I. Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to Support Every Student's Learning
• The Goal: to provide every student customized and responsive learning experiences that adjusts with the learner over time
• Tasks can be classified according to the brain network they engage, this it is important to ask two important questions
1. Which methods of teaching are most compatible with the ways that each brain network functions?
2. What kinds of flexibility must instructional materials have to make individualization work?
• Students do not have one kind of intelligence or one way of learning and in order to accommodate this via flexibility in curriculum materials
• We can accommodate diverse learners by using a repertoire of teaching strategies suited to each brain network
• See Figure 6.1 for Network Appropriate Teaching Methods (suggest putting this figure in the Prezi)
(Figure 6.1 omitted for preview. Available via download)
• provide multiple examples
• highlight critical features
• provide multiple media and formats
• support background context
• provide flexible models of skilled performance
• provide opportunities to practice with supports
• provide ongoing, relevant feedback
• offer flexible opportunities for demonstrating skill
• offer choices of content and tools
• offer adjustable levels of challenge
• offer choices of rewards
• offer choices of learning content
• analyzing the potential drawbacks and barriers to current curriculum materials can help to plan for the additional media and useful teaching tools you will need to reach all students
• UDL Classroom Template 2 (available on p. 184) provides a structure for analyzing potential barriers and investigate available digital media and networks available to support differentiated teaching approaches
• Resources include:
multimedia composition tools like HyperStudio and Kid Pix
web-capable electronic graphic organizers (see Figure 6.2)
programs that support the translation of content from one medium to another (i.e. text-to-speech and text-to-image) such as CAST eReader, Pix Reader, etc.
• Pattern recognition requires specific study and because students are not on equal footing when it comes to recognizing patterns, teachers need to provide differentiated instruction
• Teaching Method 1: Provide Multiple Examples. The key characteristics that define a pattern of any type mean that recognition networks require exposure to multiple examples.
• Affect is the fuel that students bring to the classroom, connecting them to the why of learning and plays a part in the development of persistence and deep interest in a subject
• Motivation is at least as important for school success as the capacity to recognize and generate patterns
• Emphasizing skills and knowledge to the exclusion of emotion, it breeds negative feelings towards learning (particularly in students having difficulty)
• It is important to connect learning to the students' own lives and interests, giving them choices in content, methods, and materials whenever feasible
• Over the course of development, unique individuals' constitutions and experiences intermix to create their affective profiles: a combination of what attracts, motivates and engages individuals
• Giving students choices of content and tools can increase their enthusiasm for learning in particular processes
• Example: mastering the skill of long division in the abstract may be uninteresting to some, but learning to calculate batting averages can be exciting
• Thus, when affective engagement can link backgrounds of knowledge with strategic of recognition tasks, students are more likely to build skills, sustained interest, and deep understanding
QuickTime 3D (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/pyramid/)
Write, Camera, Action! (http://www.worldvillage.com/wv/school/html/reviews/write.htm)
[email protected] (http://www.secretsatsea.org)
See also the Tips and tutorials on how to obtain digital text and multimedia materials link available in the online version of the book
• Students learn best in their "zone of proximal development" (Vygotsky, 1962) where challenge is just beyond their current capacity but not out of reach. However, students comfort zones the level of difficulty vary considerably
• adjustable levels of challenge have advantages beyond the immediate power to engage and providing such choices makes the process of goal-setting easier
• Example: learning software is calibrated to offer adjustable levels of challenge in order to deal with this dilemma
• Resources: Great Math Adventure
• A common way to motivate students is to provide external rewards and punishments such as deferred rewards, stickers, increased or decreased privileges
• There are two problems in this practice: (1) each students has different ideas about what is and is not a reward and (2) external rewards tend to be inappropriate and ineffective in motivating learning over the long term--i.e. avoid "turning play into work."
• Thus, building students' meta-awareness of accomplishment and progress is an important tenet of UDL and is one of the most effective ways to instill intrinsic interest
• The importance of context extends beyond cerebral contests and context preferences are individual; thus the optimal context for one student is not necessarily optimal for another
• Example: even though the basket is the same height, size, and color on every court, odds makers always assume that members of the home team will be more adept than their visiting opponents at getting the ball through the basket. Although the physical components of shooting a basket are the same at home and away, the knowledge that friends and family fill the gym and the supportive roar of the crowd can activate greater affect and success.
• By offering students a selection of materials from which to choose, each with varying degrees of structure, we can offer all students an appropriate learning context.
• UDL Classroom Temple 3, available in the Appendix (p. 189) and online, offers guidance to help you plan and develop an appropriate, useful collection of media, tools, and resources that will give your students the supports they need.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.