EDTC 600

EDTC 600 – Pedagogical Practice in Instructional Technology

Reflection

The artifacts that I have chosen for this course deal with UDL (Universal Design for Learning), which is a set of principles that helps teachers create classes which emphasize the need for all students to have the opportunity to participate using their individual strengths. The first artifact is a newsletter which functions as an overview of UDL, while the second is a matrix that aligns much of what the UDL encompasses with Marzano’s Nine Strategies. The reason that I chose these particular artifacts is that while I have seen both Marzano’s and UDL in professional development sessions, I’d never looked, nor thought about in any depth, how they overlap.

In and of itself the UDL models doesn’t seem all that different from many other frameworks that that work to create a more differentiated and dynamic class. But, when I took this course we came at in from a slightly different angle, and it helped me change much of the way that I was developing my lessons. While previously I had been focused on weekly or unit based lesson, I began looking more at the full scope of the course from the perspective of the tools I had available which could allow students a more individualized learning experience. This top-down approach, from a resource perspective, helped me to see the crossover between specific units and then allocate time and energy towards developing my skills using said resources, usually technological in nature.

Though this process I found that, while initially I had to spend more time to acclimatize myself and the students to the resources and methods I was planning to use throughout the year, eventually I founds things running much more smoothly than they previously were. By the end my class was being run with a more constructivist approach, though letting go of some of the control was a challenge.  The initial lack of materials needed to adequately accommodate so many different learning styles was a challenge, but with time I’d discovered, borrowed, or created many of them.  I also became more creative in the assignments given, and even let students craft their own assignments at certain points. In addition, instead of looking for completion with regard to homework and classwork, I focused more on understanding and extension of that understanding. This pulling away from a strict regimen of homework seemed to improve class morale and made their time in class more focused. Overall, the UDL strategies which targeted the ‘how’ of learning were the most helpful, as they gave me a better idea of what my students saw when they entered a class.

 Artifact(s)

UDL Newsletter

UDL Matrix

Research

Elias, T. (2011). Universal instructional design principles for mobile learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 144-156. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ920738.pdf

This article discusses eight principles of online education and gives recommendations on how they can be used to design educational materials for mobile devices. It discusses the pros and cons of online education and how it is applied to mobile devices such as phones or tablets. At the end of the article it discusses UDL and how mobile devices can help meet the needs of curriculum designed with all students in mind.  These deal predominantly with access, flexibility and the community that can be developed around it.

King-Sears, M. (2009). Universal design for learning: Technology and pedagogy. Learning Disability Quarterly, 32(4), 199-201. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.dml.regis.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=e1b01791-7030-4578-9b2e-7b635cea3252@sessionmgr10&vid=2&hid=19

In this article the author discusses how technology can be used to meets the needs of a UDL based curriculum. That due to low physical effort, simplicity, multiple forms of perceiving a data set, and software’s tolerance for error, computers can provide what is most needed in a highly-differentiated UDL environment. This means that students can all utilize the same content, but do so through different mediums and at different speeds.

 Standards – NETS Standards and 21st Century Skills

The NETS Standards for Teachers addressed in this artifact are:

– Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

– Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards, and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching