I will do whatever it takes to teach others about UDL, or Universal Design for Learning because I believe UDL transforms teaching practices and makes learning possible for struggling learners. I can not keep this to myself.
Recently, I had the opportunity to share about UDL at both NECC in DC, at the interactive UDL Playground and at EdubloggerCon East at BLC09 in Boston. I'm continually mystified by the reality that so few educators have heard about UDL and even fewer are applying the principles of offering multiple methods of engagement, presentation and expression to tap into students' affective, recognition and strategic networks to reach all learners. The connection between new media technology tools and UDL makes it easier than ever to provide multiple methods of engagement, presentation and expression. Incorporating a UDL framework makes reaching all learners possible.
What is UDL?
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all. (from the cast.org site)It seems as though everyone has heard about Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory or about Differentiated Instruction and even about Understanding by Design. So, why do Universal Design for Learning principles remain the great unknown? Don't we want to ensure we are reaching all our students? What can be done to help educators understand and explore the principles further and then apply the concepts that will support and reach all the learners in their classrooms? How do we get the word out?
To learn more about UDL, check out these resources:
CAST/Teaching Every Student
UDL Online Classroom Tools
National Universal Design for Learning Task Force