Week 4 Reflection
by Aleta May
for Differentiating Instruction through Technology EDET637
with Dr. Lee Graham
Group Members: Teresa Harrie.; Sarah Kitzan; Anastasia Ishnook; Larissa Otness; and myself, Aleta May
Our group members divided the task of writing about Assistive Technology (AT) as it relates to differentiation in the classroom by dividing the elements between each member. I used this website with Carol Ann Tomlinson http://slta.org/?p=350 to use her interpretation of the five elements.
Sarah got the wikispace started. It is titled “Assistive Technology and the Differentiated Classroom.” The home page is:
Larissa came up with the idea of dividing responsibilities by element; each person researches an element. Larissa researched “Using AT in Content of a Differentiated Classroom.” Sarah researched “Product Using AT in Differentiated Instruction (DI).” Teresa researched, “Environment/Affect.” Anastasia researched “Process of a Differentiated Classroom.” I went with researching clarifying the learning destination through Tomlinson’s Knowledge, Understanding, and Do (KUDs) model for engagement and understanding. Along with this, I blended in research regarding “Monitoring and Adjusting Teaching to Ensure Students Reach that Destination,” also from Tomlinson’s model.
In reflection, I was very impressed at how everyone in our group participated in such a way that we came up with some really strong research. I decided to create a new page on our wiki space and just post them in a sort of “as is” structure and by putting each contributor’s name above their writing. Then I started a new discussion on our homepage letting our group members know that I had compiled our research. I opened the door from my end for others to edit and rearrange the paper into a more organized manner. Likely, all of our references should be placed at the end of our paper together, but wanted to leave this for someone else to either suggest or do. I believe that it is important not to just take over in a group project like this.
I gained a lot by seeing how we as educators can create a lot together. This would be a great way to approach a topic in professional learning communities (PLCs) at our school. I have often thought about how at our school we should read professional literature and books on a topic that would benefit all of us; even with a small K-12 school we could divide up topics like we just had at a site based professional development—that of mind mapping. Also, I believe students would benefit from reading at different levels of research and writing a piece according to their abilities and interest as long as the overall topic has a common goal.
I did take the liberty to use subtitles next to their names as shown on our wiki home page by the category each person chose to research. I noticed that my research overlapped Anastasia’s some, but that our focus was different enough that our writings could be placed together.
Our research is on a new page where together, our research looked like this: https://assistivetechnologyandthedifferentiatedclassroom.wikispaces.com/page/edit/Assistive+Technology+and+The+Differentiated+Classroom+by+Teresa+H.%2C+Sarah+K.%2C+Anastasia%2C+Larissa%2C+Aleta?template=