CHAPTER 10 .........................Promoting Success for All Students through Technology

Key Topics

Differentiated Instruction/

Universal Design for Learning.....................

Multicultural Education/

English Language Learners


Teaching Writing Using Technology

Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design for Learning

Bringing UDL into the Mainstream from the Harvard Education Letter (November/December 2012)

CAST Online Module: Introduction to UDL

external image 200px-Paperback_book_black_gal.svg.pngEffective Inclusive Schools: Designing Successful Schoolwide Programs. Thomas Hehir & Lauren Katzman (Jossey-Bass, 2012) is the latest book by a long-time advocate for educating students with disabilities in the least restrictive educational settings.

Harlem Children's Zone and Promise Academy.  Image by Jim.henderson
Harlem Children's Zone and Promise Academy. Image by Jim.henderson

Multicultural Education

Urban School Student Populations (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010-2011)
Total Urban School Enrollment: 6.8 million
  • 37% Hispanic
  • 35% African American
  • 20% White
  • 6% Asian/Pacific Islander
  • 65% Free/reduced lunch
  • 16% English Language Learners
  • 13% Students with individualized education plans

Rural School Student Populations
  • More than 9.6 million students are enrolled in rural school districts nationwide (over 20 percent of the total school population)

external image Reports.gifFor more on rural education, see Why Rural Matters 2011-2012, a report from the Rural School and Community Trust.

What Immigrant Students Can Teach Us About New Media Literacy, Wan Shun Eva Lam, Phi Delta Kappan (December 2012/January 2013).
  • "The linguistic skills, social ties, informational sources, and perspectives that the youth develop through their digital networks with diverse geographical communities are forms of cultural capital that could help them navigate an interdependent and fast-changing world" (p. 64).

Put Abilities on the Multicultural Spectrum from Teaching Tolerance (July 2013).

English Language Learners

Using Photos with English-Language Learners from Edutopia (October, 2012).

Modern Language Association Language Map shows the distribution of language speakers throughout the United States.

Search Engines for ELL Learners from Larry Ferlazzo's Blog (2013).

Differentiated Instruction
A trompe l'oeil.  Helman Dullaart, mid 1600s
A trompe l'oeil. Helman Dullaart, mid 1600s

For a perspective on special education and universal design, view From Bach to Lady Gaga: Music Lessons for Special Education by David Rose in a presentation for the National Center on Universal Design for Learning

For videos that discuss Universal Design for Learning in action, see Video Examples of UDL Practices in the Middle School Classroom from the Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools

APPS for Differentiating Classroom Organization and Teaching Practices

Category: Chairs and Desks
Smart Seat

Manage your course attendance from your phone as you walk around your classroom. 
You can scramble seating arrangements and use a random student name generator to help you call on people in class.

Category: Whiteboards, chalkboards, chart paper
ShowMe turns your smart phone into whiteboard. By recording your voice as you use the Showme software, you can create Internet based demonstrations.

Category: Students manipulate hands-on materials to solve problems
Virtual Manipulatives!
Learn fractions, decimals, and percents by interacting with your touchscreen.

Category: Students manipulate hands-on materials to solve problems
Fill the Cup
Elementary students can play four math games fill the cup (conservation and measurement), balance (scales), balance (multiply), and rods (addition subtraction game). Interact with virtual manipulatives.

Category: Students teach each other
DropboxFiles can be saved on all your computers and phones. Once you save folders in your dropbox, this software will save those files on all of your computers and phones. As you add files, folders will be updated everywhere. Select individual files to share with family, friends, and co-workers.

Category: Students work in groups with a teacher
Screen Cast Screen Cast is a screen high resolution MPEG4 video recording and screen capture application with view, play, and share features. A live video feed feature is currently underdevelopment.

Category: Teacher Demonstrates Academic Concepts
MIT Opencourseware LectureHall
Watch MIT OpenCourseware video lecturers from your smartphone and touch pad.

Category: Pencils papers and scissors
Archive web pages on your smartphone or touchpad. You can read these documents right from your desktop so you don't need the internet or cell service to access these documents.

Category: Reading materials
Listen to well know your both new and classic literature, podcasts, and radio programming from your smart phone, tablet, or desktop. Audible's comprehensive library allows you to search best seller lists, award winners, and recent releases.

Turn document photos from your smartphone or tablet into pdfs. The high-quailty OCGR allows text-to-speech capabilities.

Magnifying Glass (free): This app turns an iPad into a digital magnifying glass.

Silver Surf- dynamic interface for web browsing- includes magnification- text zoom.

Category: Writing Materials
Side by Side
Split your smartphone or touchpad screen so that you can take notes on one side of your device while researching on the other side.

