Universal Design For Learning Implementation

Universal Design For Learning Implementation

Jumpstarting Today!
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Beginning your journey into Universal Design for Learning can be both exciting and daunting. While Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is not a checklist, but rather both a framework and a philosophy for designing learning environments, there are a few strategies that you can begin immediately. Simple changes incorporated into your learning environment can begin to add layers of scaffolding and support while simultaneously moving students into more active participants in the learning process.

Here are 4 suggestions to jump start your journey:

1) Posting the Goal

Students need the opportunity to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Posting the goal not only allows students to understand the "why" but also brings them explicitly into the learning process rather than implicitly. It is also very important to note that when students know and understand the goal they are "are more likely to stay focused, monitor themselves successfully, and derive satisfaction from their progress" (Rose & Meyer p. 88).

2) Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is a simple strategy you can literally add to your learning environment with a click of a button. Closed captioning attends to guidelines one (options to see, hear, and perceive information) and two (options to decode language...). "These supports can help boost foundational reading skills, such as phonics, word recognition, and fluency, for a number of students. Given the wide (and inexpensive) availability of captioned and subtitled media on broadcast television, on DVDs, and online, it can be a valuable addition to your teaching of diverse learners" (Brann 2011).

3) Visual Timers

Whether students are working independently, with partners, or in small groups, students need much scaffolding and support to aide in executive functioning. Timers provide students a very concrete and explicit support to assist with both task completion and transitioning. There is a multitude of visual timer options you can certainly purchase and many online timer options available for free as well with literally a click of a button.

4) Text to Speech

The benefits of text to speech should ironically "go without saying". However, much like closed captioning, it is very easy and often readily available but not often brought into the learning environment as a whole. We tend to offer to certain students rather than incorporating as an optional choice. This great tool should not be reserved for individual student devices either. Utilizing these great tools with LCD projection and audio support during large group instruction should be considered as well.


Remember also that technology is a support and enhancement but not the "be all" to implementing UDL. We certainly live in a tech-rich society and our students are digital natives. However, you can build in supports regardless of your readily available resources and tech "knowledgey". If you are using a video without a closed captioning option, a printed script can be a great support. If you do not have access to text to speech, you can simply provide a recording of yourself or a fellow student.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Theodore Roosevelt


Brann, Alise. (2011). "Captioning to Support Literacy." Powerup What Works: Reading Rockets. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/captioning-s...

Rose, H. D., Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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13 Thoughts Broadcast Journalism Majors Have When Piecing Together Their First News Story

Quiet on the set.

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So you've decided that you want to be a Broadcast Journalist?

Many different thoughts go through you're while trying to first off figure out what story you want to pursue. After that, it's just a matter of getting everything that is needed for it and then putting it together.

For all clarity and purposes, I have already turned in my first news story, however as I was completing it, some (if not all) of these thoughts (or a variation of them) came across my mind at some point during the process.

1. Ok, so what are the important parts to my story?

book

And how do I convey those things to my viewers?

2. What b-roll should I get?

B-roll is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot.

3. Do I have all the interviews I need?

interview

Who are the essential figures in this story?

4. What's my angle? How do I stick to it?

camera angle

Who do I need to interview for it?

5. What questions should I ask in my interview?

questions

And more importantly, What type of questions will get me the answers I want?

6. What are the important facts?

facts

Should they all be included?

7. Do my voice overs cover everything that my interviews don't?

interview

What else is needed for this story?

8. Agh, my video is over the 1 minute and 30 seconds allowed time.

ughh

Do I reduce it or do I leave it as is? I guess it depends on how much its over.

9. How should I say my tageline at the end of the video?

tag line

The tagline is when the reporter says their name and their station affiliation at the end of their story.

10. Should I include a standup? Where should it be?

news

What do I want to say?

11. Should I include a graphic?

news graphics

Is there something that can be said in a list form that the viewers need to see? Is it symptoms of a disease? Event details?

12. How do I make my interviews connect with my voice overs?

simple

Does what I am saying make sense?

13. What does my script need to look like?

script

Should I add a NAT pop here? What SOT (Sound on Tape) do I want to use?

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