Using Universal Design for Learning and Technology to enhance Learning for All
Author: Nicholas Hoekstra
In the June CIDDL Research and Practice Brief, we interview Dr. Loui Lord Nelson. Dr. Nelson is an author, consultant, and host of the podcast UDL in 15 Minutes. In this brief, Dr. Nelson discusses her work as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) coordinator for the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. She emphasizes the view of UDL as an umbrella framework that helps guide the design of the entire learning environment. As such, it requires participation by teachers and administrators.
One benefit of UDL application, according to Dr. Nelson, is how it shifts mindsets. Educators who understand UDL see inclusion as helping all students grow to become “expert learners.” One important tool to help provide students more flexibility in how they access the learning environment is through technology. However, Dr. Nelson is quick to point out that technology should not guide learning, but help enhance it.
Dr. Nelson also discusses her podcast, UDL in 15 Minutes, which provides pre-service and in-service teachers a glimpse into what UDL looks like on the ground. Just as with all her learning materials, Dr. Nelson strives to make her podcast accessible and engaging to everyone. This means YouTube videos with subtitles and audio descriptions, transcripts of her interviews, and related blogs that dive deeper.