Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers all students a variety of ways to engage with the content. Today’s students enter classrooms with a wide range of skills, needs, and interests. At the same time, much of the curriculum available to teachers is narrowly focused, making it hard to meet the diverse needs of these students. Using the UDL framework can help you overcome curriculum barriers by focusing instruction on systematic learner variability rather than the mythical average student. Systematic learner variability is predictable, which means you can plan for it. Curriculum created using UDL is designed from the beginning to be flexible and customized, allowing teachers to meet students where they are.
Reflect on why it’s important to know about learner variability. How do you or your teachers address learner variability in the classroom?
Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak, our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!
Registration now available for the workshop: UDL Now! A Guide to Classroom Application with Author Katie Novak
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for creating an approach to your instruction based on principles that allow all students to have access to the general education curriculum. Using a proactive approach to remove learning barriers by considering the natural variability of how students learn, UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments to help optimize learning.
… reflect on your teaching or leadership practices. How are students engaged? How are materials presented? How do students show what they know?
Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak , our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!
Where do your comfort and skill levels fall with regards to effectively using technology to enhance your productivity and/or student outcomes? Here’s a call to action- Join us July 28 for Collaborative Teaching with Technology!
What? Learn how to enhance instruction and improve student outcomes by meaningfully integrating technology into your collaborative classroom.
Who? This workshop is designed to address the needs of a variety of collaborative instructional arrangements, whether providing co-teaching, inclusion support, or classroom consultation. This workshop is designed for YOU:
Total tech novice
I feel pretty confident in my tech skills
I don’t have access to technology in my classroom
I only have my teacher computer and 1 iPad/Chromebook
How? Through guided practice, you will use a variety of simple yet powerful technology tools for planning, data collection, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, and instructional accommodations.
You will also have a chance to explore additional self-selected technology tools relevant to your particular instructional arrangement and student needs.
Why, again? Having participated in examples of meaningful technology integration across varied classroom activities and practiced using the tech tools, you will be able to hit the ground running with engaging strategies for students and strategies for your own productivity and organization.
Where? Region 13
This workshop is a joint effort between Region 13 Specialists including Leslie Barrett (edtech/librarian), Kim West (special educator), Chris Teter (special educator/administrator) and Nichole Kertis Barton (AT/OT). We’re excited to bring our different perspectives as well as be able to differentiate support based on your needs! Please let us know if you have any questions.
Picture Exchange Communication System to Speech Generating Devices
Date: July 20, 2015
ID #: SU1532786
Register at: ecampus.esc13.net
Is your learner ready to transition to a Speech Generating Device? Do you need help selecting a device and/or preparing your learner for the transition? This training will help get your questions answered!
This full-day workshop will describe procedures for analyzing a learner’s current PECS skills to determine candidacy for transitioning to a Speech Generating Device (SGD). The course will also cover choosing a device, teaching functional use of the device, and why we must teach the basic principles of communication to our learner first to ensure positive outcomes are achieved.
Further details and information about registration can be found here.
*Participants should bring a Speech Generating Device (SGD) to the training for use during a variety of activities to get the full experience.
With the small amount of information currently available regarding the STAAR A assessment, teachers may be looking for resources around computer based learning and students with disabilities. A recent paper, from the National Center on Educational Outcomes, looks at some of the factors that affect students with disabilities on computer based assessments: Computer-based Testing: Practices and Considerations. Some of the key findings:
Classroom instruction time may be needed to train students how to navigate a computer-based test and how to use test tools.
Without prior training students often are unable to correctly use online rulers, protractors, and other online measurement tools.
States and test vendors sometimes fail to make practice tests and manuals available far enough ahead of test day to provide sufficient instructional time.
Students may also prefer CBT because it has the option of customizing the assessment based on personal preferences. For example, all students may be allowed to decide what background color they would like on the screen, or what font size they would prefer.
Interactions with computers may cause anxiety for some students.
Computer anxiety does not refer to negative attitudes towards computers, but rather to a student’s “emotional reaction to using computers” (Erdogan, 2008, p. 823).
Erdogan asserts that providing students with more opportunities to use computers during instruction has the potential to reduce computer anxiety.
In a small study focused on individuals with intellectual disabilities, Stock, Davies, and Wehmeyer (2004) found that many study participants preferred computer-based tests. The participants particularly liked being able to take the test with little assistance. Still, when students have the opportunity to self-select accommodations on a computer-based test, they sometimes make poor decisions.
Innovative formats may be especially challenging for students with visual impairments or poor fine motor skills. For example, it is difficult to braille innovative test items. It is also sometimes difficult to describe some online graphics without giving the answer away (Kamei-Hannan, 2008; Kettler et al., 2010; Russell et al., 2010; Thompson et al., 2002).
Educators may also be interested in the statewide results for the 8th grade Computer Literacy assessment from 2013-2014: Report Summary_13-14
Special Education teachers spend a lot of their time reading tests and quizzes out loud to students, not to mention regular classroom lessons and assignments. For some students, this is an unavoidable part of their instructional plan. But we think that, for many students, technology tools can provide an equally good, if not better, approach to this accommodation. And the less time teachers spend in the “reader-role”, the more time they can spend doing what they do best — teaching students.
In the video below, Kim and Nichole explore two approaches to using technology for Oral Administration: using text-to-speech tools and letting teachers record themselves. Beneath the video you will find an array of resources for planning the implementation of this approach. These tools might be more than enough to set you on your way, but if you have questions or would like to talk through your campus’s unique needs, please don’t hesitate to contact:
Attention PPCD, Early Childhood and Primary Lifeskills! Only one week left until we welcome author and presenter Jessica Roberts, who will walk us through making a video-based social story. For more information on video social stories, visit her website: