Jodi Exctain-Obando April 3, 2011 EDU 560 Technologies in the Classroom Article Review and Summary
The article that I reviewed was called “To Differentiate or Not to Differentiate? Using Internet-based Technology in the classroom”. This article focused on the use of differentiated learning with internet-based technology in the classroom, which seemed unusual for me because I have never heard of teachers doing this in the classroom. The article talked about the use of a learning program called Compass Learning which is “a computer software that has substantial outcomes in increasing the reading achievement of minority students who live in poverty” (Cobb, 2010). It is also an “internet-based software, which differentiates instruction with computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and cooperative learning, that is used to change daily teacher practice” (Cobb, 2010). It talked about how the use of this program for differentiated learning really made a difference with the students’ learning compared to the traditional teaching technique of direction instructions. The article talked about the difference between differentiated learning and direct instruction and how students who have different abilities and who come from different backgrounds, that the differentiated learning would work best for them. It talked about how the program allows the students to work on their own task, which is designed according to their level or the students work together in a group to achieve the task or skill that the teacher has assigned them. With differentiated learning, “both students and teachers collaborate with one another to meet the targeted goals” and with that combination, there should be a significant change with the students’ grades (Tomlinson, 2001). Also, the article mentioned how both students and teacher alike prefer the use of the differentiated learning in the classroom rather than the direct instructions. It talked about how there was a significant change with the students’ work since the Compass Learning program had been incorporated in the class lessons. Although no teaching style works the same way for each student, the differentiated learning has a better success level
than the traditional direct instructions and that is why more teachers are starting to use this technique in their classrooms. It is amazing to see how different the results are now in the classroom since the incorporation of differentiated learning. I believe that the use of technology in the classroom can make a big difference in our studentsâ€™ outcome. I believe that if it is used properly it can really help students with their learning, especially if the Compass Learning program that was mentioned in the article is used. I think that the use of the Compass Learning program in the classroom would really help the students with Math, English, and all the other school subjects. I can see how this program would help students in school and how it would help teachers as well because it is also a good assessment tool. The use of this program would also make the teacherâ€™s job easier when it comes to finding out what the studentsâ€™ strengths and weaknesses are which is very important for teachers to know. I believe that technology can be a good asset in the classroom but I do not believe that it should be used for every lesson; technology needs to use as a tool and not as a primary method for teaching Math, English and all of the other subjects. I believe that teachers should incorporate both methods, direct instruction and computerbased, when it comes to teaching because all students are different and they all learn differently. So if one student learns better with direct instruction that does not mean that another student will learn the same way by using the same method as well. Teachers need to figure out what works best for each of their students and use that method continuously with the student. Technology can help teachers in the classroom as well because if all of the students are working on the computer at their own level, it will make it easier for the teacher to monitor the class because all of them will be working on the computer doing different tasks and working on different skills.
Overall, I believe that technology can be a big help in the classroom for all teachers but they need to make sure not to abuse it and to rely primarily on it for each lesson, subject, and task.
References Cobb, A. (2010). To differentiate or not to differentiate? Using Internet-Based Technology in the Classroom. 11(1). Retrieved on April 2, 2011 from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&hid=7&sid=fa1cff3d-c5b04653-87b7-99d05001e123%40sessionmgr12. Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.