Wednesday, May 25, 2011

44. About UDL

A Practical reader in Universal Design for Learning
Edited by Rose D. D. and Meyer Ann
Harvard Education Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts 2006

An interesting book with articles about Universal Design for Learning. It contains a number of articles, some of which are directly related to special education issues. However, a lot of the content is linked to uses of technology for learning. Of special interest:

Apply UDL in the Classroom, Coyne P., Ganley P., Hall T., Meo G., Murray E., and Gordon D., pages 1-13
  • Notes on the approach and fundamentals of UDL
  • UDL builds on Vygotsky's work (1998) and neurosciences
  • UDL supports three types of brain networks: recognition (representation); strategic (action and expression); affective (engagement).
  • The UDL overview chart on page 5 is quite helpful. The items that UDL supports can be directly related to the flexibility and inividualizability of the different technologies. Consider the following:
    • multiple examples
    • highlight critical features of content
    • provide multiple media and formats
    • support background contexts (these for the recognition networks)
    • flexible models of skilled performance
    • opportunities to practice with support
    • ongoing relevant feedback
    • offer flexible opportunities to demonstrate skills (these are for the strategic networks)
    • choice of learning context
    • choice of content and tools
    • adjustable challenge levels
    • multiple ways to succeed (these are for the affective networks)
An interesting quote that is worth reflecting upon can be found on page 10:

"A printed book represents a certain kind of technology, yet we know that having access to books is not the same as learning from books. Similarly providing students with access to computers, the Web, blogs, iPods and other technologies is not the same as providing access to learning."

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