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By Kaitlyn Lannan • April 7, 2022

Personalized Learning Technology: Using Data for Differentiated Instruction

Using data in the classroom to personalize students’ learning has been proven to improve differentiated instruction practices. Analyzing academic data from students in order to create learning plans for each individual has resulted in:

More differentiated classrooms

Educators have long struggled with the issue of differentiated instruction to fit the needs of each student while still teaching each student roughly the same material. Using data to tailor personalized learning technology can help solve this issue in an innovative way which previously was not an option to educators.

More engaged students

When learning can be differentiated, because instructors are able to see where each child is succeeding or struggling, students are more eager to learn. Taking students’ scores from previous tests in order to create curriculum with personalized learning technology enables learning to target to each individual’s interests and needs, making learning more fun and more engaging than traditional education.

More station work

Data enables students who perform similarly to work together to grow their knowledge and build teamwork skills while making it easier for teachers to segment the classroom.

An article from The Journal mentions that personalized learning technology gives students “learning communities, information management and communication tools, personal learning networks, information and data, expertise and authoritative sources, online tutoring and guided sources tailored to their needs, knowledge-building tools, and peers with common interests.” Data improves this experience by providing a concrete measure of how well students perform in specific areas.

Barbara Bray, a Creative Learning Strategist, mentions that in differentiated instruction, “The learner has their own learning path with multiple strategies to meet their different learning styles.” This is a direct contrast to learning in previous years, where all students had to learn the same material the same way. Today, with the addition of technology like iPads and laptops in the classroom combined with the use of student data, learning is more personalized, and therefore more engaging, than ever.

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 What Data Should I Use?

 After purchasing tools such as iPads for a school district, administrators and instructors often struggle with the question of how to use the technology to ensure that their money is being spent wisely in giving each student the resources to learn most effectively. Schools can go about this by:

Looking at past standardized testing data

Analyzing students’ previous standardized test scores in order to locate where each student needs help, then incorporating it into personalized learning technology on the iPad is a popular technique practiced by many schools. An advantage of this technique is that the scores are standardized, which makes it easier to understand where students need help. However, a disadvantage can be that it takes time out of instructors’ daily routines to look through this data, possibly slowing down the plans to differentiated instruction. Finding apps that are engaging, academically rigorous, and correspond to the found data is difficult.


Using a service like eSpark to interpret data for you

eSpark does all the work for schools by examining student testing and progress data and relaying it to teachers on an individual scale while assigning differentiated instruction lessons. Teachers can see where each student is struggling or persevering right down to the exact standard they're working in. You and your teachers are able to see the grade level your students are working at, what they're working on, and more. With services that interpret data for you, you can spend more time on meaningful interactions with your students.

See what eSpark could look like in your classroom for free today.

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