By Stacy Dolderer
This year my Computer Science and Business courses have been put fully online to accommodate for those students who chose remote learning.
As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to deliver instruction for individual learners when needed in the form of videos, chat messages, shared programming, and synchronous meetings. I encourage students to advocate for themselves and reach out to me when they are confused, and we then work by using the technology available to us to find a solution. I’ve also learned, through technology tools such as Microsoft Teams and CodeHS, methods of delivering differentiated assignments that reach common goals.
I’d like to share some of successes this year:
- A student who has difficulty typing can be given the ability to use block coding instead of typing code line for line.
- A student who has a vision impairment can increase the font size on their coding exercises to accommodate learning.
- Closed captions can be turned on inside PowerPoint and shared with a link. Students can see the closed captions right on their own device (computer, tablet, phone) without them being displayed to the whole class.
- Closed captioning can be edited inside Zoom recordings or YouTube Studio to correct any automatic translation errors. I have several hard of hearing students that thrive in my courses.
- I can distribute worksheets or notes to select students who need information in written form instead of video recordings.
- All assignments can be completed on a variety of devices, including cell phones.
- My learning platforms allow me assign advanced or remediated material to students as needed.
- Some move faster through computer programming, so they can receive more advanced lessons and assignments.
- Some students struggle with computing concepts, so they can receive smaller chunks of material.
I will continue to employ many of these methods of personalization next year when I return to face-to-face teaching.