Pandemic shifts highlight the significance of differentiated learning technology

ASCD | May 07, 2020

  • While another could be reducing the amount of activities going on concurrently in their lives, from clubs to after-school sports, which the pandemic has done.

  • Teachers are reporting remote learning has been a boon for some students, allowing them to focus more on their work as distractions from the classroom.

  • Some students now have a reduced workload, and in some cases even grading requirements are now lifted.


Teachers are reporting remote learning has been a boon for some students, allowing them to focus more on their work as distractions from the classroom, including even bell schedules, are now removed, according to a story in Edutopia — and some of these shifts may be able to be incorporated back into schools when buildings reopen. One option may be to give students flexibility around when work is completed, taking breaks that make sense for them, while another could be reducing the amount of activities going on concurrently in their lives, from clubs to after-school sports, which the pandemic has done.


Some students now have a reduced workload, and in some cases even grading requirements are now lifted. These changes, as well as the ability to sleep later, may be helping students reduce stress. And while some students deeply miss their friends, others are finding relief in not having to navigate difficult social situations. Curriculum designers must create lessons that support all students and address learning needs that differ among a school, classroom or community. That’s without a doubt a challenge: One child, for example, may be an auditory learner while another is more visual.



Learn more: BEST VR APPS AND GAMES TO HELP YOUR KIDS LEARN IN 2020
 

“Curriculum designers must create lessons that support all students and address learning needs that differ among a school, classroom or community,".


Some may need more time to complete tasks while others may do better with fewer distractions. With social distancing rules still in effect for most students and these children finishing the current school year from home, educators and administrators must now rethink how to support students and their unique learning needs, which, as curriculum and development non-profit ASCD notes, all students have.

“Weaving project-based learning into lessons can take more time to construct, something curriculum designers should note if they’re going to use this method” .


One method — which can be adopted both in the classroom and with at-home learning — is project-based learning, where educators allow students to choose how they work through assignments and even how they complete their work. Some students may choose a final project that’s writing based, some could put together a video, diorama or other visual option, and others may build or even code a website, taking advantage of technology skills.


Weaving project-based learning into lessons can take more time to construct, something curriculum designers should note if they’re going to use this method. They need to ensure teachers have the resources they need to follow this route, including time. But by giving students more options in how to express themselves, and their learning, they may be helping to ensure all students’ individual learning needs are supported, no matter where that learning happens.


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