Scott Kinney, Vice-President of Outreach & Professional Development, discusses ways to meet our growing diversity of learners by using differentiated instruction using Discovery Education products. Scott began with a test of our knowledge with a quiz identifying demographics of changing student populations. Questions covered percentage of ESL students entering school (20), percentage of students entering fourth grade nationwide reading below reading level 36), most frequently watch video channel (YouTube), percentage of public school students part of racial or ethnic minorities (43), website larger than Germany, France, and the UK combined if the site were a country (myspace), and percentage of students requiring special education services (14). Using a CPS clicker system, teams registered answers for prizes, and Scott came, as always,with great prizes.
Then, we discussed the profile of our classrooms, which included the following topics: ethnic diversity, housing, SES, technology literacy/access, sexual preferences, learning styles, language, class size, special education, religion, households (family structure). Why are the things mentioned such a good thing? Because it is an opportunity to collaborate, to see things from a different perspective, and because what we see in classrooms is a microcosm of the real world. The more diversity we have, the more learning and information exchange can grow. So, Scott suggests that first day of school should take a look at where we are and what students know. What’s the best way to access readiness: Quiz Builder.
Within Streaming, teachers can access and create quizzes with multiple choice and open-ended questions. Results can be sent to your email (Blackberry) or give you dis/aggregates withing the builder. Since we need to know our students to teach them effectively, Scott asked what other questions might we ask? In addition to discipline knowledge, we would want to know their interests, level of entry, how they learn, and access to technology. But why do we want to discover students’ learning styles? Because we tend to teach the way we learned, but we know that students learn differently with different interests, so we need to differentiate our delivery. A great learning style profile that will identify learning styles, along with Scott’s slide show and other links can be accessed here.
What do we know about integrating media? It’s how students learn, can differentiate learning styles, film is the new text, and it provides relevancy, in addition to providing audio-visual learning and provides more recall because of more engagement of senses. Short media segments really work to reinforce learning.
What is proven to show significant improvement in: reading comprehension, listening vocabulary, vocabulary acquisition, word recognition, decoding skills, and overall motivation to read…and you probably already have access to it? The answer is closed captioning. It adds another level of learning, scaffolding instruction. Closed captioned titles in DiscoveryStreaming can be accessed by selecting the Advance Search mode and checking “Closed Caption.” The number of CC videos is 1500 and growing daily.
Another builder is Writing Prompt. A great feature of this builder is the ability to put any language into the text box. Using google.com is a Google translator which can translate entire web pages into another language. As you click on different links, the links will be translated “on the fly” into the selected language. Next in differentiated learning: using songs from DiscoveryStreaming, which easily embed into PowerPoint or Keynote. Scott’s example was about homophones, which displayed the words visually while a song coordinated to the text. For a multi- sensory learner, Discovery Education Science offers a huge variety of ways to deliver instruction, and it has eBooks embedded within it.
For students who want to interact with their learning process experience, you can interact and build experiences with Atlas Interactive Map, a series that began last year and will continue this year. As you mouse over countries of the world, you can select a multi-disciplinary approach to learning withing the selected atlas.
When students begin telling their stories, they can tap into the Discovery Resources, especially “editable clips.” These clips can be remixed or mashed up to create a new product. You can find editable clips by doing an Advance Search and selecting editable clips. These clips have copyright cleared access, and work back to iMovie and PC platforms.
According to Ellie Scheitrum from Palisades Middle School and an attendee at this session, “The more senses you engage when students are learning, the more they learn and retain.” And Discovery Resources and DiscoveryStreaming make that process seamless.