Please respond to the following prompts:

How can flexible materials (technology) remove barriers to student learning?

How can you use more flexible materials in your instructional practice?

6/23/2010 11:22:23 pm

Flexible materials can remove barriers to student learning by opening up information to non-readers. Also, in this technology age, it can help gain the interest of the students.
I can use more flexible materials in my instructional practice during my social studies lessons. I can present the material in different ways that are more interesting.

6/23/2010 11:25:55 pm

Flexible materials can provide assess to learning for those with different learning styles. Those who have a visual, or auditory problem can get information in a way that is a stronger for them. Students that are not as able in a traditional classroom setting can work in another way

6/23/2010 11:31:45 pm

Wow! I didn't realize all this stuff was available ... and free! Great tools to use with students and share with families.

6/23/2010 11:32:16 pm

Flexible learning gives students the opportunity to use technology to further their learning. The materials in the tool kit are kid-friendly and easy to use and are exciting to use. I could see my middle schoolers excited about creating a book online rather by hand.

6/23/2010 11:32:49 pm

Flexible materials keep students engaged as well as reaching all the different learning styles. It makes learning fun, meaningful and allows the learner to take ownership in what they are learning.

6/23/2010 11:33:31 pm

Flexible materials can help my students visualize different types of math problems/models. Using technology and computers helps to pique their interest and make the math concepts more concrete.
I can use more online tools to give all students a hands-on experience with the concepts and skills and make learning fun for them.

6/23/2010 11:34:02 pm

The flexible materials can make the information more available for ALL students. I found them to be interesting and engaging.
I plan to use flexible materials to teach the material in a variety of ways. I am excited to use these tools in my classroom.

6/23/2010 11:34:36 pm

Flexible materials can provide various choices that weren't available to students in the past. I am going to provide many outlets to my students next year in all subject areas. I really like that I can have books read online. I even found one read by Betty White!

6/23/2010 11:35:07 pm

I feel that flexible materials remove barriers to student learning because the traditional way of teaching doesn't reach those students with difficulties. When using flexible materials, we reach the non-readers, students with learning disabilities, and we even motivate students of all types to be eager about learning! I think it is crucial, at this point in education, that all teachers utilize more flexible materials into their instructional practices. I will work towards making all of my lessons in the UDL format. By doing this, I will reach each and all of my students without it feeling like I am pulling their teeth out (not literally!)

6/23/2010 11:35:38 pm

Flexible materials are a great way to remove student barriers to learning. I think the speech to text is a wonderful way to support struggling readers and give them the confidence to tackle material. This way they will not feel isolated and lost which often occurs when using traditional textbooks.

6/23/2010 11:36:09 pm

Flexible materials are a great way to involve more children in different ways of learning or showing what they've learned in different activities. There are wonderful resources out there to support us!

6/23/2010 11:36:40 pm

Flexible materials offer students a more hands on approach to their learning. Instead of sitting and listening they are being offered the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge in a variety of ways and ways that may appeal to them.

6/24/2010 12:04:09 am

with non readers and non writers who are also non typists would really benefit from speech to text, text to speech software.

also little tricks like zooming in or highlighting to talk using the keyboard are skills I will add to my tech lessons.

I think that having students record responses with the photobooth video camera and share them that way would garner a lot longer and more indepth responses than paper and pencil responses. I just need a way to organize these my virtual inbox.

Mary from Chelsea
6/24/2010 02:20:18 am

Technology is the great equalizer! During my social studies lesson I can easily integrate technology and various lesson methods to make Social Studies more alive for the kids.

8/3/2010 04:08:04 am

Allows those with special needs to play on an equal field.

8/3/2010 04:15:50 am

I can use technology for the children that are already falling behind with Reading. The use of technology, if nothing else, seems to be another mode that the more active child finds more interesting. Once activities are used and demonstrated, many low level atudents are able to take on tech. activites more independently.

8/3/2010 04:43:20 am

I like to use my available technology to front load my efforts so I can 1) customize activities & studies for kids with varying needs; 2)present the same lesson concept at different levels of difficulty; 3) provide make-up & review activities for absentees & kids who just didn't get it.

8/3/2010 04:44:35 am

There is a lot of technology out there that can be individualized for each student. This makes them even more successful in their education.

