Friday, I shared a variation of my 9/3/13 presentation to PLAEA Superintendents: Vocabulary Worksheets, No Thank You during Universal Design Learning session for special education consultants and academic strategists. Pam Ahlrichs and Diane Jackson shared the principles of UDL establishing “the why” and demonstrated directions to an activity with UDL principles in place. In the afternoon, Diane Jackson shared and demonstrated numerous PLAEA media resources to support all students. Tiffanie Dau and I shared and demonstrated numerous avenues for students to showcase learning.
It isn’t that we lack the technology to empower our students because we have it. But having it does not matter if we are not leveraging the power to empower. Todd Rose’s TED talk “The Myth of Average” inspires all of us to consider the principles of UDL.
During my contribution to the professional learning, we explored alternate avenues to traditional vocabulary work. After a whole group example and practice, consultants and strategists created either a Vocabulary/Concept Skit recording using their iPad, or a Vocabulary/Concept PhotoShoot taking a picture using their iPad.
Vocabulary/Concept Skit: When first introducing a word, concept, term give students the list with definition. In groups of 2-4, students act out the word. They think about how they can show the word in play. During the skit, all students must be involved. The skit must show an understanding of the word.
Vocabulary/Concept PhotoShoot: When introducing, learning, and/or assessing a word, concept, term give students the list with definition. In groups of 2-4 students act out the word. They think about how they can show the word in picture. Students plan their photo utilizing all resources including physical and digital. The picture must show an understanding of the word.
Laughter ensued as the creative process inspired a demonstration of understanding. Consultants and strategists agreed-the skit and picture were superior to the traditional match word with definition worksheet. The preferred alternative invited discussion, deep thinking, creative process into the learning.
After the consultants had created and shared their work, Tiffanie Dau modeled the use of Aurasma and then facilitated the creation of a word wall using the skit and pictures made during my session. The group brainstormed the infinite possibilities for augmented reality to support students and to showcase understanding. She and the assistive technology team are planning to pilot the use of augmented reality with area schools.
Throughout the day there were opportunities to learn and to play combined with meaningful learning, it made for Friday fun! Check out the rest of the photos from the day: UDL September Learning