Challenge #1: scenario 3


We believe that technology is important to implement in the classrooms for various reasons. In todays world, we use technology in all aspects of our lives. It would be hurting our students to not expose and teach them all the technology has to offer.


Challenge #1: scenario 2

“You have taught for a few years in a self-contained classroom for students with autism spectrum disorders.  As a cornerstone of your educational philosophy, you have encouraged your team to support integrating your students into the general education setting more and more.  However, at this point, the other teachers are struggling adapting their teaching practice, and your students are not finding success.  You have decided that you need to work with the general education teachers to plan using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework so that your students can be successful in the general education classroom.

You decide to write a proposal to your building principal to require UDL training for all general education teachers.  In your proposal, please begin with an informative and persuasive introduction to Universal Design for Learning, potential reasons for curriculum design that would result in struggling students, and the role that UDL should play in the overall instructional process.  Please augment your proposal with a rich example of the UDL Framework, using our UDL chapter (p. 199) as a model, and outlining the learning environment that you envision, and the resources, tools, and methods necessary for success.  Please be sure to also give some careful discussion to the potential barriers to implementation, and how those would be addressed.”


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals an equal opportunity to learn, and focuses on meeting individuals needs.UDL provides a base for creating instructional goals, assessments, lessons, and material that works for everyone. Universal Design for Learning is helpful in planning instruction for teachers, so they can work to reduce the obstacles and barriers that students with different learning styles and abilities may face. UDL also increases the learning opportunities for all students. This curriculum accounts for the fact that everyone does not learn in the same way. UDL provides differentiated approaches that can be adapted and modified for different individual needs. Using the Universal Design for Learning will be extremely beneficial for special education students that are integrated in a general education classroom as well as general education students who might be struggling in certain subjects. Collaborating with General Education teachers is also important, because UDL is beneficial for all students, not just students with disabilities or struggling learners. General Education teachers may not be able to recognize the barriers that are making students struggle. This is why it is essential that general and special educators work together to successfully implement UDL into classrooms.

UDL with severe ADHD

Students with severe ADHD have difficulties focusing and learning new material. By using a UDL, students with ADHD in a general education classroom will have a more appropriate experience, while learning with their general education peers. UDL provides an accessible opportunity for students with ADHD.

Principles of a UDL

1)   Multiple means of representation

The first principle of a UDL includes how information is presented. This includes activating background knowledge, clarifying instruction and vocabulary, mathematical notation and symbols in order to make sure all students understand the content, directions, and material. General education teachers should be able to explain and adapt their lessons in order for all students to effectively understand the lesson.

2) Multiple Means of Action and Expression

The second principle of UDL is how students with ADHD express themselves. Some students with ADHD have trouble communicating their feelings. With the access to a variety of tools, technology, goals, planning, and support, these students will find a comfortable way to communicate. In all classrooms different tools should be available for students to use in order to express themselves. Whether it be a specific way to communicate or a guide to use during a lesson, students should have the appropriate manipulatives available at all times.

3) Multiple Means of Engagement

The third principle of UDL is making sure to acknowledge important areas such as individual choice, relevance, value, and authenticity. Allowing students to participate by choosing among options will spark their interests and allow for teachers to observe what their students are most comfortable with. Some students might have trouble working in a certain way. In this case, if they are given the option, they can work however they feel is most effective.

In Practice:

– Place the student with ADHD away from distractions and close to the teacher

– Make sure that the student understands the material and is staying focused during the lesson

– Provide the student with different accommodations


Learning environment

– Close by teacher

– Minimal distractions

– Lower noise levels

– Resources:

– Music can be used to calm the student down and relax them

– Silly-putty/stress balls can be used to relieve stress during class



 – Computers can help students with ADHD focus better because it makes the

instruction visual and will allow students to participate actively

– Use audiovisual materials. For example, using an overhead projector while

students are working at their desks

– Digital storytelling

– Timers


 Methods necessary

– Peer tutoring

– Highlight key points

– Reduce the frequency of timed tests: eliminate test anxiety

Check out this promotional video for why UDL should be used in all classrooms!











Challenge # 1: scenario 1

“After a highly successful experience in the renowned Special Education program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you took a critical position with a school district seeking to accelerate technology and innovation throughout its classrooms.  Midway through the year, a building principal has forwarded you an email from a concerned parent.  The parent had just read an article on the Huffington Post titled “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12″, and is now concerned about the expanded use of technology in the school district.  The principal and superintendent would like you to provide a significant and meaningful response.”

