#UDLchat turns ten today! It's my absolute favourite part of Twitter. Why? Because on the first and third Wednesday of every month, I get to chat about UDL with educators from all over the world who also love to chat about UDL.
I am an educator in the public education system in New Brunswick, Canada. Universal Design for Learning is embedded throughout all of our updated curriculum documents and is regarded as an important framework that can help facilitate the inclusion of all students, as we have a fully inclusive education system. Teachers in our system seem to be at varying levels of proficiency with
Many of the UDL gurus, the researchers, the authors, the experts: they participate in UDL chat, too! Seeing the perspectives of the experts on discussion topics in an informal way is such an amazing supplement to our usual ways of getting information (e.g. reading a book or article). It just adds to our own knowledge base piece by piece, one conversation at a time. What I love most about #UDLchat is that it's for everyone... the experts, the 'new to UDL', and everyone in between are valued in that space.
Another thing that's great about #UDLchat is that it exemplifies the principles of UDL and helps us become expert learners and grow in our practice as a result. Questions are given in advance so you can think about your responses ahead of time, and this can also help activate background knowledge. Choice is valued: everyone decides on their own level of involvement and one can respond to as many or as few questions as they wish. Although I prefer to participate in real time one can follow the conversation at anytime, it isn't going anywhere! You can sign up to receive reminders. The existence of this chat and the people who participate also helps increase participant engagement with UDL because it fosters collaboration and community. Being given opportunities to discuss UDL and how we apply it in our teaching practice (or hearing about what others are doing) also helps to optimize relevance, value, and authenticity.
As educators, we can also apply these principles in our teaching practice. Students also need to feel a sense of belonging and community. They also appreciate choice, autonomy, and being given reminders ahead of important deadlines/tasks. #UDLchat is not just a place to talk about UDL, it's also a place to see UDL in action.
Happy 10th anniversary, #UDLchat!
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