My last entry focused on Principle 1 of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which allows all students to access information by providing flexibility in the ways this information is presented.
The current post aims at providing teachers who implement their subject through English with some specific tools that can help to put this first principle into practice. As in my previous post, I will list my personal selection of tools for the following purposes:
To provide options for perception:
This sign dictionary is available in 40 different languages and teachers will manage to access students with auditory processing disorders.
This free convertor will allow you to convert any English passage into MP 3 files .
To provide options for language and symbols:
Students can visualize concepts which they find difficulty with. The word list is a very interesting section for CLIL teachers but take into account that Wordsift does not work well with compound nouns because it operates at individual word level.
This interactive dictionary represents language visually. Choose a word, write it in the box at the top and see the way it represents it. For example, imagine a student wants to visualize "bacteria". After writing the word in the box, a mind map in different colours is presented . Tell students to touch a node to see the definition of that word group and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections. Model the process yourself with a couple of words and then let students continue on their own.
This multisensory dictionary is a powerful framework for understanding STEM concepts. It fulfills its goal to assist the student throughout the learning process.
Students just click on any glossary word, or enter the term in the search bar and they will find images, videos, key characteristics, visual activities, examples and non-examples that will clarify the concept they need to understand.
To provide options for comprehension:
Presenting information through videos can be very useful to activate students' previous knowledge and foster interaction. You can find my previous posts on resources on the pedagogical use of video viewing here but for the current entry I will just highlight 3 powerful platforms:
Easy to use and for free. Learners record and share short videos so as to foster debate on any topic you are interested in.
This platform offers a huge collection of educational videos, games, quizzes and puzzles on a variety of topics for all grades.
Who does not know about Khan Academy? Probably you also know that it is now available in Spanish too.
As I pointed out in the previous post, by no means can a blog post exploit the enormous number of tools that facilitate learning for all students but I hope the selection I have made will be useful for the readers of this blog. As you always do, please keep on writing to me if you need any further guidance or just to give me some feedback on the usefulness of the tools I have described.