CTE teachers are faced with increasingly diverse students in the classroom, and finding ways to differentiate your lessons can be tough. Some students will come to your class with more knowledge and experience than others. Not to mention that students all learn at different paces and in different ways. It may seem like a never-ending task, but there is a solution! Using technology to differentiate instruction can help you save time while better meeting the needs of all of your students.
Note from Bri: This is a guest post from Frank DiMaria, a middle school computer teacher in Fort Mill, SC. Frank has written a number of articles about educational technology and tips for other teachers.
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Do you ever consider the pros and cons of differentiated instruction? If you teach middle or high school Career and Technical Education or elective courses, chances are you are incorporating some kind of differentiated instruction in your classroom. The reality is that, unlike core courses, CTE and electives have a greater variety of individual learners at different levels. We know that's true because in our daily mission to create curriculum to help CTE teachers, we get valuable feedback. It's always been clear that we need to address the need these teachers have for curriculum resources that are easily to implement as varied instruction. But while differentiated instruction is the perfect solution for some, it may not be for others. There are definitely some pros and cons of differentiated instruction. Let's take a look at them!
Do you struggle to provide differentiated activities for your diverse CTE students? This can be extremely challenging and frustrating for a RN who is in their first year of CTE teaching. Have you ever thought: How do I handle the wide range of abilities without spending my family time and weekend developing activities?
Do you think outside the box with your blended learning solutions? I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking…“But Celestial, isn’t blended learning already outside of the box?” Well, yes. It’s currently outside of the norm. However, our view of what blended learning is can be broadened. We all know an online course used in conjunction with in-person teaching is one way to define it, but is that all? Some teachers pepper in YouTube videos and some savvy teachers have even begun using a flipped classroom model. But there are still many more tools out there at your disposal! Using differentiation in blended learning solutions will keep it from becoming stale.