Differentiating and personalizing learning

I do a lot of work to help teachers and students differentiate and personalize learning. One thing I know about this is that you need A LOT of content to succeed in doing this. Also, mobile technology makes it a lot more feasible.

I also believe that you need a HOME BASE, that is, one central place for all that content to live. This “home base” should be the place where kids know to go everyday to find what they need. (I’ve also found that having this kind of “home base” will prompt students to go and explore areas that may not even be covered in class.) For most schools, this will be a cloud- or network-based place.

There are many options for where this “home base” might be hosted, ranging from something as simple as a foldering system (like Google Drive or even a network drive) to something more complex like a full content management system.

Two important variables in considering the options are:

  • Cost  (and by cost, I mean not only whether it is free or how much you pay for it, but also by how easy it is for an individual teacher to use without necessarily having district IT help)
  • Student data tracking capabilities (This means the degree to which you can see what students access, how long they spend on it, what assessment results they have, etc. This information is obviously very useful to teachers.)

Using those those two variables, I’ve made this graphic to list out some different options.

What do you think? Is this useful? Are there other big content hosting/organization tools or platforms that are missing?

I’ll be continuing to refine this so I appreciate any input.

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