Web Resources:

Bernajean Porter's website on digital storytelling: Digitales

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy is a wonderful resource linking technology to each Bloom level. Check out this Wiki devoted to Blooms revised taxonomy. Kelly Tenkely has created a Bloom's Technology Tree highlighting a variety of different technologies that work with each level of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Differentiation in the Real World provides a multitude of example anchor activities and a plethora of resources on differentiation

Dare to Differentiate Wiki provides links on all topics related to differentiating instruction

Common Core Standards link to newly adopted National Standards for College and Career Readiness

Egg Harbor Township ...great ideas and resources for DI

Everything DI complements the ISTE publication Differentiating Instruction with Technology in the K-5 Classroom

New Literacies Research provides research on the new reading comprehension and learning skills students need to navigate the WWW

ISTE is a professional organization for teachers & administrators interested in technology in education

ISTE Literacy SIG . . . loaded with resources to help integrate technology into your curriculum
National Archives provides primary resources for teacher and lesson plans. Find and Use activities are available or create your own.

Writing Fix a website of interactive writing prompts and writing resources

Books & Publications:

Smith, G.E., & Throne, S. (2007). Differentiating instruction with technology in k-5 classrooms. Washington, DC: ISTE.

This excellent resource is a must-have for teachers that want to use technology to differentiate instruction. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different element of differentiated instruction. Technology resources are embedded throughout each chapter and are also listed at the end of each chapter. The format of this book makes it a hands-on, easy to use resource for busy classroom teachers.


Meyer, E, Abrami, P, Wade, A, Aslan , O, & Deault, L. (2010). Improving literacy and metacognition with electronic portfolios: teaching and learning with epearl. Computers & Education, 55(1), 84-91.

This article takes a look at the possible benefits of electronic portfolios. The study was composed of 296 Students using an electronic portfolio tool called ePEARL during the 2007-2008 school year. There was a control group of 175 students who did not use ePEARL in the same school. The online tool ePEARL, was used to house students work and enable students to reflect back on their work through time. Students who used ePEARL had significant improvements in their writing skills on a state standardized literacy measure. More importantly, metacognitive skills (determined by student self-report) increased as well. The results show that teaching with ePEARL can have a positive impact on students self-regulated learning skills when integrated into the curriculum.

Click here to access the article.

Warlick, D.(2006).A Day in the Life of Web 2.0. Technology & Learning, 27, 231-234.

This article highlights a day in the life of a middle school that uses web 2.0 technology. In this school everyone from the principal to teachers have blog pages. The principal uses her blog page to highlight important events at school, including digital content (i.e. podcasts, video clips), she thinks parents and community members will be interested in. Mrs. S, a science teacher, uses her blog to inform students and parents of upcoming activities, important events and to attach links she wants her students to access. She regularly reviews podcasts she's subscribed to and chooses those that support the content being taught in class. Mr. P., a language arts teacher, records his class discussion of The Grapes of Wrath and posts it on his blog for students to reference when completing homework. The superintendent participates by subscribing to the principal and teachers blogs. He uses information gleaned in a group Wiki sharing ideas for school improvement. This article shows how 2.0 technology can increase communication between all shareholders, aid in student learning and keep the school community abreast of others' work.

Colombo, M.W., & Colombo, P.D. (2007). Using Blogs to improve differentiated instruction. Education Digest: Essential Readings
Condensed for Quick Review, 73(4), 10-14.

