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Universal design for learning


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Presentation slides from Lopatcong's Tech Day

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Universal design for learning

  1. 1. Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology: Breaking down barriers and meeting the needs of diverse learnersJanet Barone-DeSenzoConsultant, JanTech Educational ServicesTechnology Coach, Vernon Twp. Public Schools@jantechnj
  2. 2. What are the origins of UDL?
  3. 3. Have you ever used: • A curb cut? • Numbers outside the edge of the elevator doors? • Closed captioning on your TV?Necessary for some-beneficial to ALL
  4. 4. The central premise of UDL:A curriculum should includealternatives to make itaccessible and appropriatefor individuals with differentbackgrounds, learningstyles, abilities, anddisabilities in widely variedlearning contexts. ~Anne Meyer and David Rose, Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning, 2002
  5. 5. UDL: Making expert learners of allstudents• Our students’ learning styles and abilities are so varied, a “one size fits all” curriculum doesn’t work• “When curricula are designed to meet the needs of the broad middle—at the exclusion of those with different abilities, learning styles, backgrounds, and even preferences, they fail to provide all individuals with fair and equal opportunities to learn”
  6. 6. Realistically speaking,UDL supports the use of:• A flexible curriculum that addresses all learners• The use of digital materials• The use of a variety of assessment tools• The use of a variety of learning activities to engage and motivate learners
  7. 7. Who is CAST?• CAST (the Center for Applied Special Technology), a nonprofit organization• works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities• focus: research and development of innovative, technology-based educational resources and strategies.
  8. 8. Who is CAST? www.cast.orgThe folks from CAST developedthe UDL Guidelines with hopesthat there would be increasedlearning opportunities for thosewith special needs.
  9. 9. The 3 Principles of UDL:1. Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge.
  10. 10. Representation: the “What” ofLearningStudents differ in the ways that theyperceive and comprehend information thatis presented to them. For example, thosewith sensory disabilities (e.g., blindness ordeafness); learning disabilities (e.g.,dyslexia); language or cultural differences,and so forth may all require different waysof approaching content. Others may simplygrasp information better through visual orauditory means rather than printed text. Inreality, there is no one means ofrepresentation that will be optimal for allstudents; providing options inrepresentation is essential. ~UDL Guidelines,
  11. 11. List Multiple Ways to Represent NewInformation to your students:
  12. 12. List Multiple Ways to Represent New Information to your students:• Video: self-made, United Streaming, Khan Academy, Pencasts• Posters and flip charts• Graphic organizers• Document Camera: Model use of manipulatives? Class notes?• IWB lessons: reveal small bits of information at a time• Interactive websites for math and L.A.• Podcasts using Audacity
  13. 13. UDL Principle #22. Multiple means ofexpression, to providelearners alternatives fordemonstrating what theyknow.
  14. 14. Expression: the “how” of learningStudents differ in the ways that they can navigatea learning environment and express what theyknow. For example, individuals with significantmotor disabilities (e.g. cerebral palsy), those whostruggle with strategic and organizationalabilities (executive function disorders, ADHD),those who have language barriers, and so forthapproach learning tasks very differently and willdemonstrate their mastery very differently. Somemay be able to express themselves well in writingtext but not oral speech, and vice versa. In reality,there is no one means of expression that will beoptimal for all students; providing options forexpression is essential
  15. 15. List Multiple Ways your students canExpress what they know to you : How do you measure knowledge? Give them options!
  16. 16. List Multiple Ways in which your students can Express what they know to you:• Paper/pencil tests• Posters/Glogsters• Oral Presentations/ Demonstrations/Written Papers• Senteo/Smart Response• Student created tests/ with answers• Debates• Wipe off boards/iPads
  17. 17. UDL Principle #3:3. Multiple means of action and engagement, to tap into learners interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation.
  18. 18. Engagement: the “why” of learning Students differ markedly in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn. Some students are highly engaged by spontaneity and novelty while other are disengaged, even frightened, by those aspects, preferring strict routine. In reality, there is no one means of representation that will be optimal for all students; providing multiple options for engagement is essential.
  19. 19. List Multiple Ways to Engage yourstudents in the learning process : Side Note: Don’t rely on technology to engage and motivate!
  20. 20. List Multiple Ways to Engage yourstudents in the learning process :•Utilize manipulatives•Group activities- collaboration!•Center based learning•Allow students to instruct•Concepts discussions•Allow students to use the classSmartBoard, iPad, laptop, etc.•USE FLEXIBLE CURRICULUMMATERIALS
  21. 21. FLEXIBLE WHAT???? Flexible Curriculum Materials??What are they andwhy do we need to use them?
  22. 22. WHY USE Flexible Curriculum Materials?? • To ensure that all types and levels of learners can access your curriculum reach your lesson goals.
  23. 23. How do you know if your materials are flexible?? Are they accessible to all of your students? • Your visual learners? • Your auditory learners? • Your kinesthetic learners • How about your special needs students?
  24. 24. So where does assistive technology fit into all of this????
  25. 25. Assistive Technology: DefinedIDEA: 300.5: Assistive TechnologyDevice:“Any item, piece of equipmentor product system, whetheracquired commercially off theshelf, modified or customizedthat is used to increase,maintain, or improve functionalcapabilities of children withdisabilities.”
  26. 26. Assistive Technology is determined by NEED …NOT by disability category, label or IEP mandate It addresses the question: what are the barriers to learning and how can they be overcome?
  27. 27. Think about this statement: Assistive Technology: necessary for some beneficial to most What kind oftechnology are we referring to?
  28. 28. Let’s Think Back to the 3 UDL Principals: What were some of the technologytools that could assist with providing multiple means of representation, engagement and expression? Couldn’t many of these be considered Assistive Technology?
  29. 29. Universal Design looks to Assistive Technology make the learning looks at the specific environment as barriers a student may flexible and face in whatever accommodating as environment they find possible. themselves. Both approaches strive to insure the access, participation & progress of students with disabilities. Joy Zabala, 2006
  30. 30. Helpful resources:• The UDL Center site:• The CAST website:• UDL Community Connect:• Check out a sample UDL lesson• Check out the UDL Guidelines
  31. 31. Works Cited:About UDL: The Three Principals of UDL. (2011, February 1). Retrievedfrom National Center on Universal Design for Learning:, A., & Rose, D. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age,Universal Design for Learning. Las Vegas: Assoc. for Supervision &Curriculum Development .Zabala, J. (2006). NOTE TAKING GUIDE: AT, UD,UDL: Comp. Retrieved from