gaps, but emphasize that the same can be done with WFD courseware at Tier 3. SMe Lesson follows UdB model – watch, help, do with help, do independently. Content Area Literacy Skills
    In particular highlight examples which:
    Activate prior knowledge
    Are personally meaningful or relevant to students
    Help develop/reinforce metacognitive strategies.
    Employ multimodal strategies
    Meet digital native learning preferences
    Demonstrate multiple means of representation, action/expression, and engagement
    Lon Po Po or Liquid Fire Lesson in RA??
    Monday
  • Monitor Progress using CBM to see if students are responding to the intervention
    Must not look only at whether or not student’s meet benchmark, but at rate of learning. Even if they haven’t caught up yet, is their learning trajectory in proportion to the amount of supplemental instruction they have received?
  • Ancillary print materials – can be used in learning centers
    WFD – TRC, UA Guides, Books, DVDs, Worksheets, CDs
    SMe – TAG, Custom WS
    Saturday
  • Authentic assessment
  • SME EoE sample – CST scores and API and PI status
  • Fullerton Data
    Saturday
  • Tier 3 – Fill in gaps for individual students –
    Problem-solving approach…What gaps in understanding are preventing student from being successful? Identify the gaps and prescribe an intensive individualized intervention plan for each student. Identify and fill gaps.
  • Placement
    WFD – Placement Screening
    SME – IPM
    Like its own feedback model. Constantly screening, checking for understanding, reviewing, and branching based on student interaction.
  • Learning Objectives organized into instructional strands. Each strand is sequenced independently to allow for granular differentiation of content
    Lesson on LOs follows UdB model – watch, help, do with help, do independently. Multimedia increases comprehensible input. Students get immediate feedback.
    WFD – NRP components (PA, Phonics, Vocab, Comprehension, Language & Concept Development, Fluency, and Writing)
    SME – WS, IC, LC, PC, RS, writing, Skill Builder, Word Builder, Reading, Comprehension Strategies, Portfolio, Vocabulary, Spelling
  • Determining Mastery
    WFD – Weighted Mastery Model
    SME – Probability Mastery Model
    Both – progression through course, strands, and LOs based on mastery.
  • Keeping students engaged and motivated.
    WFD - positive reinforcement, certificates, Play and Practice, and opportunities to share and collaborate.
    SME – positive reinforcement, motivation ideas, student report, self-selected navigation options, and opportunities to share and collaborate.
  • Example of using WFD to supplement/reteach core, but emphasize that the same can be done with SMe courseware at Tier 2. UdB model, watch, help, do with help, do independently
    In particular highlight examples which:
    Activate prior knowledge
    Are personally meaningful or relevant to students
    Help develop/reinforce metacognitive strategies.
    Employ multimodal strategies
    Meet digital native learning preferences
    Demonstrate multiple means of representation, action/expression, and engagement
    Monday – one LO or content from across various strands (depth or breadth?)
  • Monitor Progress using CBM to see if students are responding to the intervention
    Must not look only at whether or not student’s meet benchmark, but at rate of learning. Even if they haven’t caught up yet, is their learning trajectory in proportion to the amount of supplemental instruction they have received?
  • WFD Reports – reports also help document fidelity of intervention
    CS, IS
    Saturday
  • SME reports - reports also help document fidelity of intervention
    Course, GAD, PS, CP and demographic reporting
    Sunday
  • WFD EoE Sample - DIBELS
  • La Primaria Data
    Saturday
  • Transcript

    1. SME sample media • Tied to DIBELS and OCR

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