Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

9 02 2010

You may have heard of the term UDL, or Universal Design for Learning. If you haven’t, you may want to start to read up a bit on it, because it’s pretty cool, and it benefits ALL students.

What is Universal Design for Learning? According to the Center for Applied Technology or CAST, UDL is:

UDL is a framework that can help you turn the challenges posed by high standards and increasing learner diversity into opportunities to maximize learning for every student.

Drawing upon new knowledge of how the brain works and new technologies and media now available for teaching and learning, UDL frames a systematic approach to setting goals, choosing or creating flexible materials and media, and assessing students accurately.

I think of UDL as differentiated instruction on steroids.  Technology can be used to enhance the learning experience for all students. Allowing digital content, multi-media  and interactive content, allows the learner to experience what you are trying to teach them. We do this quite often in our practice, but we probably don’t realize it.

Keep checking in on UDL!

For more information check out the following sites:


National Center on Universal Design for Learning

An excellent example of UDL in practice is Tumblebooks. Tumblebooks can be found in the Portland Public Library’s website. Click here to access this FREE resource!

If you have a library card, you can access your local library’s virtual site. Kennebunk Free Library has a site to download audio books, or e-books.  The Audio books can then be played on an iPod or MP3 player.  The e-books can be read on a computer using an e-reader that is installed on a given machine. Like a library, however, they are borrowed.  Click here to access the Maine InfoNet Download Library.




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