Universal Design for Learning

Gillian Garzia

Why Universal Design for Learning?

People are all different. Therefore, we understand that one person’s method of learning may differ from another. Knowing that all students learn differently, it is important that we find ways to meet each students individual learning needs. One might ask how this is possible with over 25 students in a classroom. The answer: Universal Design for Learning. Universal Design for Learning allows for students to acquire information, demonstrate their knowledge, and become motivated to learn. In a Universal Design for Learning classroom, all students may gather information, and present learned content in various ways. With the implementation of technology in schools, UDL has become easier to implement. There are several Web 2.0 tools available to help students learn, and present obtained knowledge. Below, you can view some great tools available.
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Technology: IPAD

The IPAD is a piece of technology that allows students to learn in multiple ways. There are several different apps available to students that make learning universal. Students can learn information using the IPAD, and present information with different applications.

Impacted Network/Process: Representation, Expression, Engagement/ Recognition, Strategic, Affective

The IPAD really affects every network and process that make up UDL. First, this is an extremely motivating tool for students to use. All students love using technology to assist their learning. The IPAD allows for students to obtain and learn different information. Then, many applications available help students present information in various ways.

Educational Activity/Assessment: Students are asked to use the IPAD to find an application that will help them with some sort of learning. Students can use it to find an app that will teach them about how to learn plays in sports, how to record plays in sports, how to learn rules, or different physical activity trackers. Students can then share with the teacher as an assessment tool.


Technology: Glogster

The Glogster is a tool that can be used on a tablet or computer. Glogster can be a collaborative tool where students can work together to create a sample of work. Students will be motivated in that they can insert videos, audio, and text to get their message across.

Impacted Network/Process: Engagement/Expression, Strategic/Affective- Students are able to take the previously acquired knowledge and illustrate what they have learned inside of a glog. Students can use audio and video files to help illustrate knowledge. Students also are able to work together to collaborate, which will motivate them to create the best work possible. Students have the opportunity to be creative while using this tool.

Educational Activity/Assessment: Students are learning about volleyball. Students have been asked to present information in a creative way. Students can use glogster to teach about the history of the sport, the rules and regulations of the sport, where students can participate in the sport, and show some clips of professional volleyball. The teacher will be able to assess students using this tool, and the different types of multimedia incorporated.


Technology: Popplet

Popplet is a tool that can be used on both an IPAD and the internet. Popplet is an interactive graphic organizer. Students have the ability to incorporate images, words, and sentences to help brainstorm, and create relationships among a specific topic.

Impacted Network/Process: Expression/Strategic- Students are able to take the previously acquired knowledge and illustrate what they have learned through the use of popplets graphic organizer.

Educational Activity/Assessment: When learning about tactical sports, students can create a popplet to discuss the rules and concepts of a certain sport. Each student in the class will be assigned a different sport. Then, all students can share their popplets, and students will be able to view similarities and relationships among tactical sports. Teachers can assess what students know, and still need to learn about tactical sports based on their popplet.

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Technology: Gliffy

Gliffy is a free tool that allows students to create flow charts and diagrams. Not only do students have the option to design what the diagram, or flow-chart will look like (shapes, size, order), but they also get to write all of the information inside. This is a great tool in that students can create something as simple as a Venn diagram, or can go very complex. As long as the student can follow along, it is an effective tool.

Impacted Network: Expression/Engagement- Students are able to take knowledge they have acquired, and place it in a diagram or chart of their choice. This helps motivate students in that they have the ability to be creative in designing the chart however they would like.

Educational Activity/Assessment: Before learning about Speedball, students can create a venn diagram to compare the sports of handball and soccer. Students will use the middle section to write the similarities, and from there, will learn the rules of speedball. Students have freedom to make the venn diagram look however they would like, and can share their diagram with their peers.


Technology: Announcify

Announcify is a tool that is a google chrome extension. Announcify helps translate text to speech. Students can type in any website, and announcify will read it to them. This is a great tool for students who have difficulties reading, and understanding what they have read. Announcify blurs out the part of the paragraph not being read so students can really focus on the specific part being read to them.

Impacted Network/Process: Recognition/Representation: Announcify helps students obtain knowledge from text. Students who struggle to read, focus, and comprehend what they read, now have the chance to be read to. Students will be able to obtain and acquire new information from various websites.

Educational Activity/Assessment: When students have either a homework assignment or an assignment during school hours, they can use announcify to help better understand the text on the website. Then, because students have a stronger understanding of the content on the site, it will aid them in the writing process.

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Technology: Voki

Voki is a tool that allows both teachers and students to express their thoughts through sounds. Teachers can record themselves explaining an assignment, or brief content and place their voice inside the character of their choice. Then, students can click on this and listen to the Voki speak to understand the assignment or content.

Impacted Network/Process: Recognition/Strategic: Representation/Expression: Voki helps students who struggle to read understand content. Students can learn new material that a teacher has presented through listening to the recorded Voki. Students can also share what they have learned by recording their voices into a Voki, and presenting the information that way.

Educational Activity/Assessment: Students are discussing why teamwork is so important. Students can record themselves discussing this concept, and send it to the teacher for review. The teacher can assess the student on obtained knowledge. Teachers can also assign students an assignment using a Voki, and provide information to students via Voki. Teachers can assess what students have learned based on what was provided in the Voki.