Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is used to design curriculum, lessons and instruction based on the diversity of the learners in their classroom.
How can UDL guide personalize learning to meet the Common Core?
When a teacher understands his/her learners through the UDL lens, he/she creates a flexible learning environment and provides opportunities for learner voice and choice. When lessons are designed using the UDL model, the lesson includes goals, methods, materials, tools, and assessments to reach and support the maximum amount of learners in the classroom.
Learners can use this model to help them understand how they learn best and what learning path they can take to become an independent expert learner, leveraging their natural abilities in the process. This process helps the learner create their personal learning profile that is understood by both teacher and learner.
The importance of this strategy is that both the teacher and the learner understand who the learner is and how they learn best. The learner and the teacher uses the UDL lens to personalize learning. So what does that look like?
An example of an 8th Grade unit on the Civil War serves as an example along with two students who can meet a number of CCSS when they choose and use the tools to support their learning.
Explore our new website, Personalize Learning (www.personalizelearning.com), to learn more about the research, models and educators who are personalizing learning.
David Rose - Founder and Chief Education Officer, CAST
Kathleen McClaskey's insight:
Welcome to Conversations in Multiple Media, which will be a regular section of the forthcoming Universal Design for Learning: A Journal of Theory, Research, & Practice in which experts from the education field comment on a single article. This first installment focuses on "The Variability of Learners," a chapter from a new book, Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice, by Anne Meyer, David H. Rose, and David Gordon.
Enjoy the commentary from leading educators and learners and then join in the conversation!
The UDL Implementation Research Network (UDL-IRN) is hosting a summit focusing on UDL implementation and associated research on March 6 & 7th, 2014 at the Johns Hopkins University Columbia Campus, Columbia, MD (15-20 minutes from the Baltimore Washington Airport). The intent of this summit is to gather practitioners and researchers to discuss the systematic implementation of UDL in pre-school, K-12, and higher education classrooms. The summit will be a unique opportunity to collaborate with a select group of leaders who are actively engaged in UDL implementation efforts.
The National Center on UDL library of UDL principles and practice videos illustrate how to apply the UDL guidelines to classroom lessons. They can also be used to demonstrate how to address specific Common Core State Standards (CCSS). View the videos and read the overviews to learn which UDL principles, UDL guidelines, and CCSS are highlighted in each video. These videos feature three CCSS in Grade 1 Mathematics and six CCSS in Grade 5 Language Arts (ELA).
Check out this video and learn how Foundation Science Physics , a free application, makes the curriculum accessible to all learners.
"Foundation Science Physics is a 9th grade, technology enabled curriculum focusing on the laws of motion. The curriculum is modular so that the materials can be adopted in the context of any 9th grade Physics course. The Universal Designfor Learning (UDL) approach renders the content flexible and accessible so barriers to learning are removed. All students can work from the same materials while having a personalized learning experience."
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning
Kathleen McClaskey's insight:
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning has compiled a set of resources on the "What", "Why" and "How" of UDL and CCSS.
"The CCSS can be considered the "What" in education, i.e., the goals and expectations. It is the destination we wish our students to reach. In light of that, UDL can be considered the "How" in education, i.e., the curriculum and instructional framework teachers use to plan their lessons. In other words, UDL and the CCSS are complementary: the UDL framework provides educators with the means to maximize student attainment of the CCSS."
This three-part webinar series lead by Alex Dunn explores how iPads can be an integral part of your Universal Design for Learning toolkit. You will learn about built-in universal access features to maximize accessibility, as well as how to select appropriate apps from the approximately one million that are now available. In addition, accessories that can multiply the effectiveness of the classroom iPad will be discussed.
> iPads and Accessibility - 10/29/2013
> Learning with APPtitude: Top 10 Apps to Support Students with Disabilities - 11/5/2013
Kit Hard has created a list of Chrome Apps and Extensions that enable reading and writing supports such as text-to-speech, speech-to text, and dictionary tools for students in my district.
> For text-to-speech Kit recommends the Chrome extension - Chrome Speak The student highlights the text, right clicks and selects speak.
> The Google Dictionary extension will open a definition and audio for any word on any web page by double clicking the word.
> The Read & Write extension for Google Drive puts a toolbar on the top of the Google Docs editor that adds text-to-speech, a dictionary tool, visual dictionary tool, and special highlighting tools with extraction features.
> The Announcify extension takes online articles on sites like CNN or NYT and strips out all adds and distracting visuals, so that only text is visible, enables text-to-speech, and has easy option for enlarging text.
> Voice note is a Chrome app that is equivalent to Dragon Dictation for doing voice-to-text.
Matt Bergman describes how he helps his learner built their UDL Toolbox for Presentations. He introduces the tools this fall and then has them use each of them to try out so they can discover what works best for them. These tools include:
> Google Presentations
Matt has also embedded an audioboo file on this post for those learners who learn best by listening.
From Kindergarten through Grade 6, a Common Core focus is for students to master 2-Dimensional shapes. During grades 1-3, this is supported by students honing in on reasoning with shapes and their...
Kathleen McClaskey's insight:
The author offers suggestions on how you can use technology and the arts to help learners understand and master 2-Dimensional shapes, a Common Core focus in geometry for K to Grade 6.
"These arts and technology based activities could be used for your multiple means of engagement, representation, or expression, depending on where/how they are used throughout a unit. Many can be used as whole-class activities, continued small-group practice, or even for assessment purposes following a sequence of lessons. These fit Universal Design for Learning nicely when considering geometry goals because there are multiple ways for learners to absorb and process information as well as convey their understanding. HOW students explore the concepts to be mastered is the key- not just giving them the WHAT."
