EdTech 521: Differentiated Instruction
Tier 1 strategies that I use are mostly adaptations in delivery. I create step by step instructions, video instructions, and I deliver the content live first. In online education it is important to provide multiple pathways for students to access the content. Some students may prefer to just read through text and some may prefer to watch a video. I would love to be able to record my voice speaking the text for students who would prefer that or so they could read along as they listen. I have not tried this but it sounds interesting.
Tier 2 strategies are mostly done outside our school day in what we call Open Lab. Students can come and get individualized help during this time. One idea that comes to mind is to ask our older students to volunteer to help struggling younger students for service hours or for extra credit. This would also fulfill a great need of many special needs and struggling students and that is to feel a part of something larger and to feel welcome and helped. It’s hard when it’s just me doing it. In online programs this same idea can be carried over in an open forum where more senior students help beginner students and even lead asynchronous discussion sections online. I am building a forum for this particular need right now.
Tier 3 strategies are very specific to the individual special needs student. Some things such as providing multiple delivery methods, recordings of text being spoken as opposed to text to speech technology that just sounds bad most of the time, and using UDL principles are good for all students as well as those who require them.