Reflect on what you have learned this week about universal design for learning and assistive technologies
Universal Design for Learning is a proactive approach!
Before learning more about UDL, I was unaware that it was a proactive approach. This is a very useful thing to know because now when planning my lessons I can incorporate different activities to engage my students. For example, I can allow them to learn about Independence Day using their textbook, or allow them to find information using an educational website. I can also assess them in different ways (seesaw), students could: draw a picture, write a blog post, or explain orally to exhibit what they learned. Knowing this also makes me more aware when presenting directions to my students, I will be sure to explain them and print them out for everyone to have access to. Doing all of this beforehand will serve for a more effective lesson.
Accessibility tools are built into laptops already!
After using a laptop for so long and for so many different reasons, I had no idea that these tools were already available on it. I love how easy it is to put these tools to use. Although not every student may require them, they are still helpful for any type of learner. If some students do not want them to be used when using the computer, they can be activated on only certain computers in the classroom. This is something that I can be proactive about in the classroom. For example, if I have a student with impaired sight I can be sure to activate the larger cursor and text on a certain computer and have them use that one. These tools can even be used to explain directions to students using voiceover. The fact that they are already available on the computer gives teachers no excuse not to use them to benefit their students!
Overall, it seems that UDL and diverse learners go together pretty well. Although UDL is a broad approach to teaching and helps ALL kinds of learners, it seems to benefit diverse learnings (specifically with disabilities or impairments) even more! The great thing is that it does not just target them, it targets and benefits ALL students.