Saturday, April 6, 2013

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) prompts us to look at flexible and multiple methods of representation, action, expression and engagement.  Technology tools can help provide these means, but they are certainly not the only means of achieving this.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing educational environments that enable all learners to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. It encompasses learning models, methods and products to enhance the educational experience of diverse learners. This is accomplished by reducing barriers to the curriculum and providing rich supports for learning. 

Cast shares:
"In today's schools, the mix of students is more diverse than ever. Educators are challenged to teach all kinds of learners to high standards, yet a single classroom may include students who struggle to learn for any number of reasons, such as the following:
  • Learning disabilities such as dyslexia
  • English language barriers
  • Emotional or behavioral problems
  • Lack of interest or engagement
  • Sensory and physical disabilities

Teachers want their students to succeed, but a one-size-fits-all approach to education simply does not work. How can teachers respond to individual differences?"
By offering:
Cast updated Guidelines
Downloadable UDL Picture File
CAST has developed UDL Exchange this place is for teachers to browse and build resources, lessons, and collections.

The following are a few applications available for the iPad, iPod or iPhone that can help support a UDL-based learning environment:

I've compiled a list of ten suggested apps to support teaching and learning within the classroom.

In researching iPad apps for Universal Design for Learning I came across some great resources:

UDL: Apps for Elementary Students

iLearniPad Blog: This blog is dedicated to integrating apps into education.

Bridging Apps: Check out this website they are geared to bridging the gap between technology and people with disabilities to find out what app will meet your needs.

Bartholomew Consolidated School: This district is committed to educating all students using the Universal Design for Learning principles.

The Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, Maryland has put together video examples of UDL Practices in the Middle School Classroom.


  1. Heather- the apps and resources you listed are great! I've used some in my classroom before and have found a lot of success. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey Heather, I really like the way you organized your blog post. Instead of listing a bunch of apps and their importance (like I did) you had the apps on an outside document which really made the post look organized. You also have located some really good resources that I am going to have to sift through at some point. Thanks!

  3. This is a great blog post that demonstrates the power of UDL when paired up with apps. You did a fantastic job pairing the two together. I especially appreciated some of your app suggestions with UDL Links (great one) and we both shared the Settings app. Even though that one is installed by default I feel like it doesn't get the necessary attention - maybe that's why I put it first! Great post and really well done work. I am sure that many educators will find this blog and the information on it very helpful!

  4. Heather-
    Great post, and list! I found some things I didn't know about and now I am anxious to explore them. I agree with Randon about the Settings app. Thanks for all the great resources.

  5. Heather--Your blog is one that I will continue to follow. You did a wonderful job making the connection for UDL and apps. There are so many apps out there and so little time to see them all. Thank you for the ideas and link for apps to use with students. I have had my iPad all year and never looked at the UDL link until now! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!