As you read the blog, consider the question: Are there any games and programs you are using in your classroom to help personalize learning for your students?
After you have read the post, continue the conversation in the comment section below.
Originally posted on Teach.Learn.Grow on September 22, 2015 by Joi Converse
Personalized learning, the practice of tailoring instruction to meet each student’s strengths, needs, and interests, helps create a classroom environment that engages and accelerates learning for all students. Studies have shown that teachers who use assessment data to customize their instruction improved students’ reading and math, while also closing persistent achievement gaps.
Thanks to technology like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, there are now apps that teachers and students can use to facilitate personalized learning and instruction. Graphite.org has a nice list of some games, apps, and sites that can help teachers put students first as they deliver personalized learning. Here are seven to consider:
- Smarty Ants – Designed for grades Pre-K – 3, this adaptive learning, game-based program helps kids build their literary skills. The adaptive approach helps tailor the program to meet a diverse set of learners. Free to try and then paid.
- Scratch – An MIT project from their Lifelong Kindergarten Group helps teach kids, K through 12, math and programming skills through creative expression. Coding is fast becoming a versatile skill that can help kids in developing their math skillset. Scratch is free.
- Goalbook Toolkit – Designed for grades Pre-K – 12, Goalbook Toolkit is a site designed to help teachers with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) learning goals and interventions in English and math subject areas. Free to try and then paid.
- MinecraftEdu – Designed for grades 1 – 12, MinecraftEdu puts the power of Minecraft into a teacher-directed virtual learning environment. If you have kids at home, you know Minecraft empowers them to build collaboration and creativity and MinecraftEdu builds on that with teacher empowerment. This is a paid program.
- DIY – For grades 3 – 10, DIY helps kids develop critical thinking and creativity skills by using everyday materials to complete challenges in various skill areas. A great program for engaging kids in problem-solving using their creativity. DIY is free.
- Duolingo – For grades 6 – 12, Duolingo is a game-based language-learning tool that covers a number of languages. It individualizes the pace of learning for each student and is interactive to allow them to personalize their experience. Duolingo is free.
- DreamBox Learning Math – For grades K – 6, this game is an interactive, adaptive and self-paced program that helps build essential mathematics skills. This is a paid program.
Whether you or your school takes advantage of programs and games like those above or uses MAP assessment data, personalized learning and instruction is something that all educators can utilize as part of their daily plan. We partner with many companies, organizations and educational leaders to help support teachers, students, parents and administrators with content providers who offer tools to enhance the depth of kids’ educations. Here’s a complete list of our Instructional Content Providers: https://www.nwea.org/business-alliances/.
Reach out and share your ideas on our Facebook page or via Twitter @NWEA.
About the Author
Joi Converse brings passion, creativity and a desire to communicate effectively to her role as the Interactive Marketing Coordinator at NWEA. In what seems like another lifetime, she “herded cats” on various college campuses while also proactively growing her technological skills in SQL, HTML and web content management systems. Joi received her Masters in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Whitworth University. When not at work, she enjoys exploring the beauty of the Northwest with her family. However, Joi still has not found mountains that can compare to those in her home state of Alaska.