The Florida Consortium on Potsecondary Education & Intellectual Disabilities
Kathleen McClaskey's insight:
Universal Design for Learning for Postsecondary Education (UDL) is a new online module developed using UDL principles to teach postsecondary educators the concepts, strategies, and benefits of UDL. The module includes six parts:
> Introduction to UDL
> Network-Based Goals provides guidance of how to structure a learning activity...
> Methods presents flexible strategies to support student learning.
> Materials guides you in the selection of flexible media and materials...
> Assessing Students offers considerations for designing assessments...
Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice authored by Anne Meyer, David Rose and David Gordon is the first significant new statement about UDL since the 2002. A multimedia presentation of the content can be accessed at no charge online at http://udltheorypractice.cast.org (free login required).
This book gives the UDL field an essential and authoritative learning resource for the coming years.
CAST is offering 2-day Institutes in March, May and August, "UDL: Addressing the Variability of All Learners". Participants gain:
> A working knowledge of the neuroscience of learning and how individual variability plays out in different educational environments
> Guidelines and techniques to apply UDL principles to the design of lessons and curriculum units so all learners can reach the goal
> Strategies, both with and without technology, for classroom practice which includes CAST learning, authoring, and planning tools such as: UDL Book Builder, UDL Studio, UDL Connect, UDL Editions, Science Writer, and UDL Curriculum Self-Check
Join Anne Meyer, David Rose and David Gordon in their first free webinar in February where they will discuss their new book: UDL Theory and Practice.
"Meyer and Rose return with Universal Design for Learning: Theory & Practice, an up-to-date multimedia online book (with print and e-book options) that leverages more than a decade of research and implementation."
A much anticipateed book on UDL research is now available.
"This book considers the major research areas that underlie UDL and call out for further exploration in the years ahead. Each of the book’s six chapters includes a groundbreaking article that is centrally related to the larger UDL project, along with reflections on that article by contemporary researchers. As David H. Rose notes in his afterword, "the authors of this collection have set out to do more than revitalize and illuminate the foundations of UDL. They have set out also to prepare the field—to set the context—for the kind of research that needs to come now.""
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has a great ring to it as it infers that lessons and instruction are designed for all learners in the classroom. Can you imagine learning environments where all learners can thrive? Using the UDL lens to understand the learners in your classroom can help teachers do exactly that.
Placing this concept in the field of education, the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) coined UDL to apply to all learners, regardless of (dis)abilities. In 2003, CAST has been creating instructional materials for over 10 years, mostly digital, to fit this principle of “universal”. Now 10 years later, the concept is finally becoming more known in our new times of the Common Core and increasingly accessible digital technologies.
"UDL Implementation: A Tale of Four Districts is the story of four school districts taking the journey into the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) implementation process. Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation in Indiana, Cecil County Public Schools in Maryland and Chelmsford Public Schools in Massachusetts participated in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded project to explore and pilot processes and tools developed to support UDL Implementation within their own unique districts. The story is told primarily through the voices of the dedicated educator leaders from these districts and the UDL facilitators who supported them. During the one-year grant, the districts worked with CAST, Inc. to develop and implement an effective and sustainable district plan to support the integration of Universal Design for Learning."
With Universal Design for Learning as their chisel, says Elizabeth Stein, teachers can sculpt super learning environments to meet every student's needs.
Kathleen McClaskey's insight:
Elizabeth Stein creates a wonderful analogy of using UDL to create learning environments for all learners. Here is a brief exerpt from her blog on this subject:
"I’d like to offer my version of a teacher’s chisel–a professional tool that can help us to successfully create optimal learning environments. This tool is called the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
And UDL can be such a powerful chisel. If we stay mindful as we use it, we can not only create one sculpture at a time, like the artist. We also have the power to create a classroom full of masterpieces –simultaneously. It’s simply amazing."
In this module, The IRIS Center walks you through the five steps to create a learning environment that challenges and engages all learners.
"This module examines the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and discusses how to apply these principles to the four curricular components (i.e., goals, instructional materials, instructional methods, and assessments)."
Matt Bergman shares some excellent tools, strategies and steps in creating meaning and interaction in reading assignments. Discover how you can universally design your reading lessons this year. Here are a few highlights of those steps:
> Step 1: Have a central location to place all of your supports in one easy-to-find place. LiveBinders is a great way of helping keep everything organized and together!
> Step 2: Provide multiple ways of reading the assignment (aka Multiple Means of Representation). Give students the option of using paper, PDF's, and audio copies of text. Audacity and AudioBoo are great for producing audio!
> Step 3: Provide vocabulary supports! Use Quizlet to pre-teach vocabulary and provide a way for students to review terms when they are confused or need to study. Provide vocabulary supports for words students don't know like using Visuwords or Shahi.
> Step 4: Engage Students Differently to Find Meaning: use Read-Write-Think's Venn Diagram Maker
> Step 5: Show What You Know: use Padlet as a way for students to answer the essential question of the lesson.
From the Univrsity of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, they have included a comprehensive Faculty Kit as a start-up tool for anyone wanting to initiate training of faculty or Instructors. The Kit includes an FAQ sheet on UDE and a flier about the ACCESS-ed Website, which includes one side that discusses the 7 Principles of Universal Design, as applied to education.