Using Universal Design for Learning in the classroom provides new opportunities for all students to learn and grow in meaningful ways. Teachers who want to find innovative ways to implement UDL practices in their classrooms will be able to find many online tools and resources.
Why UDL at Northwestern High School?
In some respects we have implemented aspects of UDL at Northwestern already. Each of our students has a school issued iPad and several teachers differentiated their lessons to some extent. If we were to fully implement UDL, I see all of our students benefiting. We are a high performing school, with most of our students successfully completing further education. However, in recent conversations our students have asked the why question many times. While they demonstrate high achievement they are not fully engaged in their education and are not in love with learning.
UDL Curriculum Self Check
According to CAST, the UDL Curriculum Self Check "helps educators build options and flexibility into each element of the curriculum in order to reach and engage all students." This survey is an excellent way for teachers to analyze their current teaching in four areas: UDL goals, UDL methods, UDL materials, and UDL assessment.
The UDL Curriculum Self Check can be found here or at http://udlselfcheck.cast.org/
UDL Book Builder
CAST's UDL Book Builder "Enables educators to develop their own digital books to support reading instruction literacy learning." Teachers will find this Book Builder and intuitive way to create e content for their students in order to increase literacy.
The UDL Book Builder can be found here or at http://www.cast.org/learningtools/book_builder/index.html
UDL iSolveIt Math Puzzles
Cast's iSolveIt Math Puzzles are "innovative, research-based games that teach essential math reasoning and problem-solving skills." These games, which are iPad compatible, help students learn logical thinking and reasoning skills needed to solve algebraic equations. The puzzle format allows students to practice these skills in a fun, non-threatening online environment. Since our students all have iPads, these games are assessable to all students.
iSolveIt can be found here or at http://isolveit.cast.org/home