By Lani Aquino
It’s no secret that meeting the instructional needs of all students can be challenging. There are hosts of strategies that allow teachers to determine students’ understanding of skills and concepts, and then this information is taken to devise meaningful discovery and practice for moving forward. When teachers find themselves with a group of diverse learners that all need different entry points for skill building and understanding, it can be overwhelming.
Adaptive learning and technologies can take away some of the mind-boggling logistics of determining those just-right entry points and key activities to build foundational and advanced skills. These resources can help teachers pinpoint the understanding and ability levels of large groups of students at once. A digital program is certainly no replacement for the expertise of an educator that knows more about students than the representative marks of a singular assessment, but these platforms can offer a much needed second set of digital eyes to formatively assess and inform instruction.
When teachers implement the usage of adaptive learning resources, they are able to utilize the assessment and practice activities as one component within a wide repertoire of teaching tools. As students spend time engaging with these digital platforms, teachers are able to work with small groups and/or individuals in a variety of instructional and/or support scenarios. Adaptive learning resources are perfect additions for blended classrooms or any classroom where an extra set of hands (even if they are digital) can be just what’s needed to monitor and positively move learning forward.
Many educational apps are powered by adaptive technology that moves forward based on skill level mastery. These can be great resources for allowing teachers to share engaging, digital options for students to use in practice and remediation. There are also a lot of programs that can be used to determine skill levels and action plans for moving forward in core curriculum standards. These 6 platforms could start making a difference for entire classrooms or small groups of students that need additional resources and practice to find success.
DreamBox- This platform focuses on mathematics in K-8 classrooms. While identifying current levels of understanding and providing engaging instructional opportunities for meeting success is at the heart of the program, there are a multitude of additional teacher resources available. In this case, multitude means over 2,300! Students can learn in engaging game-like environments while teachers learn from a wide bank of PD resources. Math gaps will close and a love for all things mathematical will open when DreamBox is used in computer labs, station rotations, or as a component to a robust differentiated instruction program.
Freckle Education- Formerly Front Row Education, Freckle has rebranded to make a statement about the unique attributes of every student. This K-12 adaptive technology is available for all four core subjects. Students are able to work at their level on the topics and skills where they may encounter difficulties. Over half a million teachers and nearly 10 million students have discovered the benefits of seamless differentiation and student success that can be experienced when an adaptive technology program allows individual skill levels to be met.
SPELL-2- This language and literacy platform helps teachers analyze spelling errors and determine word study instructional methods. The program is designed for students in grade 2 and higher, and the assessed skill areas include: phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, morphological knowledge, sematic relationships, and mental orthographic images. A perfect resource for special education, ELL students, speech students, Title I, and/or students with dyslexia and dysgraphia.
ScootPad- ScootPad identifies existing knowledge gaps and fills them in real-time. This adaptive technology balances practice and rigor while offering just-in-time instruction with short instructional videos that explain concepts and aid students in moving forward. The automatic remediation helps to get students to grade-appropriate levels. This platform offers a variety of levels of engagement that allow teachers and/or student to add a more personalized voice and direction to the path of study taken with ELA and math standards.
Woot Math- The custom formative assessments help teachers determine the knowledge gaps that students have when it comes to mathematical concepts. The actionable data that results allows teachers to build a just-right plan for bridging those gaps. The adaptive learning activities provided by Woot Math deliver instructional methods and practice opportunities that allow students to hone needed mathematical skills.
Achieve 3000- With a focus on literacy, this platform differentiates nonfiction text by Lexile level for ELA, Spanish, Science, RTI, ELL, Gifted and Talented, and more. The wide range of nonfiction reading and writing sources provide an engaging way to help students tackle a wealth of information. Teachers can input a grade level range and subject area to unlock a variety of resources to differentiate and enhance instruction.
When it comes to finding the best resources for learning, platforms that pinpoint current levels and offer engaging opportunities to master necessary skills are invaluable. Through adaptive technology, many online resources can help teachers identify levels of understanding and allow for an ease in determining the best methods for instruction. Whether looking to expand a blended learning repertoire or find the perfect learning fit for individual students, these adaptive learning resources can make learning success readily accessible to more students.
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