UDL stands for Universal Design for Learning and we are not talking about a methodology here, we are talking more about a model or even a philosophy. It seeks to achieve the inclusion of all students by flexibility and personalization.
WHAT IS UDL?
UDL is based on three main principles:
If you have found yourself abruptly transported to an online educational context, I would like to give you some free tips from my own ten-year experience as an online University teacher:
1. Breathe deeply and relax
It is not as difficult as it seems.
There are several questions that we can ask ourselves when correcting and marking an activity. Test yourself and check your final score:
1. Is it necessary to correct every single mistake? (YES 0 points/ NO 1 point)
Mostly when marking a written activity, we tend to underline or cross out every mistake our students make.
That's great, it is because you have explained that grammatical topic incredibly well, of course, it's all your merit. But, the problem is that you may not have any other activity prepared, you know, we are just only human! Don´t beat yourself up about it!
Observation is fundamental during a lesson so that you can know how an activity is developing in the classroom:
-Have they understood the instructions?
Perhaps there is no WIFI, the computers don't work, the photocopier is broken, there is a power cut, the number of students in the classroom is unexpected, the activity you had prepared for the whole hour finishes in just thirty minutes or the other way around, the activity you had prepared for twenty minutes goes on for the whole hour…and so on.
So yes, we do need a whole alphabet of backup plans for our lessons:
A for adaptation. This is the most important of all. Every activity should be able to be adapted on the go.
Written by Ingrid Mosquera, PhD.
Writing is difficult, we have talked about it in the past. Perhaps we could try to meld writing and reading into just one proposal. I present a project that can be adapted for different ages, combining reading and writing.
There are some terms that we often use synonymously, but actually they are not. When you assess your students, regardless of whether you use a test or not, you evaluate all the information in order to measure it and grade them.
Let´s make it clear:
-Assessment implies gathering information and observing progress. We can document attitudes, knowledge and skills.
Powtoon is a free, easy and intuitive digital tool with incredible possibilities. I use it frequently with my trainee English teachers at University. I find it is beneficial for developing their digital skills and, at the same time, for discovering new tools that they can use in their classes.
I have my own YouTube channel containing more than sixty videos, in Spanish, about free digital tools for teachers, a kind of digital tools for dummies.
However, of all those resources, there is one that stands out among the rest, that is Flipgrid, and I can tell you that I don´t have any kind of commercial interest in saying so. As I told you, I just use the free version.
Let´s try to define this wonderful tool: Flipgrid is a free collaborative platform for video sharing in a private context.
Posted by Ingrid Mosquera Gende
People nowadays don´t write as before, the whole idea of writing has changed. We have to find new ways to motivate our students towards writing. And it is not an easy task.
Most of our students find it hard to write, even in their mother tongue. The task acquires incredible proportions if we ask them to do it in English. Many of them will write in their mother tongue first and then translate it: a decision that always results in a disastrous Spanglish text.