Key Topics in Technology and Education

Welcome!

Every teacher is aware that within their classroom there is a wide variety of abilities, interests and prior knowledge about any given topic.  This has always been a factor in education and will continue to be into the future.  The pervasive use of technology in our daily lives would, at this point, be impossible to keep out of the classroom.  This is what makes understanding Universal Design for Learning a concept all teachers should be familiar with.  It provides a framework to bring together what you know you need to teach (benchmarks and standards) with methods that endeavor to meet the needs of each student.  Here are the key points:

Removing barriers in our pedagogy and curriculum by drawing ideas from the latest brain research and the use of available technology to strive for flexibility in your classroom activities.  There are 3 key types of flexibility:
  • present information in multiple formats and media
  • allow multiple formats for student action and expression
  • allow multiple ways to facilitate student interests and motivation

With those key concepts in mind it can help us as educators set goals for our students, individualize their instruction and provide multiple ways to assess their progress.  The following pages have links to websites we have previewed for you and believe would help you as you seek to provide your students with a rich, personalized learning environment.

As you have probably surmised, Universal Design for Learning is especially useful for learners with any type of disability.  This is where assistive technologies can be beneficial.  Simply put, an assistive technology is any device or service that improves or helps maintain a learners functional capabilities.

When used in tandem, assistive technologies within a Universal Design flexibility framework can help you create an atmosphere of learning that does its best to meet the needs of all the students in your classroom.

If you would like specific information about the Universal Design for Learning concept, this website has a wealth of information in an easy to understand format.

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Image from: http://www.cast.org/udl/index.html