Using technology for active differentiation

Maureen Haldane and Rebecca Smith explore the possibilities of learner response devices, a new way of bringing greater differentiation to the classroom

DELIVERING EFFECTIVE DIFFERENTIATED teaching when working with whole-class sized groups represents a perpetual challenge for even the most capable teachers. Researchers such as Carol Ann Tomlinson acknowledge that progression towards this goal is often a career-long evolutionary path, paved with complex personal, professional and leadership skills.

What we know
● Learner response devices are potentially useful in allowing teachers to differentiate instruction both within and beyond the bounds of their lessons.
● The Activeexpression data screen provides the teacher with a “live” record of individual learners’ progress throughout the lesson, enabling the teacher to intervene appropriately.
● The devices reduce the burden of marking and allow teachers to analyse individual and whole class performance.
● The devices are viewed positively by learners for making teaching more adaptive and engaging.

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October 2010