Teachers use technology to individualize lessons

Posted March 27, 2011 1:23 p.m. EDT

Project Education: Edutopia, a partnership between WRAL-TV and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, shows how South Carolina teachers are using technology to create personalized lessons for all students.

Teachers at Forest Lake Elementary School in Columbia, S.C., sought a way to tailor their lesson plans to each student's needs.

"I don't think there's a school in the world where you have a regular classroom where everyone is exactly everyone is exactly the same," Forest Lake Principal Kappy Cannon said.

"Many years ago, students who were in student education programs learned how to kind of teach down the middle and do a little here and little there," she continued. "We know that's not right for children."

Teachers turned to technology to gather individual feedback on students.

For example, teachers can give a quiz through an interactive whiteboard, and students click remote controls to give their answers.

The goal is find out where each student is on the learning curve and then devise a strategy that will get them to the next level.

"A lot of times, I'll just pull out my information that I have on each student, and I say, 'How can I group them to better serve them for this particular skill?'" teacher Tamika Lowe said. "It's all based on how we can meet educational needs."

In the media center, children are placed at various stations and work on projects that best accommodate their individual learning styles.

"I'm constantly observing the students," Lowe said. "Much of our assessment is done through observation or through checklists, and it goes to records, journaling in the computer. And we know which learning style and how each student would learn best."