As I mentioned above, I struggled with learning different throughout my life. I did not come to terms with this reality until my second year in college. I was diagnosed and receiving recommendations for how I learned best and having to re-learn how I learned best as a college student taught me the valuable lesson that not everyone learns the same way. This has been one of my life’s most valuable lessons. I have internalized this into my career as an educator. As an educator I advocate and work to create a differentiated education environment. I believe it is important to help youth find tools and strategies to help them understand how they learn best. I have worked throughout my career to advocate not only for special needs students but for any student who could benefit from differentiation. The following are two simple accommodations, tools and strategies that I have found that help students better access curriculum. By teaching students to utilize these tools and strategies students become empowered to take charge of their education and become independent learners.  One strategy is leveraging technology to chunk assignments, projects or units. This can be done on many different levels. With a computer and a scanner most any paper based curriculum can be manipulated to create study guides for any type of learner. From a learner who needs items broken down to smaller more manageable chunks where pictures and diagrams can be included. To a more advanced student where the teacher can add Blooms higher level thinking tasks analyzing and evaluating. Taking this idea to the next level, a new free basic access program that has recently been released is Blendspace.  This is an online based tool where teachers can create assignments, units and/or projects which can be accessed via the web. In this format the teacher can integrate online materials websites, primary documents, videos, interactive games as well as teacher made content. The program has the ability to integrate assessments of learning and track the students’ progress. With an innovative mind and technology the sky is the limit to create interactive, engaging and innovative curriculum.

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