8/3/2010 04:48:43 am

Flexible materials (technology) remove barriers to student learning by providing higher access without all of the mechanics, so to speak. Kids with learning barriers are still smart and have a lot to contribute, if only they are provided with accessible opportunities.

8/3/2010 04:56:21 am

With the flexible technology tools given in this section, I think I could easily take a lesson in which I use one form of technology and then look to find a way (all in one easy place) to add another mode of learning (with technology)to my already made lessons.

Lisa Miller
8/3/2010 05:20:10 am

Flexible materials can help all learners! I think it reinforces the content better. How many times has a student said "I don't get it" and we explain it again in the exact same way...just talking more slowly. Flexible materials reinforces the content, not just repeats it.

8/3/2010 05:25:19 am

I think the flexible materials are a great tool. there is so much out there, it is hard to pick only a few. They are great tools to help all.

8/4/2010 05:14:46 am

Imagine the feeling of empowerment students with learning challenges will have when they have flexible materials as tools.

8/4/2010 05:28:32 am

Technology is a wonderful equalizer for students. Most textbooks today come with audio programs, great for students with reading problems.

8/4/2010 05:29:17 am

I would love to get technology into the hands of my students, but it is expensive and school districts to not have extra money. In some areas we are still using the same material and text books from before I started teaching 17 years ago.

8/4/2010 05:30:09 am

I think it is great that this gentleman has been successful and built confidence in himself. I'm ashamed as an educator to think we let him go that far without getting him the proper help and education.

8/4/2010 05:31:00 am

Using technology is a great way to help kids learn because, in many cases, it increases their motivation. They're familiar with many technologies today, so having that starting point is very beneficial. I would like to continue to expan my use of technology, but there are many limiting factors, including a lack of hardware in my room, students' lack of home computers, and a lack of administrative support. These are all obstacles that have to be dealt with while simultaneously trying to learn new and innovative ways to use technology.

Kelly G.
8/4/2010 05:31:47 am

I am looking forward to the day that all my students can literally be on the same page! If it takes an extra accomadation, like technology, then we should provide it.

8/4/2010 05:32:49 am

Flexibility is a solid key to success. As technology advances most of these kids that have been left behind will, hopefully, be able to advance. One problem, though, is that many schools around the nation do not have adequate technology to catch, let alone educate these kids.

8/4/2010 05:35:05 am

Flexible materials can remove barriers by providing all students with access to grade level materials. Students are able to listen to textbooks on tapes or on the computer. This empowers the student to want to learn.

8/4/2010 05:35:51 am

Where do we get ahold of assistive technology for all?

8/4/2010 05:49:51 am

This young man was/is certainly passionate about his experiences as a child. As a result, he feels compelled to make a difference in the lives of others who are learning disabled.

8/5/2010 04:49:36 am

Flexible materials can provide assess to learning for those with different learning styles, especially for those students who experience visual, auditory, emotional and social problems.

8/5/2010 10:57:59 pm

flexible materials allow students to play to their strengths and showcase their talents and skills.

8/5/2010 11:01:50 pm

Flexible materials provides the student will different ways in which to access information. Students have access to so much different technology to help them learn the material--it's up to the teacher to introduce them to the technology.

8/5/2010 11:02:53 pm

I have students (and a nephew) with dyslexia. I'm loving all the text to speech tools that are free! There are even apps for people's cell phones. The world is becoming more barrier-free for people with reading disabilities! This is great! I bookmarked several of the UDL free tools to use in the future with my students and children.

8/10/2010 05:08:56 am

If we use flexible materials including technology we will be able to help students who are struggling come to a better understanding of the content we are teaching. It is important that we try to remove those barriers for struggling students.

8/10/2010 05:24:59 am

In the last couple of years we have introduced learning centers in our 7th grade science program. This gives us the flexibility to deliver programming in unique and broad ways. For instance, our PPT presentations are now all podcasts and self paced. When a student reaches the station for the PPT she may choose to have audio on or off, and switch the slides at her own pace. Additionally, we try to integrate several different technological tools to facilitate different learning preferences for each objective through the use of the stations...

Connie Renkema
8/10/2010 11:27:13 pm

Flexible technology is a key component in engaging all students in the material. The teacher can present the material in multiple ways so that each student is able to see the material in the best way for them to understand it and put it into practice.

In the Library Media Center, I can offer multiple ways for student to access the print collection and introduce them to web sites that also have the information they need in a video/audio format.

