Sharon Seaton - Personalization vs Differentiation
This is sure a loaded topic in my district. As a district, we have petitioned the state to allow us to do away with Carnegie units and go to a milestone approach. This gives us the flexibility to let kids complete their studies after completing the core requirements to follow their interests and passions. However it is a slow process to change minds and move forward. So for now we are still on the old system. In science we have utilized the Moodle Learning Management System that after the students complete Physical Science and Biology they have 12 other classes to choose from. The idea being that if they studied what interest them they will be more inclined to take more science. Seniors from last years Environmental class who celebrated the fact they had their science requirements done came back when they found our they could take Marine Science or Geology or Astronomy. I have had push back from the high school on this. How can you offer this? Why would you give yourself so much work? I can do it because the technology makes it possible. Also kids can use Google hangouts to message me of they are working form home as they have access to their classes 24/7. This eases pressure for the student to get everything done at school. I do set deadlines to help them pace themselves but for the most part they come in, get a computer and get to work. I have as many as 7 different science classes going on at the same time. While the content and homework is online, labs, assessments and certain projects must be done at school. This allows me to touch base with my students. I find this approach much more satisfying as a teacher. I am not lecturing and not trying to keep every student at the same point in their learning. I am free to help those who struggle and those who move on can do so without me.
So I guess I am doing some personalization already. Differentiation to me is presenting a lesson in a variety of manners for different learning styles I may have in my classroom. I did this when I was an ESL science teacher in Ottumwa. Not so much here in Wyoming.
Re: Sharon Seaton - Personalization vs Differentiation
When you touch base with your students, how often do you "meet" with them? Is it f2f? Virtual? Email? What things come up in those conversations? Is it mostly focused on what students need clarification with or?
Thanks for sharing.