Sunday, September 15, 2013

Additional Resources

A Blogger's Insight:

A Review of the Wiki Site at 

Throughout this journey of universal design of learning through the use of assistive technology, we have looked at the definition of UDL, the true meaning of UDL, ways to develop an instructional plan for children on a one-on-one basis, the guidelines of UDL and how they were incorporated and modified into an already designed lesson plan, etc.  Hopefully you have taken out just as much as I have after reviewing the information and websites presented throughout my blogs.  However, we really have not looked at the additional resources and tools available to teachers and students.  My prior experience and knowledge, in addition to, the Wiki Spaces have proven that many classrooms are lacking assistive technology because of many different reasons.  Some teachers and administrators fear that these AT tools required an abundance amount of money and time, and yet many resources provided are FREE and can be found/created with little effort and time.  This website provides their readers with a whole list of on-line sites to download many different assistive technologies that can aid ANY classroom.  They also include dozens of tools and strategies to improve reading, mathematics, writing, and much more.  

To show you this is possible, I am going to find and link ten more additional websites or 'DIY' ideas that could be incorporated into a classroom for little to NO money. - Where teachers and students can write, edit, illustrate and publish their own classroom books. - Turn ANY PDF file into a fun interactive flip book for your classroom. - Create FREE tools, games, graphic organizers, quizzes, and MUCH MORE. - A great 'DIY' website for AT tools that can be helpful in the classroom and day-to-day living. - Interesting 'DIY' examples created by others, great ideas for the classroom. - Using everyday materials with adaptions. - adaptations and assistive technologies through the eyes of a teacher. - adaptations and assistive technology recommended to use for young people. - creative ways to adapt every day objects for the classroom.   
Now go try it yourself.. You have no more excuses for not including AT within your classroom!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


A Blogger's Insight:

Module 1: Self-Evaluation   

Throughout this first week of Assisted Technology, I have evolved not only my educational 'toolkit' but my understanding and passion for UDL.  When I first heard of UDL, it was confusing, overwhelming and difficult to follow all of the complex aspects involved in this idea of learning.  As the years went by and my experience in the classroom expanded, I found the idea of UDL become more prevalent within the classrooms and more easily understand.  However, even after all of that experience, who would have thought that an INTRODUCTORY class on Assisted Technology would have pushed my learning, interest and passion to new heights!  The things I have learned about UDL from the abundant amount of information presented in all of the resources I have reviewed, have modeled me into not only a better teacher, but an all-around better person!  Understanding Universal Design for Learning has allowed me to take a step back and think of all different strategies and techniques to maximize learning and optimize options and alternatives, not only in the classroom but in my day to day life, as well. 


Integration of Guidelines

A Blogger's Insight: 

Review of Post-Assessment: UDL Lesson 

WELCOME BACK! You were curious right?? Curious to see how I modified and altered my lesson plan to incorporate the three UDL guidelines that we discuss in my last post.  Let's review again which guidelines I wanted to enhance throughout my lesson plan.  They are as follows:
  • 1.2 Offer alternatives for auditory information                     
  • 7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy                    
  • 8.1 Heighten salience of goals and objectives                  
In addition to these three bullets, I also decided to incorporate three more:
  • 2.5 Illustrate through multiple media                                    
  • 4.2 Optimize access to tools and assisted technologies
  • 6.3 Facilitate managing information and resources          
When identifying the areas of improvement, I was very confused, I'm sure like most of you were as well. Some of the words they used to define the guidelines are uncommon and/or specific.  I tried to CTRL + left click the actual guideline.  When I did this, it opened up the actual explanation of the 'standard'.  In addition to providing a description of each, it also presented reader's with examples of how you could incorporate each guideline into your lessons/curriculum.  TRY IT FOR YOURSELF BELOW! REMEMBER CTRL + left click.  After coming across this information, I was like the fountain of wisdom; wonderful ideas flowing through me that I could use to facilitate UDL in my classroom.  Some of the ideas were extremely far-fetched; things you would not have time, attention or money to use in your lessons.  Most, on the other hand, were PERFECT! It was accessible, flexible, differentiated, useful and organized.
You know that feeling you get when you just run across the finish like, or help that one student make it all click or when you finally beat that level of Candy Crush Saga (Sorry I'm an addict for that game), this was the feeling I got after changing my lesson plan.  I was so thrilled to use it in my own classroom one day and knew it would reach each student's individual strengths and needs.  I not only included areas for students' needs, I also was able to incorporated enrichment resources for gifted students or students who finished early.  All of the information I used in my lesson expand my 'toolkit' and the student's interest and success.  Like I noted in my previous post on UDL 'Toolkits', my personal 'toolkit' evolved once again!  


         UDL Guideline Examples . (n.d.). Google Sites. Retrieved September 11, 2013, from  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

UDL Guidelines

A Blogger's Insight: 
Review of Pre-Assessment: UDL Lesson

ThumbnailThroughout this past week, we have been diving into each and every aspect of universal design for learning with both feet.  Before taking this course I felt that the lessons I created were full of differentiation, technology and types of universal design for learning techniques.  The guidelines for UDL are basic around three main targets: 

After evaluating my lesson plan using the guidelines provided, I now, am not so sure I am creating lesson plans that will maximize students' potential and optimizing their success in my classroom to the best of my ability.  View the video to the left, by clicking on the picture.  This video puts in perspective how teachers feel without the implementation of UDL.  I'm confident this is how many teachers, including myself, have felt several times throughout their teaching careers.   
Caution: This video is an extremely creative perspective, it MAY BE SILLY!

What were the major problems, that Mrs. Dolly noticed, occurring in her classroom.  What UDLs did Miss. Dolly implement into her curriculum/lesson that effectively improved her students education?  After investigating the guidelines for universal design for learning, what other aspects of UDL could Miss. Dolly incorporate? 
To change the future, you first have to take a look at the past.  Knowing this, I took a lesson plan that I taught during my student teaching in a special education assignment.  This lesson is designed for grades fourth through sixth to introduce multiplication and repeated addition.  After the completion of the guideline pre-assessment, I noticed that I integrated the following three specific UDL guidelines in the most efficient and comprehensive ways:  
  • 1.3 Offer alternatives for visual information
  • 3.3 Guide information processing, visualization, and manipulation 
  • 5.3 Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance 
In addition to the areas that I feel I have been successful at implementing effectively, there are also a few areas that I believe I am obligated to focus on more.  The following are three of the six areas I have chosen to include as I modify and adjust my present lesson. 
  • 1.2 Offer alternatives for auditory information
  • 7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy 
  • 8.1 Heighten salience of goals and objectives
When writing a lesson plan and developing the curriculum, diving in without looking is always my first mistake.  Next time when I am about to dive right in, I am going to dive in with BOTH feet first.  That will, at least, provide me some stability to stand on my own while figuring out the rest as I go (with the help of these new-found resources). From the famous words of Dory, I have to... "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."  

          Barbie's UDL Classroom - YouTube. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved September 11, 2013, from
          Just Keep Swimming with Dory from Finding Nemo - YouTube. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved September 11, 2013, from