Dave S
8/10/2010 11:28:52 pm

Flexible materials can remove barriers because it makes learning more engaging. It also can bring learning to the fingertips of students. This is something they are use to. Students are so use to having everything at their fingertips, but then they go to school and it is like they are walking into a time machine. Many of the instructional practices in schools are so dated that students feel bored because they live in such a fast-paced world.

I think the best way to use more flexible materials is just to be aware of the need for them in your instruction. It does not take long to find some of these materials. Teachers should always be on the lookout for them, and when they do find something that is useful they need to share it with their peers. There is still not enough sharing going on in schools. We talk a lot about building plc's and collaboration, but the follow through is not always there. Sharing resources is a great way to build a well balanced menu of flexible materials.

8/10/2010 11:29:47 pm

We are lucky to be at a school with technology-rich classrooms to facilitate this type of teaching. I really want to get some of the clickers, though.

Amy Streigle
8/10/2010 11:29:52 pm

Kids love technology. It is much more engaging. It does level the playing field for all learning styles.

8/10/2010 11:30:17 pm

Flexibility is the only way to reach all of the students in the classroom.

I can adjust my lessons to better meet the needs of the very different students in each class by offering choices, allowing practice, and giving plenty of opportunity to show me what they have learned.

Brandon Helder
8/10/2010 11:32:05 pm

The application or such tools is becoming increasingly easy. So many of these tools are free and truly open doors for students who struggle. The diversity of these tools also meet the individual needs and interests of students.

A quick way to add some spice to lessons.

8/10/2010 11:32:52 pm

Students love having choices and have a better attitude about doing a project or assignment when a choice is given. It is really interesting to note that most students already know what kind of learning style that appeals to them.

8/10/2010 11:32:57 pm

Flexible materials allow students to learn content. It develops higher level thinking skills.

8/10/2010 11:35:10 pm

I had no idea all of these tools were available. I could spend hours learning about all of this. . . and will. I feel excited that I have these tools at my fingertips. I am especially excited about what I will be able to do for struggling learners.

8/10/2010 11:35:44 pm

There are so many tools available to help students - it's awesome and a little overwhelming. The difficulty is actually taking (finding) the time to search them out and use them. These two days provide time to look through many of these sites, so we'll be ready to incorporate some of them when school begins...and share them with other teachers.

8/10/2010 11:35:54 pm

Sharing flexible ways of teaching is ideal in the classroom. As educators, we need to learn how to effectively use screencasting tools. It would be more beneficial to communicate how we use various media, than simply sending links back and forth among colleagues.

8/10/2010 11:41:28 pm

Flexible materials are key to breaking away the barriers that instruction, in the past, has put up for students with learning disabilities. There are so many ways available to make instruction flexible, and thanks to technology, we are able to do this for our students. Flexible materials can be the difference in our students learning!!!

8/10/2010 11:46:38 pm

Flexible materials will allow more students to be engaged in their learning. It allows for students to demonstrate their learning in the way that best suits them. I hope to plan for more lessons in all curriculum areas to assist ALL students with their best demonstration of learning.

8/10/2010 11:47:09 pm

I LOVED the activities regarding the UDL simulations. After watching the excitement in the students faces (and the authentic/purposeful learning occurring), I am all the more convinced to begin applying this learning in our classroom. I am excited to begin thinking about how I can capture their interests: picture stories, video clips, skits, trade books. It's going to be a great year!

8/11/2010 05:32:28 am

It's great that these resources are out there, but finding them and finding FREE ones is the hard part. Public schools are so low on funding. It's hard to find the right materials for our teachers to aid our special education students. We need more resources like those shared. Or at least we need to be informed of them.

8/11/2010 05:33:16 am

UDL's focus on flexibility is differentiated instruction, it's addressing multiple intelligences, it is what modern learners need and even expect now. Offering a variety of examples, methods, and choices caters to the varying needs of students in our classrooms.

8/11/2010 05:34:18 am

We are living in a digital world...we respond best to high energy stimuli mixed with tangible materials. Having concrete books and literature while viewing an exciting video clip reaches a wide array of senses, thus teaching to the majority!

8/11/2010 05:38:08 am

Lessons that include video (like the one about alkali metals) often get students interested. It sometimes takes some things getting blown up to get them paying attention.

