Often, I am asked about online tools that can be used to support Assessment as and for learning as well as offering opportunities to differentiate and personalize for individual students.

To start, one awesome site with numerous resources of a web 2.0 nature is http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/. This site has numerous drawing, writing, collaboration, and presentation tools (and more). Check out the navigation bar on the left hand side of the screen to check out all of the links they provide. This site can be used for you to provide choice for students as well. By sending the students to a resource such as this, you provide them with a toolkit to explore and from which to choose from in regards to how they are going to demonstrate the learning goals and enduring leanings to you.

Another great technology toolkit is http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/. This site also presents tools with which differentiation is possible within the context of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). What is Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone–not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. One aspect of Universal Design for Learning is to provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression – to Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know and Stimulate interest and motivation for learning. Click here >>> http://www.cast.org/udl/index.html >>> to learn more about Universal Design for Learning.

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning is also a key part of the HWDSB Program Strategyhttp://www.hwdsb.on.ca/staff/strategic_directions/learning-for-all/, which also comes through via the Education in HWDSB document – http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/staff/strategic_directions/education/ – and the Learning for All (draft) document – http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/LearningforAll2011.pdf.

I have posted a number of ideas about tools, tips, and tricks that can be used to engage students and differentiate their learning and products of their learning. The first step of implementing something new is often referred to as Substitution – using one tool instead of another. In this regard, I posted a number of Web 2.0 tools that could take the place of more traditional tasks such as poster making, bulletin board collaboration, literature circles, and powerpoints / presentationshttp://bloggucation.learninghood.ca/2011/03/07/first-step-of-innovation-substitution/. If you are interested in capturing oral communication, reflection, and discussion, Voicethread may be for you. In this post, I explain how Voicethread could be used for Metacognition and Assessmenthttp://bloggucation.learninghood.ca/2011/04/28/oral-language-assessment-and-metacognition-with-voicethread/. Also, check out this post on podcasting (http://bloggucation.learninghood.ca/2011/04/12/podcasting/) and some of the equipment you could consider for voice recording – http://bloggucation.learninghood.ca/2011/04/12/podcasting-made-simple-part-2-recording/.

There are so many tools that can be used to capture a snapshot of learning at any given time and technology provides a portal through which so much more is possible than ever before.

What do you use?