student PLNs and differentiation

22 Oct

[posting live today from the Carolyn Coil differentiation workshop at Seoul International School]

This is differentiation weekend and it strikes me that one of the most powerful approaches towards differentiation instruction is to guide students to develop their own personal learning network. First and foremost, by definition it is individualized. Second, the students’ own interests and needs drive the “instruction”.

Not that kind of differentiation...

I’ve been thinking about the ways I’ve applied some of the my favorite PLN tools to the classroom and I’m realizing I’ve been providing them with content more often than empowering them to generate or locate content themselves. This has got to change, and I’m going to frame this around the idea of students building their own PLNs.

Three tools immediately jump out to me:

  • Blogging (and blog reading) will be the hub of their learning network.
  • Google Reader as a tool to organize blog readership, news feeds, etc
  • Delicious (or Diigo?) for collecting and sharing content

There’s so much potential here! Coming next week: Delicious in the classroom

Quote of today re: student groupings…

A society isn’t measured by who is excluded, but who is included


image credit:



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