Linda Ereg
8/11/2010 05:52:25 am

Because there are so many diverse learners in our classroom, it is very important ot have many different teaching strategies. There are many hands-on learners. Some of the videos I watched, demonstrated the importance of showing students what you want them to do - not just lecture. Traditional lecturing is for the auditory learner that can take good notes. Good note-taking, I find, is a weakness for a majority of 9th and 10th graders. I could use technology more because students today are more computer savy and enjoy the technology to learn more.

8/17/2010 04:40:19 am

Flexible materials can offer additional support, motivation, opportunities for engagement, and differentiated instruction - all necessary to reach learners.

8/17/2010 04:44:45 am

Having several options for all children will provide many opportunities to keep students on task. Some students get lost along the way and others never really get on board from the start. By having several options in play at all times will help some of them a lot more than what we use to provide for our students.

8/17/2010 04:47:46 am

It gives my students more options and opportunities for learning.

8/17/2010 04:51:09 am

I can see technology helping students become engaged and focused learners.

8/17/2010 04:54:03 am

I found the demos to be awesome. I tries to read with distractions, and to
listen to directions in chaos. I was frustrated.My eyes were opened to how students can be misunderstood when they fail.I like this site.

8/17/2010 10:46:33 pm

Flexible materials allow all students a way to tap into learning. UDL makes it possible for students to learn in their way without being singled out. Classrooms with UDL give students the ability to stretch in their learning styles without forfieting how they learn best. All styles are addressed, whether they (students) use one style or another is up to them.

8/17/2010 10:49:11 pm

I don't think I have done a great job of practicing what I have learned when it comes to UDL. As a teacher, I need to work harder to create ways to engage students in a wider variety. I have always tried to incorporate multiple ways of presentation of material, but I have not always given students enough choices in how they relate back to me what they got out of the material.

8/17/2010 10:50:56 pm

Using technology allows students a variety of ways to access information and ways to create assessments that better fit their personal learning styles. My most limiting factor to using flexible materials is access to the technology.

8/17/2010 10:53:02 pm

Technology allows students to be exposed to more than just their textbook and use resources such as manipulatives and graphic organizers that are web basesd. The use of technology engages students, which helps to overcome learning barriers by teaching in a way that connects with our students.

8/17/2010 10:56:05 pm

I have a belief that all students can be successful in academics but most students must be provided different avenues to that success. Technology provided many of those avenues.

8/17/2010 10:57:02 pm

My colleague is already using technology to remove the barrier of teacher time to student learning. It would take her too long to try to teach each student the things that they have forgotten, but she is using technology tools from our textbook that automatically give assignments based on assessment results. This automation allows her to spend more one-on-one time working with students specific needs.

Donna Hendershot
8/24/2010 05:29:08 am

Matching the technology up to the disability or child will be the challenge in order to meet all needs. More Project based learning using technology could change many dynamics

8/25/2010 05:06:24 am

Using flexible materials and technology can help students by giving them choices about how they will receive, work with and present information, by also giving students more time and the ability to revisit the directions whenever they need to.

8/25/2010 05:07:03 am

Flexible technology allows students to show what they have learned in many different ways. Giving students choices is very important. I think choice helps those who struggle by making him or her more confident.

8/25/2010 05:09:52 am

Providing different types of media to allow a child to learn is a great idea. I think there needs to be a researched approach that has been tested so teachers can be more effective in helping students in learning. The shot-gun approach does not always work, but all of educators will continue to fight the good fight...

Jamie Bowman
8/25/2010 10:57:32 pm

Flexible tools will allow students with learning difficulties to be successful in classwork/groupwork without drawing attention to themselves and their differences. I will explore the learning tools for making flash cards vs. the foldables we do now, as well as learn about glogs. This will not only allow students a choice in their presentation of knowledge, but help the planet as well without printing all those posters/cards that just end up in the trash.

6/22/2011 11:43:47 pm

Students are able to participate at their own pace.

6/22/2011 11:48:07 pm

Premiere AT is free for all schools in the Kent ISD district. This software will help students by reading websites etc. There is also an online free home version. Check it out. If you are from another district ask them if they provide this.

6/18/2012 05:12:12 am

Flexible technology can increase student achievement by offering students' choices. Students can become more engaged with school when they have a voice in their education.

Jeana Fogel
8/15/2012 04:08:57 am

flexible tools will help students be and feel more successful


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