This article discusses the use of class blogs to better meet the needs of diverse learners. It presents how Ms. Daniels, a seventh-grade life science teacher, uses a class blog to provide students with additional instructional time to either extend their thinking, revisit content material, or review key reading and vocabulary strategies introduced at the beginning of the year. Ms. Daniels’ blog includes text files, which allow students and teachers to engage in two-way written communication; audio files, or podcasts, which allow students to listen to explanations, descriptions, or instructions; and video files, called vodcasts, which allow students to view videos that incorporate audio. She posts essential questions connected to each unit to promote inquiry and on-line discussion between students. She also posts study guides that outline the key points students should understand in each unit. She creates a podcast to introduce each new topic, and posts podcasts of each lesson. She also created vodcasts to help students with two essential strategies—how to read and use the science text (explaining where to find the unit objectives and how they are linked to the enduring understandings); and how to learn the key science vocabulary in the text. The vodcasts allow her to show students what to do, as she explains it to them, so that they can follow along. These vodcasts are also helpful to parents as they attempt to support their children with homework. This article shows how a class blog allows the teacher to further support students relative to their varied areas of strengths and needs. The blog essentially provides additional instructional time, and reinforces differentiation as students access the materials and support they will benefit from.

--Click on the link to download the full article.

Keengwe, J. , Pearson, D., & Smart, K. (2009) Technology integration: Mobile devices (iPods), constructivist pedagogy, and student learning. AACEJ, 17(4), 333-34.

This article focuses on research conducted at a Midwestern college of education where preservice teachers were given mobile technologies (specifically an iPod) and instructed on their functions, including how to create podcasts. The students were then asked to incorporate the iPod into their lessons (during their student teaching practicum). Based on interviews conducted after the study, the preservice teachers said that they recognized the ability to differentiate instruction with the iPod. The authors made it clear that the iPods weren’t there to extend the past method of delivery (technology used to impart knowledge instead of the the teacher), but rather to integrate video and audio directly into the lessons. The authors also believe that iPods provide flexibility for students who can watch and re-watch videos as needed. The article concludes with a reminder that teaching technology for technology’s sake is not valuable, and that current pedagogies need to change in order to benefit students in the changing world. They also recommend that educational leaders provide opportunities to get teachers the necessary training to integrate these technologies, as technology will have to become a part of future curricula.

Zawilinski, L. (2009). Hot blogging: a framework for blogging to promote higher order thinking. The Reading teacher, 26(8), 650-661.

This article discusses the use of blogs in the classroom to develop higher order thinking (HOT) skills in students. The author believes that schools need to prepare students for the ‘new literacies’ of the internet age and that this can be easily integrated into the curriculum through blogging. The author briefly describes a blog, its common features and ways blogs are organized. She describes several types of blogs used by educators (news, response to literature, showcase and reflective). Steps with resources and suggestions for teachers to get started on their blogging journey are given. HOT blogging is a framework that develops higher order thinking skills around the new literacies of online reading comprehension. It adapts the traditional dialogue/response journal to the Internet. It integrates traditional reading comprehension skills and new, higher order thinking skills required during on line reading comprehension. HOT blogging is a cycle of four stages/steps to help students develop rich conversations through both talk and written text. It begins by building students’ background by posting activities and questions about the selection/novel to be read. Next, posts asks students to share their initial thinking about the text and requires students read posts from others so that they can share others’ comments in the class discussion. The third step involves students beginning to synthesize what has been learned and shared from their reading, blogs and class discussions. The fourth step is multiplicity. After reading, thinking and commenting on the blog, students begin to see how differently others think. They not only encounter a variety of perspectives but begin to see how important it is to support one’s own point of view. HOT blogging is a way to integrate several NCTE standards and build higher order thinking skills in students.

Learning and Teaching in WANDA Wiki Wonderland: Literature Circles in the Digital Commons
By Donna N. Gallas

This article has married the world of literature circles and technology into something that will expand horizons for students. Tapscott and Williams in their book, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, call this collaboration the “digital commons”. (Tapscott, & Williams, 2006) Judi Moreillon along with her colleague, Jennifer Hunt, and Jennifer’s student teacher, Sarah Ewing, designed units for literature circles in which students were responsible for reading, writing, publishing their writing on a wiki and having digital discussions within their classroom and beyond its borders. They taught their pre-AP eighth grade students at Emily Gray Junior High-Tanque Verde High School three sets of skills that were necessary to make this a successful endeavor.

First, students were taught how to successfully work in literature circles; reading, describing and discussing issues. Then students were taught how to be accountable for learning objectives and deadlines. Thirdly and most importantly, the eighth graders were taught online etiquette and communication.