“Teachers will not be replaced by technology but teachers who don’t use technology will be replaced by those who do.” Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

This quote demonstrates the importance of technology. Numerous articles discuss the idea that today’s classrooms are filled with digital natives, and most teachers are digital immigrants. Technology is continuously changing and growing, making drastic impacts on all individuals’ lives. It is essential that future generations can live in the future: a world filled and enriched with technology. Technology will help teachers prepare our students to succeed in the real world as it becomes much more technology-dependent. Websites also argue how they foresee a future in which both higher education and the work world will be centered on technology. If technology is not included in schools, students may suffer and fall behind peers who are using technology in all aspects of their lives.

There are numerous ways the technology can be used. As this article demonstrates, technology may have some negatives. That is why is it up to teachers and parents to work together to make the positives of technology overcompensate the negatives. Having set rules for each student can prevent obesity, sleep deprivation, addictions, and more negatives discussed in the Huffington Post article. By setting a strict time limit of how much time your child has to use technology at home will help keep kids actively engaged in other things besides technology. For example, there are settings on tablets that allow parents to set an automatic time limit, in which the tablet turns off after a certain amount of time. Working as a team with your child’s teacher will have a positive impact on your child’s life. As demonstrated in this audio clip from people who experience technology in schools, the pros of incorporating technology outweigh the cons.

The following video lists and demonstrates 10 reasons why technology SHOULD be used in schools.

The ten reasons listed in the video are as followed:

1. Student love it.

2. It engages the four key components to learning.

3. Professional development.

4. Makes life easier for teachers.

5. Improves tests scores.

6.Helps students with low attention spans.

7. Learn from the experts.

8. Encourages completion of homework.

9. Saves money -investment.

10. Remove obstacles.

This list as well as many other reasons displays reasons why technology is essential. One valuable reason to use technology in classrooms is to help students learn at their own pace. Incorporating technology will help teachers create lessons that assist students who are learning at a much faster rate as well as students who may be struggling. By digging deeper into the subject or exploring related topics, more advanced students can further develop their understanding. While these students are continuing to advance in a given subject, students that are struggling can have more time to understand the material without pressuring them.

This video,


shows how integrating technology helps students express themselves and allows them to learn things in a different perspective. It also shows how students can collaborate with peers and teachers. Some of the main points from this video stated:

– The common core standards call for students to develop digital media and technology skills

– Integrating technology with face-to-face teacher time generally produces better academic outcomes than employing either technique alone.

– Improves student writing skills and engagement when 1:1 laptop programs are in place

– Improves student understanding of math concepts and attitudes towards math when they use virtual manipulatives

Next, in order for students to fully use technology in a successful and appropriate way, students must be digital citizens. This article lists The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. While teaching our students through technology in the classroom, we will also teach them to use it appropriately. One of the nine elements, electronic exchange of information, will be used our whole life and should be properly explained and taught. Communicating through technology has expanded tremendously over the years and is continuing to expand. If our students are not aware of how to use these tools, then they will be hindered when working with people who are more technology advanced. We have to make sure that our students are capable of using digital technology as it grows. These nine elements create a building block for how to educate our students on the issues and concerns their parents and guardians face as technology increases. Being a digital citizen and fully understanding these nine elements will ultimately teach students to use technology appropriately, so that many of the negatives that parents are worried about will be prevented.

At the end of the day, the debate of whether technology is “good” or “bad” in the classroom could be endlessly argued. Although various sources will list reasons not to incorporate technology in the classroom, the fact of the matter is, technology is EVERYWHERE. Without encompassing appropriate technology use in the classroom, students will fall behind. For every concern that educators or parents may have, there is a solution and benefit to using technology. When students, parents and teachers work together, technology in schools can lead a path for future generations to succeed

Twitter, Technology, and Teaching

Everyone has different opinions on technology, especially technology in the classroom. While browsing my twitter feed, I found an interesting tweet that linked an article that discussed the importance of balancing technology and teaching.

The article discusses the idea of technology being everywhere and how it is a “universal language spoken by the entire world”. It continues the discussion that I have talked a lot about in class, about how jobs of the future require technological skills. There is an ongoing battle between teachers struggling to incorporate technology into the classroom and students who use technology daily and will need technological skills to succeed in the future. The article continues to discuss the importance of integrating technology into lesson plans, and gives great ideas as to how to successfully balance teaching and technology. Teachers can use this article to understand the importance of

(balancing technology) and teaching, and learn methods that help make this integration more successful and effective!

