Differentiated Instruction on Steroids - Universal Design for Learning

Both steroids and technology when used well can be a great benefit. We all have seen when both are used poorly. In the educational classroom, making the jump from differentiated instruction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) means having an understanding that technology can make you more flexible with your instruction in the classroom. Creating a mindset to utilize technology helps with having more tools in the toolbox to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom. Technology gives the flexibility to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom, which provides the opportunity for everyone to succeed. Two different approaches to differentiated instruction include Retrofitting and Universal Design. Retrofitting has been done within the construction of older buildings and in traditional instruction in the classroom. Universal Design for Learning is looking at the classroom from its foundation. We use both in the classroom but Universal Design for Learning is much more efficient and less time consuming.

Examples will be shown on how to use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) through the three basic premises of multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement.

The audience will work with the three programs within Premier Tools to make the connection and express the understanding on how it fits with UDL.
1. Universal Reader: a reader program for information on the computer.
2. Talking Word Processor: text to speech capability, word prediction, talking grammar check, summarization, 250,000 word dictionary, and highlighting/extracting tools.
3. PDF Equalizer ML: reading PDF formatted material with built in ‘notes’ functions, content summary, can easily convert to MP3, and a language translation option to 5 different languages

To help you understand what Wikispaces is all about here is a You Tube video from In Plain English on Wikispaces.

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