The teachers conducted four literature circles throughout the year. The reading for the first lit. circle was conducted with students within their classroom. These students posted their work on the wiki and communicated with students at a local college. The second and third lit. circle readings combined students who were enrolled in the pre-AP classes but not at the same time. This meant that students needed to “talk digitally” with other members who were reading the same book. The fourth circle once again combined students from across all pre-AP classes but “talking digitally” with students who were high school library aides.

The results of these four literature circles in the digital commons were interesting. They found that at first students were reluctant to revise their work to make it publishable on the wiki. Only 3 out of 12 groups were published. During the second and third literature circles, they found that student were more willing to check out the copyrighting of works used but not to incorporate multimedia before publishing. Still more students’ work was published on the wiki. The fourth and final attempt at lit circles found that after students had instruction in Web2.0 tech tools, they were much more amenable to using the multimedia tools in their lit. circle discussions for publishing on the wiki.
Incorporating literature circles and technology has seemed to have benefits. The students at Emily Gray Junior High School have begun to become part of the “participatory culture” (Moreillon, Hunt, & Ewing, 2009) . The skills learned have benefits for a “21st century collaborative learning environment”. (Moreillon, Hunt, & Ewing, 2009)

Moreillon, J, Hunt, J, & Ewing, S. (2009). Learning and teaching in Wanda wiki wonderland: literature circles in the digital commons. Teacher Librarian, 37:2, 23-28.
Tapscott, D, & Williams, A.D. (2006). Wikinomics: how mass collaboration changes everything. New York: Penguin.

Edyburn, D. L. (2006). Failure in not an option. Learning & Leading with Technology, 20-23.
“Failure is Not an Option: Collecting, Reviewing, and Acting on Evidence for Using Technology to Enhance Academic Performance” by Dave Edyburn talks about chronic underachievement, one of the core tenets of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The author highlights that our current practices are not effective for some groups of students, only extend the achievement gap, and create an achievement gap that is difficult to erase. Performance support interventions need to happen sooner. The author asks: “If a child has repeatedly failed, how much failure data do we need before we have enough evidence that the child can’t perform the task? When do we intervene? And, what do we do?”
Dave Edyburn also talks about the use of Assistive Technology (AT). Some students would not have access to standard curriculum without AT, and for others AT can greatly enhance access and learning. But should students be able to use AT on “high-stakes testing”? The author raises many questions about technology-enhanced performance. Is completing a task in one’s head superior to performance that is enhanced through technology? Is it fair that some students can earn an A by relying on technology while other students spend a great deal of mental energy on a task? And finally the notion of fairness, that everyone gets the same thing. The author suggests that the functional definition of fairness is that “everyone gets what they need”.
Dave Edyburn asserts that “the use of technology tools and cognitive supports represent essential and underutilized intervention for enhancing the academic performance of struggling students. The long-term consequences of academic failure must motivate the profession to intervene with carefully designed learning activities that ensure success from the outset.” Remember, NCLB says that failure is not an option.

Berger, P. (2010, January). Student inquiry and web 2.0. School Library Monthly, 26(5), Retrieved from http://www.schoollibrarymonthly.com/articles/Berger2010-v26n5p14.html

This article’s focus is on the tools that are available to educators on the Web. The hope is that these tools will be used daily “to create, share, socialize, and collaborate with students, colleagues, and newly developed network contacts”. The article also places the importance of the school librarian in this process to “bring them more ways to embrace and promote new learning environments for the 21st-century learner – interactive, inquiry based, technology-rich learning”. The characteristics of Web 2.0 support the principles of good teaching and learning through active participation and collaboration. Today’s students have grown up in a highly digital world so they absorb and process information in fundamentally different ways then previous students. The author believes there is a new vision for today’s students; “Students will use engaging technologies in collaborative, inquiry-based learning environments with teachers who are willing and able to use technology’s power to assist them in transforming knowledge and skills into products, solutions, and new information.”
Figure 2. Inquiry and Web 2.0 Tools Integration Guide

