Differentiated Instruction is defined by Wikipedia as “…providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching products so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.” I ask this question of all educators “Is this not what we look to accomplish when working with small groups or individual students?” Well, Discovery Education Streaming now has a viable answer for providing differentiated instruction.
Upon logging into your DE Streaming account look for the “My Classrooms” option located about the “RSS Feed” option in the upper right hand corner of your main page. Next step is to create classes and add students to those classes. There are two different ways to add students to your classroom roster. The first method is by having the Discovery Education admin for your district use the Excel spreadsheet provided by DE to mass upload student users. The second method is by the teacher creating each individual student account. Please keep in mind that creating accounts on Discovery Education is a global database of user names. Thus, you may find that some user names are already assigned to another user. A final point that needs to be made, about student created accounts, deals with how Discovery Education is addressing COPPA and FERPA regulations for users below the age of 13. When students go to access the portal for the first time it will ask if they are Below the Age of 13 or 13 and Older. If they are 13 or older the link will take them directly to the student portal. If the student is below the age of 13 it will take them to a screen asking for parents e-mail address so an information page can be sent or provides a “print” option of the form. The form explains to the parents how Discovery Education will handle student information.
In closing, Discovery Education now provides educators the ability to create classes and rosters for the ability to assign videos, segments, quizzes, writing prompts or an assignment to individual students or an entire class. Thus, teachers now have the power to provide challenging activities to students that are at an accelerated level and tasks to those students needing to be re-taught material. If all of these new features interest you, be sure to watch the embeded video below to learn the step-by-step process of setting up your classroom. Or you may choose to review Discovery Education’s Jennifer Dorman’s power point on these new features.