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Tech Tools Used for Differentiation (with Explanations)

Page history last edited by Edith Serkownek 10 years, 9 months ago

The following is a list of Tech Tools used for differentiation and explanations of each:


MakeBeliefsComix.com allows students to create a short comic strip. There are many characters to choose from, each featuring four different expressions. Students can add speech or thought bubbles, resize characters, add items to each frame, and e-mail their finished comics to their teacher. Alternatively, students can print out the comic strips and color in background objects to get their point across. This is a great entry point for students who claim they "can't draw."(Lightle 2011).


VoiceThread.com encourages group conversations around images. Students or teachers can post images to the thread and other users can add text, spoken, or videoed comments about the images. This way students can discuss a topic asynchronously and perhaps even across multiple classes.(Lightle2011)


Animoto.com and JayCut.com provide for video creation and editing, respectively. Using Animoto, students create professional-looking video slideshows set to music in a short amount of time. Students can upload images, add text slides, and select music, then let Animoto do the rest. With JayCut, students work with short video segments and edit them online, much like Windows MovieMaker but without the platform issues, since it's a web-based tool.(Lightle 2011)


edu.Glogster.com - Glogsters educational spinoff- Students can create glogs which are interactive posters, with text, media, music,  and visuals. It's a free and secure learning platform designed especially for use in education.


WikisWikis are a wonderful way to engage and challenge students in learning math and science.  Wiki’s support the 2 highest levels of Bloom’s by require students to create and evaluate when creating, adding, or modifying content on a wiki.  Wiki stands for “What I Know Is”, what a great tool or product for not only gifted students but for all students to show and share what they know about almost any topic. (Strysick).


Blogs (blogger.com; wordpress.com) Blogs are powerful tools for learning. They provide a medium with which to incorporate many of the higher levels of Bloom’s. In order to be a successful blog moderator, blogger, or commenter; students must continually be evaluating, critiquing, judging, checking, monitoring and reflecting.  Blogs are an excellent tool for differentiation because they have editable templates, ability to hyperlink, add images and audio, & comment on entries. (Strysick).


Ning (ning.com) - a platform that allows you to create your own social networking site, by invitation only. Allows students to have an element of social interaction in a protected environment. (State of Victoria 2010).


Learni.st -  This site is described as a pinterest for learning. It's a place to share what you know and learn about other things. A category based collaborative learning tool.  Invite must be accepted before using.


Pixton.com- On this site, students can create individual, online comics. There is a free version and a version that can be purchased. This tool is appropriate for teaching characters, plot, setting, sequencing and dialouge.


storybird.com- On this site, students are presented with an online storytelling platform that uses pre-created artwork. Students can create their own text for the stories. Teachers can also create their own stories, which are sharable and printable. This site offers free and pay for versions.



titanpad.com- This is a site that allows users to work on a document simultaneously; simliar to GoogleDocs. Students can use this tool when engaging in group discussions and projects. A time slide allow an instructor to review student work. The documents can also be saved in Word or a PDF.


zooburst.com- This site features a digital storytelling tool, where students can create their own 3-D pop-up books using animals as characters. Thist tool is also available as an iPad app. Students can use this site to demonstrate skills in sequencing, diaglouge, and character development.




xtranormal.com- This is a site students and teachers can use to create 3-D animated movies. Text-to-speech or voice recording features allow students to create dialogue for thier animated movies. These types of features not only allow for student creation, but also can aid ELL student or struggling readers who are engaging in the English Language Approach.


www.backpackit.comstudents can makes to-do lists, files, notes, and images. Also has a reminder and calendar for organization. This tool can be used for students with the need for accomodations.




Stansbury, M. (2009, February). Technology empowers differentiated instruction. E-School News. Retrieved from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2009/02/02/technology-empowers-differentiated-instruction/




King-Cooey, S. (2012, October). Engaging e-tools for literacy and beyond. Paper session presented at the meeting of the Ohio

Council of the International Reading Association, Youngstown, Ohio.


Lightle, K. (2011). Differentiate teaching and learning with web 2.0 tools. Retrieved from



Strysick, K. (n.d.) Differentiating Using 21st Century Tools. Retrieved from http://eport.education.illinois.edu/view/view.php?id=162


State of Victoria (2010). Teaching and learning with web 2.0 technologies. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/teachlearn/innovation/technology/web2report.pdf



Nivi, F., Grock, S., Becker, J., Termont, C., Marino, D., & (2012, March 17). How to use Learnist on the web. Retrieved from http://learni.st/welcome 


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