Category: Student works independently
Three Ring
A virtual three ring binder or porfolio for your student work. Just snap a picture of the essay, diorama, picture, drawing or draft, tag it and file it by class, student name or topic. Items can be organized in personalized folders for each student. ****

Category: Teacher lecture 

A student response system that utilizes smartphones, tablets, and computers to engage students in interactive feedback and teaching activities.

Dictionary.comoffers a comprehensive and expanded set of learning resources. Writing Dynamo, billed as a “personal writing coach,” is a subscription-based writing analyzer that helps students improve their writing skills.

Assistive Technologies

external image 200px-Paperback_book_black_gal.svg.pngGray, T., & Silver-Pacuilla, H. (2011). Breakthrough teaching and learning: How educational and assistive technologies are driving innovation. New York: Springer.

Assistive Technologies and the iPad from YouTube.

Interactive Whiteboards

Five Ways to Win with Interactive White Boards, Ben Stern, edSurge, July, 2012.

Teaching Writing with Technology

The Valentine.  William Hernsley (1893)
The Valentine. William Hernsley (1893)

For more on student experiences with writing, see TEAMS-Tutoring in Schools wiki page on Tutoring Writing

15 Best New Writing Apps You've Never Of

Have Tablets, Will Write from OnCue (Summer 2015). Apps for writing discussed in the article include:
  • Kidspiration Maps
  • Popplet
  • Book Creator
  • My Story

High School Teachers Guide Students into Self Publishing

Barbaric Yawp in the 21st Century: Using Tech to Engage Budding Poets from Edutopia (April 2, 2014)

Writing Apps and Websites from Common Sense Media provides a review of some of the best resources for young writers.

The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How It Is Taught in Schools from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (July 16, 2013).
  • Teachers say the Internet, social media, cell phones and other digital tools "encourage student creativity and personal expression."
  • Creativity and self-expression promote greater student investment in writing and the writing process.

external image Reports.gifThe Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011 presents findings from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress test, the first conducted exclusively on computers. See the video that explains how girls outperform boys in writing and White and Asian students outperform African American and Latino students.

Sites where Students Share Book Recommendations and Reviews
  • GoodReads
  • LibraryThing
  • Scholastic
  • Shelfari

The CCCC Position Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessing Writing in Digital Environments

Impact of the Internet on Reading and Writing

5 Myths About Writing with Mobile Devices from Edudemic (April 2013).

Online Essay Grading Tools are useful parts of a Writing Process Fit for Young Writers. Students can use then to revise and edit drafts of writing and teachers can use them to support the development of writing talents and skills.
  • Essay
  • Apple's Essay Grader app
  • Glencoe Online Essay Grader

Dictation Technology Will Change Writing Instruction from Edutopia (October 2013).

From The Digital Promise: Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology (p. 11)

external image Writing_Girl.jpg
New Pedagogies to Transform Literacy Learning: Individualizing Supports with Breakthrough Technologies Developed by Apple Inc.

• Visually impaired students can use the built-in Universal Access features in every Mac
desktop and notebook computer to enlarge text through Zoom, navigate the interface
using Speakable Items, or depending on their degree of need, turn on the full screen
reading interface found in VoiceOver. This flexibility allows visually impaired students
access to the same text as their non-disabled peers, thus allowing them to remain in
the least restrictive educational environment for a larger part of their day.

• Utilizing Apple’s Text to Speech technology, students can support their understanding
of web page content, PDFs, or electronic textbooks often above their reading level,
leading to increased fluency and comprehension. Students can build their vocabularies
and have access to content independent of reading level. Teachers can easily
differentiate instruction and meet the needs of language learners at many levels.

• Teachers can create Keynote and PowerPoint presentations using realistic images
and downloaded videos from the Internet to introduce new content and support
vocabulary development as well as build background for reading. Often English
language learners and special needs students have limited experience or vocabulary
to be able to participate in introductory discussions without having that kind of visual
support. Presentations can be filed on student computer desktops so they can access
them to review challenging material and reinforce learning. Students can customize
these presentations, connecting their personal experiences and knowledge to reinforce
their understanding.

• Online dictionaries can support vocabulary development. If students listen to parts of
web pages or have other digital content read to them through Text to Speech, they
can access the pronunciation and meaning of new words immediately through online
dictionaries. These just-in-time learning experiences can support the development of
richer and deeper vocabularies.

• Research links oral reading fluency to reading comprehension. All students, but
especially struggling ones, need to hear themselves practicing to promote fluency.
Students can record themselves reading and use a podcast editing program such as
GarageBand to edit out the “ums” and “ahs” and trial pronunciations. They can then
read along with their own voice.