Over the past several weeks, I have learned about three major principles of Universal Design for Learning. These principles are multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, and multiple means of engagement. These three principles allow students the opportunity to acquire new knowledge, demonstrate what they know, and become engaged based on their interest and learning styles in new and diverse ways. In addition, I have also learned that technology can help provide a variety of methods and approaches to support student learning. Technology can also provide tools to implement the three principles of Universal Design for Learning through Differentiated Instruction.
As a result of my learning, I plan to take some immediate adjustments with my instructional practice in regards to use technology to help customize differentiated instruction within my own classroom. For instance, through multiple means of representation, I plan to use technology to provide my English language learner students, with cross-linguistic materials to help them learn content and curriculum through their native language, until they have mastered the English language. I will use an online computer program called Education City that provides bi-lingual instruction for my second grade Spanish students. This website will provide students the opportunity to learn second grade curriculum without the obstacle of a language barrier.
Through multiple means of action and expression, I will use technology to provide my students with the opportunity to show their knowledge through multiple media outlets such as through the Interactive SMART Board, Student Clickers, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, KidPix, Podcasts, and Kid Inspiration. Instead of simply using paper and pencil activities to demonstrate their knowledge, students will have the continued opportunity to use multiple media outlets and avenues to express their thinking and actions.
Furthermore, through multiple means of engagement, students in my class will have the opportunity to use technology to vary their levels of challenges and support within the classroom. For instance, some students may have the option to type their stories or journal entries on the computer based on their readiness and abilities. I hope that through provided more options students will feel more engaged and challenged throughout the day.
Based on my new learning experiences, I am excited to witness just how much technology will help support student learning and differentiated instruction within my own classroom.