Universal Learning Design: Empowering the Next Generation

Quite an interesting video which makes you think about the good use technology can serve in the classroom. Students with identified learning disabilities, students with unidentified learning disabilities and normal students can all benefit equally from such technology. Students who would otherwise have dropped out from the Course can be saved. Do you have experiences similar to the ones in the video which you can share?

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7 thoughts on “Universal Learning Design: Empowering the Next Generation

  1. >This video is very interesting as it points out that students have different needs and they learn in different ways. I think that this kind of technology is very useful for students who are not motivated to read text books or who just do not learn by just reading a text. This technology has a number of advantages that target students who learn more through visual aids and through something interactive. As a language teacher, I think that this kind of technology is very useful for students to practice pronounciation of certain sounds of a foreign language that are new to them. Another advantage is that they could do so in private, without feeling embarrassed of their pronounciation when they are learning a foreign language.

  2. >It is always interesting to get to know about such initiatives and projects where software is used to motivate and help learners to learn in the way that is good for them and not simply the traditional way. We have to believe in the fact that we have different learners in class, that we have to adapt to the style of their learning and needs. We have a responsibility to do this. However as lecturers we do not only have responsibilities but 'rights' we require if we are to be able to do our job. Mainly we need to be provided with 3 resources: knowledge, time and technology. Only when we are given the necessary knowledge about learner needs, enough time to prepare various learning approaches and technology like software and computers can we live up to these responsibilities and when this happens, we will truly be focused on learner needs.

  3. >A good video indeed! Yes, students have different levels and different learning approaches. However our current educational system makes it very difficult to cater for all these differences. Unfortunately, due to time limitations and the need to cover a syllabus, we are too alienated to stop and address such differences and difficulties in the students’ learning styles.Programs like these and the help of technology together with one to one tutoring and a blend of techniques might provide greater help to students with learning difficulties.

  4. >I would like to comment about something I noted about this clip. First, it is all about a pilot study involving students in the US educational system. The US educational system is heavily biased towards the white, middle class way of doing things as far as education is concerned. Members of some ethnic groups (for example African American, Hispanic, Native American Indian) tend to have high-drop out rates overall. "Ways With Words" by Shirley Brice Heath (1983) is an excellent ethnographic study of how middle-class white/black, white working lass and black working class differ in their approach to learning. All three groups believe schooling was important, but why the high drop-out rate amongst white/black working class children? It was not just about learning styles, but also about community values and how things were viewed differently. What does this have to do with this clip? One reason why this programme was probably successful was because because it may have tapped into what students' cultural/social ways of doing things. In the traditional class, there may be a clash of social behaviours, such as teacher expectation and student expectations, which may be misinterpreted. For instance, the current mainstream system does not encourage collaboration much. In contrast, this project encouraged a lot of collaboration amongst students. Group collaboration is a factor which is highly important for some communities, and the fact that this form of e-learning encouraged this may have been a critical factor in getting learners to engage critically and successfully in their learning. Also, the multimodal aspect of the learning programme was commendable. Using visual/audio modes in addition to text-based learning helped engaged students better. I recall from the Heath study that for instance, the black working class community highly valued oral ways/styles of communicating, more than writing. So it may not be just an issue of learning style, but also social/cultural styles of doing things. This is not to say that ALL members of an ethnic group are the same, and that they should all be categorized as such, but it is good to know that different social groups may have different ways of learning and doing things which may not be valued (or ignored) in the mainstream educational system. If e-learning means change for the better, it means that the mainstream way of doing things needs to be revolutionized for education to become all-inclusive.

  5. >Yes, this e-learning video shows us how powerful and helpful this tool could be to 'the next generation' and those social groups that feel ignored.But, isn't e-learning creating another monster? that of solitude and confinement. Is the next generation becoming more unsocialable? It is true that many youngsters keep in contact with one another all day long by creating networks of friends, but where is the face-to-face interaction the socialising the meeting and yes, the dressing up for an event and going out to meet friends. All is being lost to virtual meetings where, the younger generation are spending hours and hours alone in a closed room on their computer 'socialising' with friends. Is this how we want to see our next generation?With regards to teaching, I often ask students to stand up and speak in front of the class for three minutes on any subject they like, but although they are intelligent and take school seriously they are not capable to do it, why? because their communication skill is only around a computer or mobile.So we need to be careful what type of learning, skills and methods we are passing on to the next generation.

  6. >I agree with Mario’s comment, moreover contact between educators and student especially in secondary level and at our level is of paramount importance because frequently students might get lost, and could not study on their own initiative.

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