June 6, 2014
Extending UDL into Assistive Technology….
Three guiding principles are the foundation of UDL or Universal Design for Learning:
- Provide Mulitple Means of Representation
- Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
- Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
This means that thinking about UDL principles within the context of teaching should drive us to continually address and consider the What, How and Why of learning in our efforts to reach and enrich all learners. When I think of how this can help learners with diverse abilities, things like the importance of multi-sensory approaches, using a variety of learning materials and harnessing the power of instructional and assistive technologies comes to mind.
Assistive Technology is not automatically UDL. Assistive Technology can help create opportunities for students to perform at their best while it implements principles of UDL to improve the overall learning process. “The use of technology provides clear advantages to those who wish to provide flexible, supportive, and adjustable learning and productivity experiences to all learners” (Hitchcock & Stahl, 2003).
“In short, technology is not synonymous with UDL, but it does play a valuable role in its implementation and conceptualization.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.