Instructional strategies and edtech a recipe for success

On this episode of the edumagic podcast, I am joined by Dr. Matt Rhoades as we discuss all things educational technology and special education. He tells us his story of teaching. Dr. Rhoads shares how he started in special education and eventually tested out. Matt is passionate about data-driven decision-making and instruction. His passion is teaching future teachers data literacy and how to understand data, which is a skill that every new teacher must-have.

Using instructional strategies is an action that students can take and incorporate into a task, assignment, sequence of tasks, or learning activity. These strategies help our students learn. A common one is a think, pair, share strategy. Where students think individually about a prompt, share their thoughts with a neighbor, and then report out in a large group. Matt put an edtech spin on it by activating overt and covert learning through sharing instead of students responding aloud. They can use nearpod, padlet, polleverywhere, Mentimeter, or peardeck to respond.

Other instructional strategies include reciprocal teaching, formative feedback through action, and concept mapping. We can implement these strategies by implementing educational technology tools. It is important to start with the strategy. The pedagogy drives the process. Reflect on in which ways can educational technology be used to implement the strategy?

We can break learning down into different modes (UDL)

  • Areas of representation - how to represent languages, symbols

  • Engagement - students continue to be interested and persistent and self-regulate

  • Action expression - students can express themselves through actions

Provide students with a SELcheck-in, what went well, how did I improve or check in on how each student did during the lesson, or ask students what questions do you have at the end of the lesson.

Matt’s go-to tools for data tracking and engagement:

Writing a defensible IEP is using data to guide the IEP. Have data to back up what you sharing, content is clear, and individualized for each student.

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