Differentiated Instruction and UDL


Source:  Loui Lord Nelson on Essential Elements of UDL  

CAST has created a set of UDL guidelines based on and extending the UDL principles of providing multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) A Teacher’s Guide

Leveling Up for Deeper Learning

Stop and Think --- 

Think of a lesson that you have taught that worked really well - what components of the UDL framework were included in this lesson?  Now think about a lesson that didn’t go so well.  What barriers were encountered by your students?  How might you have created more engagement and flexibility based on the UDL framework?

A key in designing with a UDL approach is that one intentionally designs from the beginning.  As the lesson is created, all students are considered, the learning environment and materials are planned from the onset to give the widest range of flexibility and choice.  Potential barriers are identified and solutions developed.  Goals are clear to address the function and knowledge required and not the means to express it.

Using Technology to support UDL

Although Technology is not mandatory in the implementation of  UDL, it does help in eliminating barriers.  Wide access to iPads, Chromebooks, computers, smartphones, etc.have created a powerful opportunity to incorporate these into the classroom and use them to provide necessary flexibility and choice.  What was once only Assistive Technology, specifically targeted for one student, is now available for anyone to access.  What was once costly alternatives are now available universally.  Items such as Speech to Text, Text to Speech, and Word prediction apps are now available through a variety of platforms. They are not specialized for just one student, but UDL views them as just another tool for students to use, another option available to all.


UDL Tech toolkit  

For additional resources to support students with special needs, visit Thing 21


Move onto Apply DI & UDL