Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using a variety of research-based, learner-centered instructional strategies and assessment tools to address the diverse needs and interests of all studentsISTE Coaching Standards (2014)
This standard is exciting to me, because it is giving you permission to individualize for students. I love researching and finding tools that will work for student’s individual needs. I have noticed during my teaching career that when I offer accommodations for some students, they often translate well for all students. A benefit that I have seen in this, is that the student with the accommodation becomes the expert of the tool and shares his expertise with the other students, raising his status in the classroom. It also shows that the student is just as capable as the others, they just needed a different avenue to express themselves.
I had a student that used voice to text and had trouble editing what was written. I introduced him to the read aloud feature in word (housed in the review tab). This enabled him to hear what he had written and gave him the boost of confidence he needed to edit his work. Other students caught on to what he was using for editing and they asked him to show them how to do it for their work. This became the protocol for the student’s rough drafts and saved me time on editing student papers, as they were able to hear minor mistakes and address them without me.
When it comes to researching for students, I have found an amazing source called Listenwise. Listenwise curates shortened NPR podcasts to bring social studies, english, and science topics to life. In my blog, Knowledge Creator, I reviewed Listenwise using the Triple E framework. It scored high because the tech motivates and helps students to gain complex understanding of the content and also helps them to make connections to real life.
This standard really came to life for me when I was visiting Tufts University last summer and met Selvin. Selvin was apart of the engineering and design team and was asked to speak to a group of educators that were learning about empathy and engineering. I describe his story in my blog titled, Giving Students a Voice. He and his mother moved to the states from Honduras when he was 6 years old. He told us of an open ended project that his teacher gave to the students to help them learn their vocabulary. Selvin created a project, using resources that he had available to him. He was very proud of his work. When he turned the project in, his teacher failed him, telling him that it didn’t look like he put much effort into it. His story put emphasis on what is important- the learning. If teachers are going to assess students learning- then that is what they need to do, not grade the “show.”
Additionally, in this blog I highlight some other tech tools that are helpful for a diverse range of students and interests.