Reaching and Engaging All Learners Through Technology
By Michelle Rose Walden UniversityReaching and Engaging all Learners Through Technology Dr. Jacqueline Derby September 30, 2012
What is Each learner is learning the same thing but in a different way that isUDL? accommodating for them.UDL or the UniversalDesign for Learning is aframework that wasdesigned for theimprovement of learningfor all students in spite ofchallenges they may face.It encompasses the use oftechnology along withknowledge of brainresearch that makesteaching and learningmore effective.
Inspirations for UDLThe inspiration for UDL came about becauseof a need for reaching and engaging alllearners in spite of individual differences. It Use of rampsarose out of architectural design. Designers instead of stairsadapted buildings for better Use of elevator instead of stairsaccommodations. Therefore, educatorsshould be able to adapt methods for diverselearners. Examples of recognition in thephysical environment: is the arrangement ofthe learning environment. In the physicalenvironment there are adjustments made toaccommodate those persons with a handicap.There are ramps, stairs, lifts and parkingspaces. Use of escalator instead of stairs
LearningIn Layman’s terms… GoalsOkay… studentsneed to reach the topor achieve theirlearning goalstherefore the UDL isthere to makelearning accessibleand keep thestudents interested.Each child islearning using amedium that catersto his or herindividuality. Students on learning journey
Underlyingprinciples of UDL This inspired brain researchteams to get behind thecurtains. Once researchstarted they arrived at theconclusion that there werespecific areas of the brainresponsible for learning.They outlined three areasand the principlesunderlying the UDL. Brainresearchers investigated thevarious processes oflearning and arrived at threemain processes: strategic,affective andrecognition. These threeprinciples govern thescience of learning.
Looking at the experiment and just seeing what is there.Recognition Observing the representation.An example ofrecognition is theyour viewing of aPPT presentation andjust reading the notes.Recognition seems tobe the knowledgecomponent of theBloom’s Taxonomy.This is wherestudents recall andlist facts.
He thinks about how he can get the experiment to work, or how he can solve a problem. He devises a plan.StrategicStrategic involves adeeper look into thedetails and devising astrategy to find asolution. Strategicappears to be thehigher order thinkingskills of the Bloom’sTaxonomy levelwhereby studentsbegin to comprehend,apply, evaluate andsynthesizeinformation.
Affective determines how long heAffective stays on the task or remains interested.Affective determinesthe intensity inwhich the persontakes interest in andhow long they stayfocused on the detail.Affective seems to bethe attention andfeeling componentand determines howlong the student willstay interested in thesubject or task athand.
UDL and While some students are working with computers, teacher may give small Technology group attention.Technology plays an important role inthe use of UDL to maximize learning forall learners. Students who are autisticwill benefit from the use of a taskmaster with minimal changes. In UDL,lessons may be designed to facilitatelearning of content with the use oftechnology to cater to diverse learningneeds. For e.g. assistive/adaptive orsupportive technologiesUsing UDL with technology facilitatesdifferentiation in the classroom.Multiple means of presentation,interaction and production based onvarious software available.
Positive Impact of UDL in our School Students will be engaged in learning activities because they are interested and motivated to learn. Learning tasks more practical and student centred. Students get to present learning product of their choice. Students feel valued because supportive and assistive technologies are in place to facilitate learning. Alternative and flexible methods of instruction to ensure that all students can participate and benefit from an all inclusive classroom. Caters to all students and not just those who need assistive technology. Teachers will present content in several ways. All students stand to have increased achievement; thus a higher standard of learner achievement in the school.
Brain Research and Learner DifferencesBrain research tells us that each learneris unique especially in the affective.The patterns formed are also unique.The way people learn may differ as aresult of neurological differencesresulting from previous experiences.UDL fosters the use of differentiationto cater to individual differences. Brainresearch shows that there are differentareas of the brain that are responsiblefor specific functions. The frontal lobecaters to representation andrecognition. The back section caters tostrategic plan and the central area ismainly affective. This is so because ofthe various functions of each section ofthe brain.
The Brain and Learning Recognition Affective Strategic Networks Networks Networks The “what” the “why” the “how” of of learning of learning learningTeaching must therefore be tailored to fit each network of learning. The“what”, “how”, and “why” of learning.
Brain Research, UDL, Technology and Implications forTeachersThe central role of technology in UDL to address the brainresearch and instructional implications. Teachers aught to teach using multiple sources of presentation to allow for recognition to take place. Use of PPT, interactive whiteboard, blogs, Wikis, Voice-threads etc. Present information and content in different ways using audio, visual, kin- aesthetic, or a combination of all or some etc. Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know: give them options to choose from Stimulate interest and motivation for learning, use incentives and recognize or reward students for accomplishments Provide students with multiple ways of presentation Allow students multiple means of action and Expression Provide multiple ways of engagement
UDL Supports Cultural, Ethnic, Linguistic, and AcademicDiversity “All educators should have and know the class profile to be able to cater to diverse needs”. UDL does not cause or set up barriers. UDL breaks down cultural barriers with the use of assistive or supportive technologies.
CAST online tools and resources • CAST is an online resource that provides additional information about UDL. I chose the lesson builder: http://lessonbuilder.cast.o rg/explore.php This is a good resource as I could use it to plan a good UDL lesson for my students. Lesson plan archives • There are also model lesson plans to assist in planning excellent UDL lessons. We could meet as a staff and discuss lesson plan template and design to restructure our methodology and use of materials.
More Online Resources CAST UDL Class Learning Profile Template: http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/One may use this template to discover and analyze the class to be betterable to plan UDL lessons . Getting to know the UDL way:http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/main.cfm?t_id=12This site provides more information for using UDL and could prove avaluable resource for a staff development workshop. This wouldempower classroom teachers to use UDL in teaching and assessing. There is also a training kit provided for interested persons.http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/toolkits/tk_introduction.cfm?tk_id=61
ReferencesCAST Teaching Every Student retrieved from:http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/chapter6_2.cfmhttp://www.cast.org/teachigeverystudent/ideas/tes/chapter6_3.cfm Sept. 28, 2012CAST, Inc. (2002–2011). Teaching every student: Tools and activities. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/CAST, Inc. (2005–2011). UDL lesson builder. Retrieved from http://lessonbuilder.cast.org/National Center for Universal Design for Learning: http://www.udlcenter.org/research/researchevidenceRose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/