Thursday, April 14, 2011

Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression without "Technology"?

Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Every time I teach an audience about UDL, I always get the same question, "Do you have to use technology for UDL to work?" My answer is always, "No. It is just a tool in the UDL toolbox." Some of my participants cannot get past that.

Lately I have been thinking about ways to engage students without using technology. Here are some ideas:

1. Corner Quiz Activity

I enjoy giving my students statistics or trivia questions to ponder, during the beginning of a chapter or unit. Sometimes I would hand out a worksheet with questions and other times I would have the kids "shout" out answers on a PowerPoint. I always found something was missing. There were always those "quiet" or "shy" kids that just were not engaged. There were always the kids who just didn't want to "guess" an answer, because they would have to "erase it from their paper."

So I took a chapter out of Kagan and came up with the following idea :
  • I set up my room, so that each corner of the room was labeled with the letter A, B, C, and D.
  • I asked all of my kids to stand up. I explained to them that I would be putting a series of multiple choice questions on my projector (although you don't need this).
  • Students would have to read the question and walk to the corner of the room that contained the answer they agreed with.
At first, my students "followed" each other around the room, but something amazing began to occur. Students began to have fun and started to "take risks." This was a great way of having students interact with one another and explain their reasoning, while still being engaged.

2. Facebook without the Technology?

What is the first thing our kids do when they have a spare moment? They are either trying to text or check their Facebook status. Why not buy into their mindset? After being inspired by several teachers around the country, I decided to create a Facebook Profile template in Word for my kids to use for a project. I simply printed it out and gave it to my kids to use with their textbooks.

Students were asked to research a historical figure and fill out the Facebook profile for this person. Students were then asked to present their findings to classmates, which made way for a great discussion.

For a link to this template or more Facebook ideas go to: https://sites.google.com/site/nosmartboard/home/social-networks-as-an-educational-tool

Bot examples were amazing! Quite simply, we created multiple means of expression without the technology, but tapped into the wiring of our student's technological minds.

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