Module 5 – Implementation

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Introduction

UDL implementation is always a work in progress.  Students, staff, administration, Ministry of Education directions, classroom materials, technologies, and even UDL philosophy change.  Fortunately, UDL is not just for students; it’s for teachers too.  Start where you are and slowly grow your repertoire.  A successful school-wide implementation can begin with a grassroots movement initiated by a single teacher.

In this module, you’ll examine some of the conditions that lead to a successful UDL implementation.  Above all, you’ll need to be willing to change your practice to increase success for a more diverse group of learners.  UDL implementation requires a supportive administration and collaboration with colleagues.  Often, UDL implementation results in changed roles for educators.  A teacher may become more of a guide-on-the-side than a sage-on-the-stage.  An education assistant may see her role shift from scribing for students to someone who facilitates their independent writing using supports.  A learner support teacher may plan collaboratively or co-teach with a classroom teacher rather than providing remedial pullout.  A school librarian becomes a Learning Commons coordinator.  In the early days of UDL, technology was seen as vital to the UDL approach.  While technology certainly increases your ability to differentiate, many aspects of UDL can be successfully implemented without technology.

At the completion of this learning module, you will be able to:

  • identify the key players and describe the roles of the people who can contribute to a successful UDL implementation
  • gain an understanding of the factors that lead to effective UDL implementation
  • see UDL in action in a BC classroom

Essential Questions

  • What are the key elements needed to support UDL implementation in a classroom, school, or district?
  • Who are the key players that can support your efforts when beginning to implement UDL?
  • Is technology essential to UDL implementation?

Learn

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Key Elements to UDL Implementation

Two of the key elements for successful UDL implementation include the formation of a team of like-minded professionals and ensuring the necessary administrative and IT supports are in place.

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Teacher Collaboration

To successfully implement UDL in a classroom depends on developing a strong collaborative culture within a school community.  The enthusiastic involvement of school team members in supporting students in the classroom setting requires a high level of teacher collaboration throughout the school year.

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Technology in the UDL Classroom

Although some aspects of UDL can be successfully implemented without technology, the use of flexible digital technologies greatly enhances your ability to differentiate for diverse learners.

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Case Study: Through a Different Lens

A group of like-minded educators in the BC Okanagan-Skaha school district joined forces to see if one of the elements of UDL, offering student choices, made learning a better experience for both students and teachers.

Reflect

  • What are your goals for implementing UDL in your classroom?
  • In thinking of the collaborative nature of UDL implementation, who might be some colleagues you would approach about forming a supportive professional learning network?
  • What do you want to be sure you do very well when implementing UDL strategies? How might you know when you are successful?
  • As you reflect on the successes that the team of educators are experiencing in the ‘Okanagan Skaha: Through a Different Lens Project’, what are inspires you? How might you incorporate some of their strategies into your own teaching practice?

Dig Deeper

Resources

The One:

View the video presentation on UDL Implementation at The National Centre on UDL website.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the presentation in shorter chunks.

The Rest:

In the blog post How UDL Changed my Job, BC educator Anita Strang describes how UDL implementation at her school changed the nature of her job as a learner support teacher.

In their 2010 paper UDL Unplugged: the Role of Technology in UDL, David Rose et. al. discuss whether technology is required to implement UDL.

In the iEngaged with UDL video, Cariboo-Chilcotin teacher Alison Bos explains how supporting UDL strategies with iPad technology has transformed her students’ learning and her own teaching.

Looking for more inspiration from the teachers that have teamed up in the Okanagan-Skaha school district’s Through a Different Lens Project? Be sure to visit their frequently updated blog to get some ideas that you can incorporate into your classroom.

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