Differentiation with Social Media Tools

My most recent article has been posted over on the OSC IB Blogs siteDifferentiation with Social Media Tools;  I've re-posted it below.
Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest for students and for teachers.

This week I was notified of a change on a shared Google Spreadsheet I "follow" which is collecting "Differentiation with Social Media Tools". As I write, there are  109 online social media tools listed, with the type, URL, a short assessment or review, and suggestions for content, process and product differentiation. The page was built and is maintained by John McCarthy, an Education Blogger  at Edutopia - George Lucas Educational Foundation. You can learn more about him on his web page. Linked to the sheet, there is (of course!) a hash-tag discussion on Twitter (#DI4all) if you'd like some immediate feedback about an idea or a problem on this subject.

Looking at the variety of tools listed on  the spread sheet, you might want to use the text search tool in your web browser to zoom in on a particular need or modality.  For example, thinking of a student for whom writing by hand is almost impossible, a search for "audio"  helped me find 3 tools:   Vocaroo


 and Google+ Communities
   (click on the image to view it full size)

Although there are hundreds of such lists on the web, this one is particularly well organized, the links are current, and the tools might be used by learners of any age. McCarthy has updated his blog post about this spread sheet at Edutopia .

He writes,
 "...Differentiating with social media is most effective when we plan learning experiences based on content, process, and product (our lesson structure) and incorporate readiness, interests, and learning profiles (student voice). The following guidelines can help any classroom teacher ensure that the tool used will address students' needs:
  1. Be clear about the academic learning outcomes.
  2. Assess what students know and don't know.
  3. Identify related student background connections.
  4. Utilize social networks that can:
    • Address needs for struggling learners
    • Ensure that advanced learners are growing.
    • Connect content to authentic purposes in the world beyond school.
  5. Use fog-free assessments that track learner progress..."
I urge you to "join" the spread sheet list, and create a notification for new listings.  These occasional emails will help you keep differentiation possibilities in mind.

Universal Design for Learning in the DP

My most recent article has been posted over on the OSC IB Blogs siteUniversal Design for Learning in the DP;  I've re-posted it below.
Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest for students and for teachers.


This morning I read a brief blog post by  titled More Universal Design for Learning (UDL) needed in the IB, which I quote here in it's entirety, as the author has asked that readers share the link :
"I just finished reading a summary on the need to employ more UDL in IB schools. One of the main challenges for the DP is the very nature of the limited assessment format... which is under pressure from higher education's limited assessment format. Here is a great list of digital tools to help bring more UDL into your classrooms."
The link is https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ihsTwYr1kFx9Jb08Z2w5i1MWoxYkRXZbTP4Gcbodp6I/edit?pref=2&pli=1#gid=0  (You might want to add this spreadsheet to your Google Drive, and subscribe to changes on it.)
flickr photo by JakubSolovsky 
shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The IB's Programme Standards and Practices which relate directly to Universal Design for Learning are
  • A:9 the school supports access for students to the IB programme(s) and the philosophy.
  • B2:8 the school provides support for its students with learning and/or special educational needs and supports their teachers.
  • C1:6 Collaborative planning and reflection incorporates differentiation for students’ learning needs and styles.
  • C3:10 Teaching and learning differentiates instruction to meet students’ learning needs and styles.
If you would like to read further about this area of teaching and learning, I recommend 

Research summary Universal design for learning (UDL) and inclusive practices in IB World Schools, Summary developed by the IB Research department based on a report prepared by: Kavita Rao, Rachel Currie-Rubin and Chiara Logli CAST Professional Learning,  July 2016 

Learning diversity in the International Baccalaureate programmes: Special educational needs within the International Baccalaureate. IBO, August 2010. 

The IB guide to inclusive education: a resource for whole school development, IB Publishing, IBO. 

"Why every school should care about inclusive education", Jayne Pletser, and Kala Parasuram. The IB Community Blog. IBO, 27 Feb. 2015. 

 If you are inspired to expand your own experience in this field, I recommend the page of free learning tools at this link created by  CAST :
"As part of its barrier-busting mission, CAST offers a number of robust (and free) learning tools.These tools, designed and tested as part of CAST’s research projects, help educators, parents, and students experience the power of flexible learning environments."

Digital Intelligence

My most recent article has been posted over on the OSC IB Blogs site: Digital Intelligence;  I've re-posted it below.
Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest for students and for teachers.


The other day on the World Economic Forum website, this post in the Human implications of digital media department caught my eye: 8 digital skills we must teach our children.  The title would be of interest to anyone involved in the use ICT in education, but it was the image I especially appreciated.  It beautifully represents as a collection (and it is huge!) the technology-related ideals and skills that educators have been naming and discussing for decades. Author Yuhyun Park describes "Digital Intelligence" as "the set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that enable individuals to face the challenges and adapt to the demands of digital life. These abilities can broadly be broken down into eight interconnected areas:
Digital Intelligence © infollutionZERO Foundation
Digital identity: The ability to create and manage one’s online identity and reputation. This includes an awareness of one's online persona and management of the short-term and long-term impact of one's online presence.

Digital use: The ability to use digital devices and media, including the mastery of control in order to achieve a healthy balance between life online and offline.

Digital safety: The ability to manage risks online (e.g. cyberbullying, grooming, radicalization) as well as problematic content (e.g. violence and obscenity), and to avoid and limit these risks.

Digital security: The ability to detect cyber threats (e.g. hacking, scams, malware), to understand best practices and to use suitable security tools for data protection.

Digital emotional intelligence: The ability to be empathetic and build good relationships with others online.

Digital communication: The ability to communicate and collaborate with others using digital technologies and media.

Digital literacy: The ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share and create content as well as competency in computational thinking.

Digital rights: The ability to understand and uphold personal and legal rights, including the rights to privacy, intellectual property, freedom of speech and protection from hate speech."

However, I feel that the author does us a great disservice by talking only about children in this context, "Experts are predicting that 90% of the entire population will be connected to the internet within 10 years. With the internet of things, the digital and physical worlds will soon be merged. These changes herald exciting possibilities. But they also create uncertainty. And our kids are at the centre of this dynamic change." I think that we are all at the centre of change - all of us Internet users.  The parallel in schools is teaching students "responsible Internet use" and leaving the teachers to their own devices.

It is not just children who need to learn how to deal with the digital world - every day the news media relays stories of people (and increasingly, their institutions) of all ages who have chosen less than clever passwords, been hacked, bullied, trolled, who have shown dubious judgement, etc., on one digital platform or another.  The central character in this video should be an "any age" being:

I clicked through to the DQProject website to find out more, which I will leave you to do for yourself, and make your own evaluation of what you find there.