A Technology Success Story

7 Aug

The article entitled Differentiated Instruction: Getting Personal with Technology can be found at: http://www.edutopia.org/stw-differentiated-instruction-technology-elementary.  The article was written by Grace Rubenstein.

 Summary:

This article focuses on a school in Columbia, South Carolina called Forest Lake elementary.  This school is a technology magnet school that has interactive whiteboards and eight computers (Tech Zones) in every classroom.  The classrooms also use PowerPoints, Flip cams, blogs, and computer programs.  These tools enable teachers to meet the needs of all students (differentiated instruction).  Teachers use nontraditional methods to teach and in the process, all students are actively engaged in learning.  Parents are supportive of what their children are accomplishing, and the school’s testing scores are high.  Teachers are collaborating with their colleagues and sharing what they are doing and what is working in the classrooms during faculty meetings.   Technology has been a positive influence at Forest Lake elementary.

 New concept/interesting idea:

I thought it was interesting that the article mentioned most of the teachers at Forest Lake were older, seasoned teachers who had to learn how to use technology.  This was encouraging for me to want to try using more technology in my room.  It is a tool and can be utilized to finally solve the problems in education.  As a teacher, I am always confused as to how I am to meet the needs of all learners and make learning personalized for each student.  I think what Forest Lake elementary has done is incredible and many of the ideas presented in the article I would like to try out.  I was particularly excited to read that a second grade class had begun a class blog.  This inspired me even more to begin mine this fall!

My response:

I go so excited while reading this article that I immediately forwarded it to the administration at my school!  I especially want to look into the two computer programs used by Forest Lake Elementary schools (Study Island and EducationCity).  The ideas presented in this article provide many answers to the questions teachers have about differentiating instruction.  I have had many conversations with colleagues who have complained with me about how to bring up test scores while meeting the needs of all learners.  According to the success of the school written about in this article, technology seems to be the answer.  I am more motivated than ever to bring technology into my classroom.  I feel that technology works hand in hand with meeting the needs of all learners, and keeping students actively engaged which promotes classroom management.  I want my students to be prepared for a world where technology is part of everyday life and functioning.

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