The Phases of Inquiry
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Technology Tools/Resources
Connect to self, previous knowledge
Gain background knowledge to set context for new learning
Observe, experience
Facilitated conversation
Small group discussion and dialogue
Research journals
Learning logs
Charting the Inquiry/Information
Searching Process
Pre-reading aids (visual organizers, structures overviews, semantic maps)
Engagement and exploration activities
EduBlogs, Ning, Wikispaces, Skype
GoogleDocs, Zoho Suite
Mindmeister, Bubbl.us, Mind42, LooseStitch
Google Earth, Teacher Tube, Flickr
Develop questions
Make predictions, hypotheses
Class brainstorming
Peer questioning
Question stems
Anticipation Guide
GoogleDocs templates,Mindmeister, Bubbl.us
Find and evaluate information to answer questions, test hypotheses
Think about the information to illuminate new questions and hypotheses
Find information
Two column note taking
 Main Idea/Details, Examples
Ideas from Text/ Connections to Prior Knowledge
Guided Practice
Organize sources; Evaluate information
Google, Clusty, Ask, Kartoo, Exalead, Intute
Google Docs, Zoho Notebook, iOutliner, SpringNote
Wikispaces (pathfinders) Jing, Voicethread
Google Reader, Diigo, Delicious, SimplyBox
Netvibes, Pageflakes, 30 Boxes, TaDaList
Mindmeister, Bubbl.us
Construct new understandings connected to previous knowledge
Draw conclusions about questions and hypotheses
Charting, Mindmapping
Questioning: teacher-to-student, student-to-teacher, student-to-student
Edublogs, Wikispaces, PBWorks, GoogleDocs, Zoho Suite
Polleverywhere, GoogleDocs, Zoho Suite Edublogs, E-mail, Instant Messenger, Skype, Twitter
Express new ideas to share learning with others
Apply understandings to a new context, new situation
Use of rubric with specific criteria
Select format based on needs of topic and audience
Teacher and peer conferencing
Google Docs, Zoho Suite
Voicethread, Glogster, Podcast, Animoto, Flickr, TeacherTube
Skype, Blogs, Nings
Reflect on own process of learning and on new understandings gained from inquiry
Ask new questions
Feedback from teacher and peers
Reflection Log: I Used to Think/Now I Know
EduBlogs, Wikispaces, E-mail, Ning
GoogleDocs, Voicethread, Podcast
Pam Berger and Barbara Stripling 2009

Petitto, Laura-Ann. (2009). New discoveries from the bilingual brain and mind across the life span:implications for education. Mind, Brain, Education, 3(4), 185-197.
Laura-Ann Petitto did educational neuroscience research to show how developmental milestones in bilingual language acquisition can give educators a tool in differentiating language delays from disabilities. She also uses brain imaging technology to look at the developing brains of bilingual compared to monolingual children. Petitto shows the age of first bilingual exposure is a predictor of bilingual language and reading mastery. Educational neuroscience is a new and exciting field that draws on many other disciplines such as; developmental, cognitive, perceptual psychology and technologies for exploring the brain. The trend in education over the last 50 years has been to delay bilingual and second language acquisition until mastery in the majority language is obtained. The approach is called “hold back”. This is why public schools do not introduce foreign or second languages until high school. English language only programs are thought to be the best for reading and English language mastery. However, English Language Learners experience language and reading problems. Dual language learners are children who by the age of 9 are experiencing educational programs where the goal is for them to achieve equal and equally high language and reading mastery in both languages. As opposed to an ELL, who typically abandons learning to read in the home language and is first taught how to read in a second language. Educators fear that exposing a young child to two languages too early can cause language confusion. The worry is that the exposure may interrupt normal language development in the majority language. This is why Massachusetts has dramatically reversed their bilingual policy to an English-only policy for public education. The observation was that bilingual children were not becoming competent in either language. The prevailing wisdom was that bilingual children do not know that they are acquiring two languages. They then have to sort out the two languages which causes language delays. Petitto’s research has shown the opposite to be true. Her findings suggest that “early bilingualism offers no disadvantage; on the contrary, young bilinguals may be afforded a linguistic and reading advantage.” Also, learning to read in two language will also afford an advantage to children in monolingual homes. There is no critical or sensitive period for learning a second language like there is for learning a first language. The reality is that childhood bilingualism is not typical. Large groups of children from outside the majority language are entering schools at varying ages, and stages of life. The optimal learning conditions for bilingual mastery is early exposure. The evidence shows fluency in English is not delayed if the teacher uses the home language as a “conceptual bridge” during instruction. The public banning of bilingualism in Massachusetts did not need to happen.

