Here's a different approach to the "filtering" issue ... "intelligent directing" ... the big difficulty being, I suspect, making this available to student at home, in the public library, and other places that aren't on school grounds ....
by Amy Ellisor
A search engine that adapts to individual student abilities has proven to be an ideal addition to one district’s effort to differentiate instruction.
ONE OF THE FASTEST-GROWING and most diverse K-12 school districts in South Carolina, Richland School District Two, is committed to integrating new teaching methods and modern technologies into its daily academic life. One area that Richland focuses on is the use of differentiated instruction (DI) in the classroom.
Four years ago, to augment student learning and to fully utilize the information received from the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress testing, the district began providing intensive professional development in DI based on the work of Carol Ann Tomlinson, a professor of educational leadership, foundations, and policy at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Building on that training, Richland teachers have continued to develop lesson plans that incorporate new content, activities, hardware, and software that meet the diverse learning needs of each child.
One component of the district emphasis on differentiated instruction is netTrekker d.i., an online search tool that allows teachers and students to hunt for educational resources for various reading levels. Students in more than 70 1-to-1, technology-integrated classrooms throughout the district use it every day. Though some online resource portals such as Answers.com or Askforkids.com also offer relatively safe online searching, Richland chose netTrekker d.i. because it was designed to support differentiated instruction in addition to providing reliable content. The content is all educator-selected and aligned to state standards.