Technology can be a great tool for meeting the needs of your learners. Whether you choose to use an individual or group approach to teaching, your students will learn through the use technology if implemented correctly. This post will discuss ways to incorporate technology to meet your students learning needs in both an individual and group learning environment.
Individual– Individual learning can take place through the use of online instruction. As discussed in the Blended Learning post, this type of method supports many aspects of learning: critical thinking, communication, and engagement. There are several blended learning models that would work in a classroom. The four listed here are the most common ways to incorporate a blended learning environment in your classroom.
- Station Rotation
- Flipped Classroom
- Lab Rotation
- Flex Learning
Please visit the Blended Learning post to learn more specifically about these types. This model allows students to be self paced, but requires that they check in with their instructor throughout the process. Individuals, including gifted students, thrive in this type of environment.
Group– Whole Group Instruction can be beneficial to your learners. This allows you to give directions and uses less time, which can then be used for group work. I would recommend making small technology groups. Ideas such as flexible group work well. This allows you to teach students who need more practice with a certain skill. Students learn together as a group and also have opportunities to help each other. With budget constraints, partnering or grouping students with one device is a common practice in many schools.
There are many benefits of cooperative groups including social, emotional, and academic. When making groups, look at personalities as well as reading levels. When looking at your students you will see growth if grouped correctly.
Finding resources that work for either delivery method is vital to the lesson. Being able to find and assign books to either groups of students or individuals saves me time. I often refer to The 21st Century Coach Series as a resource when building technology lessons for my students. There are several options, this one is great for lessons with groups.
Saddleback Educational Publishing ISBN: 9781612473321
From the publisher, “Thirty-six activities and lessons (Lessons 1-36) teach students a wide range of critical thinking skills including excellence in communication, problem solving, creative thinking, and collaborative learning. Sample activities include: Thinking like an Innovator; Protecting Ideas; Thinking Critically; Making Good Decisions; Communicating Ideas; Collaborating and Presenting Together. Includes 16 graphic organizers & assessment tool. “
Whether you are using a group or individual model, planning is the key. A lesson needs to have clear expectations and outcomes. The more you incorporate technology into your classroom, you will be prepared to better meet the needs of your students.
Next week will discuss specific learning styles for individual learners and ways to enhance learning thru technology.