This week the assignments and lessons provided some new topics, specifically the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and eBooks from the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). Both of these topics are something that I was unfamiliar with, but after completing the videos and readings this week I feel like the ideas presented are what teachers want to do for their students. As teachers we want to reach all students, so we plan for this in the preparation and implementation of daily instruction. The UDL model is a means to producing lessons in which all students are successful, regardless of ability or learning style. This just seems like common sense and I believe that teachers would naturally and automatically want to embrace this for the success of their students. I believe that most teachers try to focus our efforts in an informal way by using the UDL model, but the structure of the format allows for teachers to incorporate many methods into the curriculum. This ensures that all students’ needs are met. Also a topic I found interesting in the UDL model, was the three brain networks – recognition, strategic and affective - the “what”, “how”, and “why” of learning (udlcenter.org, 2012). By dividing these concepts into categories, the development of curriculum is in an easier format to ensure all students’ needs are reached.
The eBook assignment was fun to create, and I can see many opportunities for me to use this in my class. I teach a content area that is ever evolving and the adopted “textbooks” currently in use can be and usually are outdated. The discipline has many subjects under one umbrella so to speak and this hinders adoption. I am not currently teaching it but I teach an educator exploratory class and I think my kids in the future could benefit from the knowledge of the CAST website, UDL lesson creation and eBook uses to ensure differentiation in instructional practices and that all students’ benefit from instruction. I may even include this at the end of the year as part of my Child Development class in preparing them for Child Guidance classes.
National center on universal design for learning. (2012, 02 28). Retrieved On September 16, 2012) from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl