Principles & Instruction

Learning Objective: Identify basic principles of Universal Design, Differentiated Instruction and Best Practice teaching strategies that incorporate technology resources to enhance an existing or new lesson or activity in your classroom. 

Why is this important?

"Learning and demonstrating effective uses of technology is itself an important instructional outcome. Technology has permeated all aspects of our economy and culture. Every learner now in school needs a range of literacies that are much broader and more inclusive of our changing culture."

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1. Identify a lesson you teach that you would like to improve or create. It might be one you have recently taught or will be teaching in the next few months.

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning."  Benjamin Franklin

2. Select a graphic organizer program and create an account so you can save your work and add to it in future activities. Three free resources are shown in the table below with tutorials.

Resource Name



    Tutorial  External Link


Create bubbles with text and attachments to brainstorm and share ideas

Check out this tutorial from


Popplet  External Link



Brainstorm and share ideas by adding text, urls, videos and images to the Popples

Check out this video tutorial



3. Title your Graphic: Meeting the Needs of Learners in ___(put the title of the lesson you picked) 

4. Create two subsections (or bubbles) titled:
    a. Strategies I use
    b. Strategies to try out

5. Spend 15-20 minutes reviewing the definition of Differentiated Instruction and the related article provided below. As you look at the information keep your lesson in mind, and then list three or more strategies you already (or plan to) use in your graphic organizer, and list two or more strategies you could try out. 

Click the link for the Reading Rockets site for a definition of differentiated instruction. Select one or two of the Basics articles. 18 Teacher Tested Strategies  (Edutopia). As you read through key elements that guide differentiation, take note of elements you already incorporate in your teaching. Also check out this informative Scholastic article written by Laura Robb where she has listed nine practices to differentiate instruction.

Note: Example of a lesson about the numberline

number line


Continue on to Best Practices and Strategies


Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators

1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
1c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of 
new digital resources and tools for learning.

3a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
3b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
3c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.

5a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

6a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
6b. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
6c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

7a. Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.