Lamb, A, & Johnson, L. (2009). Graphic novels, digital comics, and technology-enhanced learning: part 1. Teacher Librarian, 36.5, 70-75.
In the article Graphic novels, digital comics, and technology-enhanced learning: part 1, Lamb and Johnson discuss the various structures of visual reading experiences. As they point out, “…the world of graphic novels and digital comics has exploded.” (p.70) From cartoons to comics to classics and historical fiction, visual reading is increasing exposure and offering new ways of exploring literature for students of all ages. Many formerly print only companies have expanded their repertoire to include many digital offerings. The article offers many suggestions for student exploration and cross-curricular ideas as well as a multitude of web-sites that offer students access to on-line graphic novels, comics, manga, and cartoons. The authors suggest infusing comic literature in the lessons that are already being taught as an alternative to hook students. They offer an online workshop at http://eduscapes.com/sessions/comics/.
A follow-up, part 2 article is offered in the October 2009 issue of Teacher Librarian.

Ferriter, B. (2009, February). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership, 66(5), 34-38.
The article started out challenging current staff development practices and my thinking about staff development. I have heard the same complaints; not enough time, poor quality, no follow through and if you wait long enough it will go away. In this digital age staff development is different. Dare I say differentiated?

Blogs offer the adult learner on-going staff development anytime that is convenient. In fact blogs can share teaching resources, new ideas and challenge your thinking. Participating in blogs is becoming a professional necessity. After subscribing to a number of blogs it’s difficult to manage all the information. Feed readers are an effective means to review many blogs quickly identifying the ones to read or spend time with.

Perhaps the most exciting part of blogging is creating your own. You need time to manage the blog and a few good ideas to share. Creating the blog is straight forward using a tool like Blogger, a Google service. With a Google account, Blogger is free.

Wikis are another way to receive staff development. You can participate as teaching teams or collaborative groups working on a project. The information on wikis can be changed by anyone who accesses the wiki. However, wikis are a great tool for professional collaboration.

This article is filled with outstanding resources for on-line professional development and how too instructions with web resources.

Graham, Lynda. (2009). It was a challenge but we did it! Digital worlds in a primary classroom. Literacy, 43(2), 107-114.
The words “digital worlds” in a primary classroom may sound intimidating at first, but this article profiles a young teacher who is creating a digital world in her classroom alongside her students. The focus of the article was to show that a teacher who has grown up with technology and embraces it as a natural part of her being can integrate technology throughout the classroom and class day. The researcher found this digital history to be highly relevant in the use of technology in the classroom. Further, the teachers who have had to learn technology through brute force can and must learn from the digital natives. Through the use of technology this teacher was engaged in a year long curriculum that included creating a computer game (digital world) with her class. The student work was differentiated by interest and to a lesser extent by readiness. Other researcher observations included that the class was focused on a year long project and community had been established through a common purpose. Additionally, students were incorporating their learning from throughout the day into the game they were building. Finally, the researcher noted high levels of student engagement. One student was quoted as saying, “Well I don’t want to start to be like one of those really stuffy people on TV, but now it’s really like that everyday you go to school there’s going to be something fun….You know there’s going to be filming, you know there is going to be website design and it’s like everyday there’s going to be something new and more creative and more wonderful”.