UDL Interactive Activity

Today in class we did an Interactive UDL Activity that you can find here.

“When building UDL goals, remember that it often helps to stay focused on what you want your students to learn, rather than how you want them to learn it.”

Although this is something that I already do as it is the basis for UDL, something about the way this was worded just clicked with me. It is still hard for me sometimes to think about ways I can vary student’s assessments and still ensure that learning occured. I guess it is just easy for many teachers, including myself, to do things the exact same way we did them when we were kids. I mean, it worked then, why wouldn’t it work now?

This idea was also brought up this week in Nightly News with Brian Williams. You can watch the short, two minute clip here. The segment was on Waldorf schools, something I had never heard of before. In the most simplistic way possible, Waldorf Education uses old fashion teaching methods which do not include technology.

So, here were my thoughts while watching the video:
– Really? You are a Google VP? A little backwards.
– $24,000 for each year of High School? WHAT?
-“Just introducing technology has not been shown to have magical effects on student learning” Says who?

I guess by now you can probably tell my thoughts/feelings on the issue, but I think I can probably better express my opinion on the matter with an example.

Let’s apply this principle to a completely different field: Dentistry

– In 5000 BC, it was believed that “tooth worms” inside of the teeth caused cavities.

– Insturments used to cure tooth related disorders? Bow drills!

– Dental Chair? Wasn’t invented until 1790. Novacain? Wasn’t discovered until 1905.

-Crooked teeth? Need braces? Check out this earliest form of bling!

-Braces not enough? Need headgear? Try this on for size- Just don’t get too close to anybody!

-Missing teeth? Need dentures? Early dentures were made from animal’s teeth and wood!

So next time you are wondering why we need to incorporate technology into our lessons and incorporate UDL, ask yourself if you would go to a dentist who is still practicing dentistry with 5000 BC techniques?

While I would like to note that I do believe that a good education program does incorporate “old fashion,” or more “hands on” techniques, I  completely disagree with the idea that technology should not be used in today’s classrooms.


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