Another interesting tweet I found was one that talked about the importance of giving students a voice.



Students need to be given the opportunity to “recognize their own belief’s, practice articulating them in a variety of forms, and then find the confidence to express them”. By utilizing resources that can be accessed on the web, teachers can give all students a voice. The article linked in the tweet gives four opportunities that teachers can use to give students a voice. This includes blogging, storify or storehouse, podcasting or voicethread, and YouTube channels. By using such technologies in the classroom, students are given an opportunity to comfortably express themselves and their opinions, to further develop and find their voice.

The last tweet that really stuck out to me this week was one that discussed eBooks.



Personally, I don’t know too much about eBooks and all they offer. That is why I found this article to be so informative. Although it is unrealistic for most schools to provide some sort of eBook or device for every student, if it was possible, it would be very beneficial.  Since more and more children are becoming more familiar with working technologies such as eBooks, it would be advantageous if teachers used them in the classroom. The article in the tweet gives 11 reasons as to why eBooks should be used and all they can do to better ones readi


For my ignite presentation, I decided to do it on my high schools peer mentoring program. I am very passionate about this program. It is such an amazing opportunity that all high school students should get to experience.

Tweet to Learn!


Twitter is most famously known for being a social media website. Although many users take advantage of its social media purposes, many don’t recognize all that twitter can do. The following article describes numerous ways that people can use twitter to its full potential.

Personally, I originally made a twitter just because all my friends told me to. I didn’t fully understand the purpose of it or why it was so essential that I got one. Even after having twitter for over a year, I still didn’t understand the hype of it. I really only use twitter to see what my friends are up to, and never utilize twitter for news or other purposes. Now, after having a “teacher twitter” I am finally understanding how great of a resource twitter can be when used properly.

This week I browsed my twitter feed to find tweets that display information about teaching with technology. I found a lot of information that is very beneficial for teachers. One tweet that really stood out to me. Although it doesn’t give specific suggestions for teaching with technology, it presents a very important idea.

The idea of this tweet is that a lot of teachers are afraid to utilize new technologies in their classroom.


Too often teachers stick with the basics because they’re afraid that they won’t be able to work new technologies, and that they will break and ruin their lesson plans. The idea that all recourses used in schools have the potential to break is very important for teachers to consider. By recognizing that, “Yes, technology breaks”, teachers can realize that they shouldn’t fear new technology, but instead see that it is something they should incorporate and use! I believe this should be the first step for teachers and technology. Acknowledging that technology breaks just like all other classroom materials will push teachers to try to incorporate technology into the classroom.

The next tweet that really struck me was one that had an article discussing an app that features tablet ready assessments.

Since students seem to be motivated by technology, having assessments that are given through technology could be very beneficial for educators. According to the article, “The assessments help educators identify learning gaps, understand student needs and improve 21st century teaching skills”.  For teachers who have access to these technologies, it could be very beneficial to use this app to assess students in 21st century skills. Because this technology is up to date, it can be assumed that the skills it assesses are skills that students should be proficient at. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers may not know about this app and what it can provide, which is why twitter can be such an important resource for teachers. This simple tweet can really impact a classroom and the way teachers educate their students. Personally, if I work in classroom that has devices that are capable of using this app, it is something I would be very inclined to use. Based on the article, this one app can provide “deeper insight into student’s grasp of critical 21st century skills, such as creativity, information fluency, critical thinking and digital citizenship”. All of these components are skills that are emphasized in all of my education classes, so I would definitely utilize an app that can provide these skills!

Although a lot of other tweets provided me with valuable information, the last tweet I will mention is one that provides an article with a list of free web tools for teachers to utilize.

Frequently teachers can’t use technology in the classroom due to how expensive it can be. This tweet is very valuable because it has the top 10 free web tools that teachers can use in the classroom. If teachers see this list, as well as other suggestions on twitter and the internet, they have no excuse not to include technology into their classroom and curriculum. Overall, this tweet is a very helpful resource for teachers who want to incorporate technology as much as possible, but may be limited due to cost. I know personally that when I am a practicing teacher that I will try my best to take full advantage of using free resources.

Altogether, twitter is such an amazing resource that people don’t take enough advantage of. Thanks to this class, I am able to recognize how beneficial twitter can be, and how important it is for teachers to utilize all available resources!