Diverse Learners in the Digital Age

When two students perform the same academic task, the patterns of activity in their brains are as unique as their fingerprints.
- CAST, 2002

Students have a right to be presented material in ways that helps them comprehend and learn best.
- Sarah B.


  • Tech Expert Modules and Lesson Plans
  • Design Team Project
  • Recap: Copyright and Fair Use
  • eFolio educational technology reflections

Lecture: Assistive Technology in Practice

  • Definition: "any item, piece of equipment, or product...whether acquired commercially, something modified, or custom made...that is used to increase, maintain, and/or improve the functional capability of individuals with disabilities." (IDEA 1997, ADA)
  • Reactions to video
  • Links to resources from LDResources
  • The teacher's role

Thinking Together: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • What's the purpose?
    Accomodate students with diverse learning styles through an understanding of the brain's learning networks
  • What's the basic concept?
    Providing options for students based on different learning styles from the outset of planning

Three Brain Networks and examples:

  • Recognition - Basic knowledge-being able to recall facts; basic understanding of curriculum content and the ability to recognize symbols or ideas.
    • Examples: definitions, vocabulary, dates, biography, reading
  • Strategic - Taking information and then either analyzing or evaluating it. More analysis, procedural, decision making and problem solving processes rather than just recalling information.
    • Examples: interpreting a poem, comprehension strategies, conjugating verbs, steps of scientific method, classroom routines, problem solving
  • Affective - Trying to draw students in to the subject and making them care about what they are learning and become engaged with the material
    • Examples:

Three Principles of UDL

  • To support recognition learning, provide multiple, flexible methods of presentation
    • lecture/demonstration, group work, read text, video, images, presentations, listen,
  • To support strategic learning, provide multiple, flexible methods of expression and apprenticeship
    • quizzes, tests, papers, portfolios, presentations, debate, group work, skits, role play,
  • To support affective learning, provide multiple, flexible options for engagement
    • relate to students' lives, rework materials, creative products, competition, humor, shock, evocative experience

Application: UDL in Practice

- Block planning exercise (build in at least three options for each UDL principle (using technology or not)
- Pool ideas


  • Considering the three ways we've explored to meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom (differentiation, assistive technology, and UDL), complete a brief reflection on how you might try to address this challenge in your teaching


When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web