What his writer has learned to be the three cornerstone concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) are built around the fact that different learners learn differently. So, there must be multiple means of representation to provide learners with different ways of gaining information. Second, there must be multiple channels of expression so learners can demonstrate what they have learned. Third, there must be multiple different means of engagement that provide learners with motivations that reflect their interests and needs (Katz, 2013). Thinking abut this, all learning comes from these three cornerstone: the information must be presented to the learner, the learner must be able to demonstrate that the information has been learned and the information must be made relevant to that learner. to provide motivation to learn and a sufficient challenge. Not only do these concepts relate to classroom instruction, but they relate to my own experience as a student as well as what I observe happening around me (Messinger-Willman and Marino, 2010).
Role of Technology
Technology has its role in this process, not only for teaching the use and application of the technology, but because the technology makes individual learning easily accessible to everyone. With a very little skill that is easily taught, it is possible for anyone to use a search engine to locate information on virtually any topic, anytime, anywhere. In the classroom, this application of technology will allow me to direct individual students to their specific areas of interest. Furthermore, the technology also allows the information to be presented to the learner in a variety of ways, ranging from the visual to the auditory to the multimedia experience, however the learner chooses to best suit his or her needs.
This is also an explanation of how technology supports differentiated learning. This is to say that each student is given the opportunity to choose the form the information takes for that student to then learn it. This is an example in which form is just as important as content, an, to this writer’s way of thinking on the topic, this is an important principle of universal design for learning. It is important to note that as we make the transition from the static, unchanged and unchangeable printed page to more flexible forms of presenting information to learners, technology has played – and will continue to play – a pivotal role. This writer can envision a time when artificial intelligence plays a role in designing individual lessons for learners, based on their interests, tailoring the lesson based on their past performance and this will be, at last given this writer’s understanding of UDL and technology, the ultimate marriage between the two.
Katz, J. (2013). The three block model of universal design for learning (UDL): Engaging students in inclusive education. Canadian Journal of Education, 36(1), 153-194.
Messinger-Willman, J. and Marino, M. (2010). Universal design for learning and assistive technology: Leadership considerations for promoting inclusive education in today’s secondary schools. NASSP Bulletin, 94(1), 5-16.