Showing posts from June, 2011

Teaching Vocabulary to the Visual Learner

Vocabulary is such an important element of comprehension and instruction. Every lesson, unit, and course that we teach contains vocabulary within its infrastructure. Without it, a subject or course will collapse. So what do you do when a student needs to learn a vocabulary term? As educators, we often try to define terms in a way that our students can understand. This provides another means of representing the material (Principle 1 – Multiple Means of Representation). But the fact is that what might help one learner understand a particular concept, may not help another student understand the same concept. Barriers exist in perception and understanding. It could be the barrier of a learning disability. It could be the barrier of another culture. It could be the barrier of having a lower reading level. Whatever the barrier, we need to give our students a way to access understanding of vocabulary. For example, suppose you are trying to describe what a lobster is to a group of


Bodimojo is an online community for teens, addressing issues regarding health, well-being, emotions, and life. It's created by teens and for teens. The My Page section of the site is one of the most unique features of the site, because it gives students an opportunity to customize their information.We know that this generation loves customization more than any other generation. This site provides teens with the opportunity to submit an article to be published on the site, providing aspiring writers with an outlet to express themselves. The My Health Section offers helpful topics in Body Image, Drugs and Alcohol, Fitness, Nutrition, Sexual Health, Stress, Relationships, etc. The Quiz and Tools / Games sections provide a great way for students to learn information in an interactive way. How does this relate to UDL? Motivation is an important tool in learning. How do our students become motivated? It often starts with engagement. Learners need to have the opportunity to be enga

Too Good to Be True? Beat 'em at their Own Game

With UDL's emphasis on the use of technology comes a world of possibilities. However, with good also comes the consequences of technology use, primarily in the form of cheating and plagiarism. Students are going to extremes to turn in that term paper. It's no longer just asking an intelligent classmate to write your paper for a few bucks. It's copying and pasting an article from the Internet and many teachers never find out. Whole industries exist to sell papers. Sites like: , , and are sites where students can buy papers. The statistics are scary too. According to a U.S. News and World Report: 80% of "high-achieving" high school students admit to cheating. 51% of high school students did not believe cheating was wrong. 95% of cheating high school students said that they had not been detected. 75% of college students admitted cheating, an

Time to Get Off YouTube Bandwagon?

I love YouTube's diversity and shear number of video clips available. I try to use it everyday, but what about those hard to find videos? What if you want to interact with video in your classroom in a new way, through subtitles? What if you want your kids to create video, but have no video cameras? Or perhaps, you find yourself in a situation where where YouTube is blocked! All you can use is TeacherTube. What do you do then? Are we hurting our kids because a school district doesn't want to unblock a site? Or then there is the flipside, where it seems like everyone is on the YouTube/Teacher Tube / School Tube bandwagon. Are we getting to the point, where our students have a collective sigh of bordum when YouTube appears? Why not explore some other options too? Here are some suggestions to enhance the multimedia selection in your room: · 5 Min Life Videopedia also known as "your one stop shop for instructional videos and DIY projects" is impressive. It provides use