Sunday, February 1, 2009
Universal Design for Learning
Created on Inspiration 8, a concept map of Universal Design for Learning *(UDL).
Inspiration is a great program. The templates alone provide a wonderful variety of graphic organizers, and I like in particular that you can go from an outline to the diagram and back again, and I would have students who had difficulty outlining use this program themselves. It's a little bit difficult to fit everything in and have it still make visual sense when there's a lot of material to cover, as in UDL.
Universal design for learning is one of those ideas that really seems so obvious, but actually takes a good deal of creativity and innovation to implement successfully. One of the thinks I was continually struck by when I was taking special education was just how much technology was used to bridge the learning gap. It's truly remarkable to think of the things we can do today that we unthinkable not all that long ago. But what I consistently thought, as we went through all the methods for adapting and accommodating the curriculum to a variety of learners is, this can help everyone. For example, for students who have speech and language disorders, classrooms and curriculum should be heavily visual, with tons of visual reinforcement for language, and should employ different learning modalities. But of course, this is good for all students! That's really the most basic idea behind UDL.