How to Teach to a Diverse Classroom of StudentsWritten by Tina O'Block
Each year teachers are faced with daunting task of teaching to a classroom of 20-30 individual students, each with their own learning styles, interests, and abilities. Providing optimal learning for such a diverse group can seem overwhelming. But, there is a simple approach that can be used which will enable all students to succeed, and that approach is simply using variety and choice. Not only does this approach address multiple learning styles of students, but it also aides in making them independent learners.
While classroom still needs to have structure (routines, rules, procedures), providing variety within that structured environment can aide in providing optimal learning for all students. Using a variety of instructional approaches such as lectures, PowerPoint presentations, inquiry-based instruction, hands-on experiments, project/problem-based learning, or computer aided instruction, not only addresses various learning styles of students in classroom, but it can help learners become more flexible in their learning. Most learners do have a preferred learning style, however this does not mean they are strictly dependent on that style to learn. They are also comfortable with and able to learn from several other styles as well. Exposing students to a wide variety of learning styles will enable them to become more flexible learners.
It is also beneficial to vary input devices used and resources made available in classroom. Children have a wide variety of preferred learning devices, therefore making as many available as possible provides for this diversity. For example, when presenting information use audio (songs, speeches, interviews, etc.), video, books, posters, hands-on manipulatives, food, and smells. Technology has made available a wide range of resources, such as PowerPoint presentations, live video feeds, chats, and communication. PowerPoint presentations are a great way to present information using a mixture of audio, video, animations (movement), and text. These presentations can also be made available to students via computer for them to review at their own pace. The internet/ computers also offer interactive learning activities that combine movement, visuals, and sounds, such as virtual science experiments. These allow students to conduct experiments never before thought possible due to danger or lack of equipment. Virtual experiments can be found at http://www.explorelearning.com .
Pre-exposure to material also aides in learning. The more familiar students are with a subject easier it is for new learning to occur. Therefore, providing students with a variety of pre-exposure materials can better prepare them for new learning units. For example, monthly calendars that list upcoming themes, a classroom website with links to various websites related to upcoming themes, books, magazines, maps, posters, computer software, and manipulatives can be provided for students to browse at their leisure. Providing a variety of materials takes into consideration learning preferences of all students.
Novelty can be used to gain and keep students’ attention. People usually only pay attention to things that are of value or things that are personally meaningful. Therefore, relating learning to your students’ real life experiences or interests can catch and keep their attention. “Shock” them with an unusual noise, experiment, video, song, etc. You can also present them with a problem or project that relates to their real world in order to gain their attention and interest at beginning of a unit. Issues such as environmental problems, problems with long lines in cafeteria, designing perfect playground, planning a field trip within budget, local traffic issues, etc. can all be considered. Making learning meaningful, relevant, and interesting to your students not only gains their initial attention, but keeps it throughout lesson.
Premio Ranked In Top 10 For Integrating Technology In The Classroom for 15th Consecutive Quarter Written by Keith Hunt
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA – August 9, 2004 – For 15th consecutive quarter, Premio Computer, Inc. has been ranked as a top 10 technology vendor to U.S. education market by an independent research firm. The quarterly statistics research, released August 6, ranks Premio at number eight for second fiscal quarter of 2004, retaining its standing from previous quarter. Rankings are based on shipments of desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86-32 servers.
For more information please visit www.premiopc.com/education.
Ranking ahead of both MPC and Sony, Premio shares education market top 10 with such companies as Dell, Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer, Gateway, IBM, Acer and Toshiba. The education technology market is an important one for Premio, which also markets technology solutions to businesses and government agencies throughout North and South America.
“The education market has always been very important for Premio, and we have also become increasingly important for them,” said Tom Tsao, Vice President for Premio Computer. “Many administrators and district technology coordinators have told us that they switched to Premio from other vendors because our level of service, flexibility and affordability is unmatched in industry.”
Premio actively supports education community through a variety of programs and partnerships, including donations, educational seminars and internships. Premio also offers eSembler™ gradebook and attendance software for K-12 districts. For more information on Premio’s involvement with education market, please visit www.premiopc.com/education.