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 Technology and Universal Design for Learning

Maya Fouch

EDUC 6714

Walden University


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Inspiration for UDL

The inspiration for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is to design and deliver curricula, materials, and environments in a manner that makes them accessible and usable to all students. UDL can be seen in educational approaches such as differentiated instruction, teachers as coaches, learning as process, individualized instruction, and cooperative learning (2008).


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3 Principles of UDL

(1) Present information and content in different ways

-Provide students with multiple examples to demonstrate the content

- Provide multiple media and formats

- Support background knowledge

(2) Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know

-Provide options for physical action

-Provide options for expressive skills and fluency

-Provide scaffolding opportunities

(3) Stimulate interest and motivation for learning

-Offer choices of content and tools

-Provide adjustable levels of challenge

-Offer choice of learning context


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Central Role of Technology in UDL

The central role of technology in UDL is to support the individualization needed to engage all learners by offering the flexibility to cover the recognition, strategic, and affective networks of the brain ensuring that all students are accommodated.


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Using Technology in UDL

  • “Seth, a student with low vision whose word comprehension skills are excellent, uses eReader to adjust the font, style, size, and color of digital text, background, and highlighting, to achieve maximum contrast and readability” (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2009).

  • “Daniel, whose physical disabilities prevent him from using a mouse or a computer keyboard, uses Ke:nx software with Write:OutLoud to gain single switch access to program controls and an onscreen keyboard. In this way, he too can access the writing supports of the program to help him complete his written work” (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2009).


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Potential Impact on Student Learning in My School

UDL will provide students, who are widely different in the ways they process, organize, and share information, with the flexibility and individualization needed to be engaged in the learning process (Laureate, Inc., 2009).


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What does brain research tell us about learning differences?

Brain research tells us that different parts of the brain network to control the different aspects of learning.

  • Recognition network (the “what” of learning)- controls how we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear, and read

  • Strategic network (the “how” of learning)- controls how we organize and express our ideas

  • Affective network (the “why” of learning)- this network allows learners to get engaged and stay motivated


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How does UDL support cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and academic diversity?

Students come into our classrooms from different cultures and ethnicities, with different experiences, interests, and ability levels. UDL, supported with appropriate technology, provides the necessary flexibility needed to engage all learners and allow them to demonstrate their learning in unique and meaningful ways.


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CAST Online Tools academic diversity?

  • UDL Curriculum Check-list

  • CAST Strategy Tutor

  • CAST UDL Lesson Builder


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UDL Curriculum Check-list academic diversity?

  • UDL Curriculum Check-list is a “Free online tool that helps educators build options and flexibility into each element of the curriculum (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) in order to reach and engage all students” (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2009). This would be a great professional development opportunity for us. It is important for educators to be lifelong learners.


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CAST Strategy Tutor academic diversity?

CAST Strategy Tutor- “Strategy Tutor helps students read, research, collect and understand information better and more efficiently. For teachers, Strategy Tutor provides a way to easily create web-based lessons embedded with research-based, highly effective learning strategy and vocabulary supports” (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2009). This tool with help educators prepare our students for the future’s workforce by integrating technology that will engage and motivate students. It will also help students become better readers.


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CAST UDL Lesson Builder academic diversity?

CAST UDL Lesson Builder is a “Free online tool that teaches educators to customize standards-based curriculum to meet individual learning needs” (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2009). Many educators desire to improve their instruction, assessment strategies, and classroom environment, but they are unsure how to make it happen. This tool provides the foundation needed to build an effective lesson where all students will be accommodated.


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Resources academic diversity?

Center for Applied Special Technology. (2009). UDL guidelines, version 1.0. Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Brain Research and UDL [Webcast]. Reaching and Engaging All Learners Through Technology. Baltimore, MD: Author

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Reaching and engaging all learners through technology. (DVD). Universal Design for Learning. Baltimore, MD: Author.

University of Louisville. (2008). Retrieved from

http://louisville.edu/education/ciidl/acms/udl.html


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