Monday, April 25, 2011

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Last month I told you I was signed up for a training on Universal Design for Learning. Well, we had our training last Thursday and it went quite well. Ron Houtman and Kindy Segovia led our group in a discussion of UDL Guidelines and how teachers can get started.

The three main pillars of Universal Design for Learning are:

I. Teachers should provide multiple means of representation. Or, in plain English, that we should present information and content in different ways.

II. Teachers should provide multiple means of action and expression. Or, differentiate the ways that students can express what they know.

III. Teachers should provide multiple means of engagement. Or, stimulate interest and motivation for learning.  

UDL is meant to benefit all students. Low-level learners, ESL, or high-achievers. Ron and Kindy went on to talk about some of the Web 2.0 tools that teachers can use to help design some of their lessons using UDL. The usual items such as Google Docs, Blogs, Wikis, Screencasting, and VoiceThread were mentioned. One of the big items was to get more teacher materials online so that students could access them from school and home. Also, so parents could access materials and be more of a help to their children. Probably one one line I remember from the whole training was when Ron said that the first thing teachers need to do is "find a place to put their stuff." I found this very reassuring because I had just spent three days helping teachers around my high school set up SharePoint sites, Blogs, and Wikis.

So, all-in-all, I thought the UDL training was very informative and really reinforced a lot of the things that I do in my classes. This, of course, just begins to scratch the surface of UDL and how it can be used in your classroom, but I like anything with technology in it. :) If you would like to learn more about Universal Design for Learning, you can visit or the National Center for Universal Design for Learning.

Thanks for visiting!

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