Differentiation with Social Media Tools

This week I was notified of a change on a shared Google Spreadsheet I “follow” which is collecting “Differentiation with Social Media Tools“. As I write, there are  109 online social media tools listed, with the type, URL, a short assessment or review, and suggestions for content, process and product differentiation. The page was built and is maintained by John McCarthy, an Education Blogger  at Edutopia – George Lucas Educational Foundation. You can learn more about him on his web page.

Linked to the sheet, there is (of course!) a hash-tag discussion on Twitter (#DI4all) if you’d like some immediate feedback about an idea or a problem on this subject.

audioLooking at the variety of tools listed on  the spread sheet, you might want to use the text search tool in your web browser to zoom in on a particular need or modality.  For example, thinking of a student for whom writing by hand is almost impossible, a search for “audio”  helped me find 3 tools:



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and Google+ Communities

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Although there are hundreds of such lists on the web, this one is particularly well organized, the links are current, and the tools might be used by learners of any age. McCarthy has updated his blog post about this spread sheet at Edutopia . He writes,

“…Differentiating with social media is most effective when we plan learning experiences based on content, process, and product (our lesson structure) and incorporate readiness, interests, and learning profiles (student voice). The following guidelines can help any classroom teacher ensure that the tool used will address students’ needs:

  1. Be clear about the academic learning outcomes.
  2. Assess what students know and don’t know.
  3. Identify related student background connections.
  4. Utilize social networks that can:
    • Address needs for struggling learners
    • Ensure that advanced learners are growing.
    • Connect content to authentic purposes in the world beyond school.
  5. Use fog-free assessments that track learner progress…”

I urge you to “join” the spread sheet list, and create a notification for new listings.  These occasional emails will help you keep differentiation possibilities in mind.


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