Differentiated Learning with Odeum

Teaching Critical Thinking

Differentiated instruction is one of the best ways teachers can reach out to their students and ensure that they understand and retain lesson material. According to Wikipedia, differentiated learning is “tailoring instruction to meet individual needs.” As a teacher, you can differentiate in at least four areas: content, process, products, and learning environment. Odeum helps you differentiate lessons for your students in the first two areas of content and process.

Content Differentiated Learning

In a traditional classroom, teachers have to sometimes present lessons in different ways to ensure their students understand lesson material. They may change how the student accesses the information as well. For instance, a teacher may play a game with students to help them understand a concept after having them complete a partner activity. This helps students who learn best doing group work and also speaks to those who prefer to be active while they learn.

Odeum provides teachers with an additional way for their students to learn concepts in their lessons. Student’s roleplay literary and historical characters from literature, foreign language, history, and other topics. They get to actively participate in the lesson instead of just being the passive recipient.

Content Differentiated Learning

By its very nature, Odeum breaks the mold of traditional teaching. Instead of students trying to memorize information from a history lesson, they can become actively involved in it by participating in an Odeum role-play lesson about a particular historical event or time period. They have to make decisions within the confines of what life was like at that period of time. This helps students deeply connect and build empathy for people in the lesson. History becomes more alive to them because they are “living” it.

Continual Assessment

A key component of effective differentiation is constant assessment of students. Assessment is critical for teachers to evaluate the comprehension of each student. However, this can be time consuming for a teacher to constantly evaluate students and adjust content to their ability. Odeum can evaluate students as they are playing and change the content and presentation of lessons based on student comprehension. For example, in Conversational Spanish, if a character in the game says (in Spanish) "I'm hungry," then a student can select one of three objects to the hungry character: an apple, a pencil, or a shirt. Only one item makes sense. However, if a student selects "a pencil", then Odeum will add additional contextual scaffolding with the character replying "I want to eat." This way, if a student didn't know "hungry," then maybe they know "to eat." Odeum adjusts to the comprehension and knowledge of students to maximize learning.

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