Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
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10 Best Apps to Support Differentiated Instruction

10 Best Apps to Support Differentiated Instruction

By Lana Kostenko

Technology is now a vital tool in teachers’ efforts to differentiate for their students. What’s more, the range of possibilities make learning fun and engaging, encourage divergent thinking, and allow students to learn at their own pace.

Here are 10 great apps to use with your students that will accomplish all this and more. The best part is, they’re mobile! Why restrict learning to the classroom when it can literally go anywhere?

Let’s take our learning on the go as we review ten great apps to use with your classes.

More: 10 Ways to Differentiate Instruction With Technology

Study.com

Looking for an app to make your life as a teacher easier? Ready to find a new way to make that learning stick? Study.com is an all-in-one instructional tool that includes resources including presentations, assessment and record-keeping for more than 4,000 lessons in 13 content areas. Assign bite-sized video lessons and corresponding quizzes to do on their own time. This is great way to ensure you’re delivering differentiated instruction.

Don’t miss Study.com’s fun and interactive quiz app, Quiz Party, which is a fun way to engage students collaboratively and acquire valuable formative data. All of these resources are ready to go, freeing you up to spend more time on vital preparation.

Kahoot

Kahoot is another interactive quiz app. Teachers—or students—create multiple-choice quizzes, display them by computer or projection, and students answer questions using their own device. The quizzes are incentivized by speed and accuracy, meaning students can race against their peers to reach the top ranking.

Kahoot is very similar to Study.com’s quiz party, the difference being that with Kahoot teachers and students make the quizzes themselves. It’s a great tool to review material and having students create their own questions is a valuable self-differentiating activity.

FlipGrid

Today’s students love their social media. Channel that love into instruction by using FlipGrid. FlipGrid is an app that allows students to record video and audio of themselves for presentations, discussions, or any other purpose, allowing them to choose the learning style that suits them best.

Students can edit and share their videos and then reply to their classmates’ videos. This tool is versatile—if students need to communicate they can use FlipGrid. Students make and watch videos from any device.

More: 23 Best Educational Websites for Social Media, Chatting and Browsing

Edublogs

Ready to invite your students to actively participate on the Internet in a meaningful way? Edublogs shifts students from passive consumers of media to creators and you can facilitate that with this WordPress-powered, easy-to-use platform. Your whole class will be writing and sharing their ideas with the world. You can also make a small classroom-only page for students.

Either way, publishing is much more tangible with this authentic tool. Students can access their blog on any internet-connected device, taking learning to the virtual stage. They can write at their own pace, while still having a published piece of work, just like their classmates.

Prezi

Tired of slide after slide of PowerPoint presentations? Switch your presentation style up a bit by using Prezi. Prezi is visually appealing and engaging and presenters can include movement and show spatial relationships among ideas, allowing all learners to follow along.

Templates make creating easy, but the best part is that this is a web-based application so no software is necessary, unlike most presentation tools. Students create at home on one device and present at school using another.

More: 8 Online Presentation Tools for Teachers

Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard app that’s used for presentations. With fun visuals and the ability to collaborate, this app is sure to motivate students.

The best feature of this app is that presentations can be recorded and shared as streaming videos. Not all of our students are born public speakers. Differentiate for these students by allowing them the opportunity to have technology speak for them when appropriate.

Google Classroom

Teachers can do so much with Google Classroom, especially when it comes to differentiating for students. You can easily share different assignments and readings and comment on written work with personalized suggestions for improving. Don’t forget about helpful tools like the Questions Feature to continually differentiate with students.

More Google Classroom Resources:

Newsela

If you’re looking for leveled reading tool that’s as easy to access at the click of a button, look no further. Newsela is a self-described instructional content platform that is engaging for readers of all levels. Because there are readings for every content area, students can continue to learn via differentiated texts both in class and at home. When hen they get back to the classroom, Newsela provides assessments: quizzes, annotations, and writing prompts so you’ll no longer need to create your own.

More: 8 Leveled Reading Websites for the Classroom

TED-Ed

By now we’re all familiar with Ted Talks, the motivational, often inspirational, and influential speeches that are worth sharing. TED-Ed extends their platform to education-related content: lessons worth sharing.

TED-Ed covers a range of topics that will engage your learners both in and out of the classroom. You can send students on a mission to learn about what inspires them, sparking interest in learning. Not to mention, these lessons are truly differentiated with visuals, subtitles, and various assessment tools to encourage students to think, dig deeper, and discuss the content. Here are some great Ted Talks to empower your middle school students to get started.

Padlet

Need a better way to get organized or collaborate? Padlet is here to help. Students create digital boards with easy-to-use templates, collaborate with their peers, and share with other classmates. The ability to insert text, images, videos, and links all in one place ensures your students will stay organized in the process of completing any task.

For a truly differentiated twist, co-construct a Padlet with your students when introducing new material so students can access it wherever they’re to review the material and keep it fresh in their minds.

Bonus: Whooo’s Reading

Differentiate literacy with this online tool, encouraging higher-level thinking. Open-ended questions encourage students to explain their learning in their own words and you, as a teacher, can provide personalized feedback on every response. You can also set goals for different groups or individual students, allowing you to differentiate independent reading and encouraging students to learn at their own pace. Bonus: students interact within the platform, talking about the books they’re reading in a “Facebook-style” feed.

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10 Best Apps to Support Differentiated Instruction

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