Jun 11, 2019
Today, we are chatting about one
of my favorite topics: Digital Differentiation with G
Differentiation is a big
buzzword in teaching, but it is often easier said than
Let’s discover ways to use our
favorite Google tools to level the playing field and make
differentiation a reality in your classroom.
This student-centered teaching
strategy helps us reach all learners.
G Suite tools help teachers and
students communicate and manage multiple assignments with
Listen closely for step-by-step
instructions, implementation ideas, and some Google tips that will
save you time and reap many benefits for you and your
I hope this episode inspires you
to dig deeper into differentiated instruction, and how to use the
tools you have available to support all of the learners in your
In This Episode:
[00:28] - Kasey welcomes
listeners to the show and reveals today’s topic: Digital
Differentiation — with G Suite Tools.
[01:17] - This week’s shoutout
goes to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School in Mandeville, LA.
They made it through the Dynamic Learning Workshop just before
school let out! Learn more about
The Dynamic Learning Workshop
here and the
[03:07] - Let’s discuss digital
differentiation using G Suite and why this is such a hot
[04:01] - Kasey refers back to
the master of differentiated instruction,
Tomlinson, who has
authored several books on the topic:
[04:56] - Learn what
differentiation is and is not.
[06:31] - Dig into the
3 components of digital
differentiation from Susan Oxvenad.
- Essential Questions
- Flexible Learning Paths
- Teacher as Facilitator
[08:11] - Kasey mentions three
key areas that can be differentiated:
[08:47] - Why differentiate
- Provide Flexible Learning Paths
- Develop Future-Ready Skills
- Provide an Effective Way to Use Digital Tools
FOR Learning (not just an end product)
[09:31] - Kasey breaks down the
different Google Tools that teachers can use to support
differentiation, including Google Classroom, Google Forms, and
Differentiating Assignments in
[10:13] - Google Classroom allows teachers to send assignments to only
selected students rather than the whole class.
[11:14] - Kasey provides some
tips for using Google Classroom in conjunction with
assignments (full blog
Tips for Naming Differentiated Assignments in Google
- Always number and use consistent naming
differentiated assignments, consider a group or individual
identifier in the assignment title. (Ex: Group 4, Special
Assignment, Extra Credit, EC Sarah Jones, or come up with your own
consistent naming convention.)
- Remember the name of the assignment names Drive
Tips for Differentiated Assignment Directions in
specific with your directions!
more information that is available in Google Classroom, the fewer
excuses students have for not completing the assignment and the
fewer interruptions you are likely to have.
- Attach a rubric if you have one!
How to Package Your Digital Assignments
Tips for Group Differentiated Assignments in
- Designate a group leader in the
group leader is responsible for creating any new files and “turning
- Consider asking students to submit a reflection
at the end of group work to help you get the whole picture of the
Student Choice Assignment Tips
- Number the assignment and detail the choices in
the directions and/or in an attached (view only) document. (Note:
This is also great way to use digital learning menus and choice
- Attach links to digital tools that may be
offered as a choice for completing the assignment. (Example: Using
one of the digital tools below, create a digital story retelling,
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” in your own words.)
Long Term Projects, Modifications, or
long-term projects, special projects like Genius Hour, or for
students with special modifications, you may consider creating a
- (Note: This is really only worth the time if
these groups are long-term, or reused.)
(For more ideas, listen
episode 5 of The Google Teacher
Using G Suite to Create
Interactive Choice Boards
[15:43] - G Suite is the perfect
companion to create digital choice boards.
Learn more in Episode 8, and get
the FREE eBook!
[16:34] - Kasey talks
creating choice boards in G
Choice Board Templates and
How to Differentiate Questions
in Google Forms
[19:18] - We dive into
Google Forms and how you can
differentiate questions (full blog post) and allow students to review content, go on a
Choose Your Own Adventure, or even have the questions get
progressively more difficult.
[21:16] - Kasey provides
example of how to use Google Forms to create a branching assessment or
[25:00] - Google Forms can be
very complicated. Kasey offers great tips to make your forms
successful and effective teaching tools.
Google Forms Branching Tips
small, just a few questions.
out your branches before you begin.
- Utilize the page titles and descriptions to
help you organize.
it! Then, test it again!
- Remember, this type of assessment will not be
graded--Assessment FOR Learning!
spreadsheet will not be pretty! But that’s okay!
are smart! You must facilitate this type of assessment.
Other Ways to Use Branching in Google Forms
a student answers correctly, they could be taken to a harder
a student answers incorrectly, you could show more specifically
where they went wrong with each answer choice (not just review a
concept)–like solving a math problem incorrectly.
- Student choice: Use this feature to allow
students to select from a menu of choices to demonstrate their
learning, then upload the file to the form to submit. The
spreadsheet would allow you to see what they select and should be
working on during class.
- Gamify! What if every correct answer revealed a
clue or a puzzle piece? Students could collect and work
individually or collaboratively to put together.
this feature in students’ hands and let them create something for
their class, or another class to teach a skill, or play a
[20:16] - A friend of
Kasey’s, Sylvia Duckworth, created a
Choose Your Own
Adventure form for her
French class that allowed students to create their own ending to a
Differentiate with Google
[30:08] - We can’t leave out
Google Slides, the Swiss army knife of G Suite! Kasey gives tips on
how to use slides to create interactive assignments.
Podcast Question of the
[33:13] - Kasey shares the
podcast questions of the week: “How do you use digital tools to
differentiate learning in your classroom? Name one new idea you
will try in your classroom.” Post your answer to your favorite
social media platform using the hashtag #ShakeUpLearning, or share
it in the Shake Up Learning Community on
[34:35] - Thank you for tuning
in! Please subscribe to the podcast, and leave a review on iTunes.
(Bonus points if you use the word “y’all” in your
Links and Resources Mentioned
in this Episode:
The Shake Up Learning Show
The Shake Up Learning Community on
Join the Shake Up Learning Book
Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move
Learning from Static to Dynamic by Kasey Bell
Carol Ann Tomlinson
The Shake Up Learning Show episode
8: The Teacher’s Guide to Digital Choice Boards (includes resources
for G Suite)
Sylvia Duckworth - How to