I recently had the opportunity to attend an excellent workshop presented by Leanne Woodley from AIS NSW on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL has inspired me to look at inclusion in a different way. It is a step beyond differentiation as it may be typically implemented which I discussed in the context of Google Classroom in a previous post. Within the UDL framework learning is designed to be inclusive rather than making adjustments as an after thought.
According to National Centre on Universal Design for Learning:
Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
Here is a short video giving an overview of UDL:
So where does Google Apps for Education fit in to all this? UDL does not require technology to be implemented. However, technology can be a very powerful tool. It embeds digital literacy into learning which is a relevant 21st century skill, with relevance being part of the UDL guidelines. For some students, it also allows them to use skills and technologies they are already comfortable with. Building on existing student knowledge is also within the UDL guidelines.
I am looking forward to implementing UDL within my classes. In the meantime, I have put together a table of three GAfE tools and how they may work to support UDL. I plan to add to this as my experience with UDL grows.
[table id=2 /]