Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ISTE Webinar Today on Differentiated Instruction with Technology

Today's ISTE Webinar, scheduled for BMS from 4-5:00, was still attended by 6 teachers from their homes. Although we had purchased a one-location viewing, due to the fact that school was closed, we were allowed to access the webinar from multiple locations. The webinar was lead by Grace Smith and Stephanie Throne, authors of the book Differentiating Instruction with Technology in K-5 Classsrooms. They focused on 4 technology strategies with which to build on students' individual interests and needs: Webquests, i-Search, R.A.F.T.T., and Jigsaw. I was least familiar with R.A.F.T.T. a reading strategy to scaffold students' interactions with text. Students are asked to create a new product that demonstrates their depth of understanding of the text by looking at a Role, the Audience, the best Format, the Topic, and what Technology to utilize. Many sample projects and websites were presented to cover each of the topics in the 8 categories below.

I was also reminded of the ITL Summer Institute 2007 with David Loertscher as our presenter and coach. His book, Ban Those Bird Units written with Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan, was used to teach us the Jigsaw model as a teaching strategy to motivate higher level thinking in students.

Today's webinar also showed us a great differentiated instruction wiki, called Dare to Differentiate, with many valuable resources. The authors also have their own site on differentiated instruction. We were also shown two free sites: My Brochure Maker, used to create online brochures or flyers and Realebooks, used to create small "really books" that can be turned into ebooks.

We have ONE more scheduled ISTE Webinar on March 18th at SES from 4-5:00 pm called Introduction to Project Based Learning. You can register online at:

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