Focus Question: How can teachers use technology to create universally designed classrooms?
- Every student benefits from a wide and varied range of educational experiences that can activate her or his talents and potentials as a learner.
- Teachers are Teachers are crucial gatekeepers in how learning proceeds in schools and classrooms. They either move students forward with lively and demanding instruction or they separate students according to perceive needs and talents.
- Differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL) involve changing in institutional practices and classroom structures to promote learning success for every student.
Photo credit to Amanda P.WU on Flickr
Universal design, a concept from the field of architectures is at the center of new approaches to how schools can serve all students well (Maloy, 2010, p. 279). When teachers create a universal designed classroom it can accommodate any type of student. Like I have said in previous blogs teachers have to learn how to accommodate everyone in the classroom because everyone learns differently. There are two key terms that teachers should remember;
- DI which stands for Differentiated Instruction- is an instructional approach that gives students "Multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas" (Hall, 2007).
- UDL which stands for Universal Design for Learning- is the application of universal design principles to educational settings.
Those two words help the teacher remember what the idea is for universal design in a classroom. Also the purpose of universal designed classroom is full participation and access for students with disabilities while providing individualized options for all (Maloy, 2010, p.279). To differentiate technologies in your classroom think about low-tech, mid tech, and high tech. Low tech refers to changes that are made easily, inexpensively, and without applying digital or electronic materials (Maloy, 2010, p.281). Med tech refers to substantive shifts in organization and delivery of curriculum that may include the use of electronic materials (Maloy, 2010, p. 281). High tech refers to changes associated with the integration of computers and other specialized information technologies in the classroom (Maloy, 2010, p.282). As a teacher just take the time to assess your students, and use whatever technology is going to fir best for them.
Tech Tools 10.1: Calculators
I always get stumped when there are limited tech tools to choose from. Usually I like to incorporate the tech tools with my focus question, but this week I will have to talk about something else. Teachers have to learn how to deal with anything that is thrown their way. This week tech tools website is about calculators. This website is supposed to help you with different kind of calculators and how to use them. The first thing that I notice when I log into the website is the dark blue background. It is very distracting. Then, I notice the massive amounts of different links. It is very distracting trying to find what you are looking for, and there is no internal search bar to narrow down what you are looking for. I do not think I would recommend this page for people to use. I would try searching whatever calculator you are looking for individually.
Summary & Connection:
It is sad to say that this is the second to the last blog I will be doing for this semester. As the chapters have gone by everything is mixing in together little by little. This chapter has been about the different technologies that are available to teachers to help bring together the diverse learning in the class. No matter what the curriculum is find a way to incorporate technology into it to create a universally designed classroom. That is the way to bring all the students in the class as one. Make sure that everyone feels comfortable with the way that the technology is being incorporated. It is beneficial that they are assistive technologies that can be accessed to students without any barrier, while maximizing opportunities for learning (Maloy, 2010, p.300). I also learned that technology is important for writing because it is usually helps students express themselves in way they cannot do on paper. Different technologies are effective in different parts of writing process, including prewriting/ brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing (Maloy, 2010, p.293).
UDL in the Classroom
Maloy, R. W., Verock-O, R. E., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2010).Transforming learning with new technologies. Allyn & Bacon.