A Blogger's Insight:
Review of 'UDL Toolkits' on http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/toolkits/tk_introduction.cfm?tk_id=21
During my student teaching experience, a special education teacher offered up a bit of her expertise, "An essential role of an educator is the ability to develop an effective and useful 'toolkit' for teaching and one day, I'm sure you too, will have your own 'toolkit'." For years, I have researched and racked my brain over this simple, yet overwhelming, statement. What was a 'toolkit'? Will I be successful when developing one? Where would I get all of these so-called 'tools'? How will they help me become an effective educator?
Today, I can proudly say I have developed a solid 'toolkit' which I gained effortlessly through my years of teaching experience. After reviewing this webpage, my personal 'toolkit' transformed once again. This site introduced me to the term PAL or Planning for All Learners, which in essence, applies UDL to planning and developing curricula in ways that promote accessibility, participation, and progress in the general education curriculum for all learners (www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/toolkits/tk_introduction.cfm?tk_id=21). The PAL Toolkit also provides teachers with guidance, mentoring, sample lessons, templates, on-line tools and resources, training sessions, as well as, follow-up support.
Furthermore, this website allows educators to work with interactive tools to create their own UDL lesson plans and create materials that can be used in any educational setting. After reading my first post on UDL, you should be experts (okay, well at least have your own idea of what universal design for learning is). Using that knowledge and any of your prior understandings of UDL, the PAL toolkit delves deep beyond the ways to make necessary steps to plan individualized instruction for each student and 'how tos', by providing you with model lesson plans, units and case studies. With all of these resources, workshops, and guides, there is only room for triumphant. Soon your 'toolkit' will too evolve and, in turn, mold you into a successful teacher and life-long learner.
But wait! - If you are still in need of additional assistance or just some outside support from others in the educational field. Don't worry, this website has you covered there too!
UDL Toolkits: Teaching Every Student. (n.d.). CAST: Center for Applied Special Technology. Retrieved September 11, 2013, from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/toolkits/tk_introduction.cfm?tk_id=21