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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Interactive Directions?

When you give instructions, what is the first thing that you do? You explain everything, provide examples, ask if there are any questions...and....then you realize that there were 3 kids who weren't there that day. The next day one of your three students is still missing. You realize that 8 of your students have no idea how to complete a certain portion of the assignment and your other 20 students have a pretty good grasp on the material. The story goes on and on. The scenarios are endless.

I thought about this the other day. How can I provide directions that reach all students and not leave a few out in the dark? How can I provide the supports I need from the beginning and not make adjustments when they arise (regardless of the scenario or situation)? This is the Universal Design for Learning approach to giving directions, taking ALL learners into consideration from the start when designing a lesson.

I decided to take a different approach to giving out directions and combined LiveBinders and Screencast-o-Matic to accomplish the task. This may sound very difficult, but this is what I did.


  • I created a LiveBinder with 2 tabs. In one tab, I provided a PDF copy of my directions. 
  • In my second tab, I used Screencast-o-Matic to provide short video clips / tutorials of information my students needed to know for the assignment. 
  • See my sample directions here!
This was a great way to provide supports for the students that needed it and allowing the students who had a good grasp on material, the ability to work ahead. My role has shifted from sounding like a broken record (isn't it sad that our kids have no idea what this expression means?) to providing them with the content that they need. I am able to teach instead of repeat! In a sense, we are creating interactive directions!

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