In this episode, we interview Katie Novak who is the author of UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms. Katie shares some great strategies that teachers can use when they are planning for their students using a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) lens.
What’s New in EML?
Jim shared some of the major themes that were discussed in his workshop at the recent Aylesbury Modern Learning Summit on May 16, 2018. His workshop involved looking at how coding can help students play with and visualize mathematical concepts and processes. Some of the key points discussed were:
- Coding makes abstract thoughts concrete. Ideas become “manipulatable”, discussable, and visual
- Coding allows students to access a level of complexity in mathematical and logical thinking that might not be attainable from other methods
- Importance of curriculum content but questions arose about the arbitrary nature of various concepts assigned various grades within some linear sequence… using coding as a thinking and design tool is an open challenge to that kind of rigid structure.
- Scratch is the right place for coding – it’s a learning environment, first and foremost (not just a coding environment), it supports PBL, it supports social interaction and discussion, it supports a very wide variety of projects which can be highly personalized, and it can be used to create very simple or very complex projects, and everything in-between.
Amit shared the workshop he ran with the teachers at the Aylesbury Modern Learning Summit around docAppender and how it can be used as a tool to help with pedagogical documentation using Google’s CS First Program. This is a great tool for teachers to use as it not only has its own curriculum built in, but there are different themes that teachers and students can choose from.
Links from the Interview with Katie Novak
Katie shared a number of resources including:
- UDL Progression Rubric
- Katie’s Website
- Katie’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Katie can be found on Twitter
Shares for the Week
Jim shared the tool we used to record Katie Novak’s interview, who joined us from Massachusetts for the live recording. We used Zencastr. Jim talked about the potential for students to use Zencastr collaboratively to create podcasts, documentaries or dramatic presentations (and the tool allows for students to be in different locations for their recording). Zencastr could also be used to connect classes of students living in different parts of the province, country or the world to discuss ideas, conduct interviews, play music, sing, or share audio that is unique to the locations where each class lives.
Zencastr used a technology called voice over IP which means that voices and other audio are carried as data on internet-based networks, not traditional telephone networks. After sign up initially, you get a complimentary “Hobby Pro Trial” account for two-weeks which provides access to higher sound quality and a few more features than the free version.
Amit shared a blog post by Erica Armstrong which talks about how you can use Google Sheets as a tool to help make math thinking visible. He talked about how Erica, who was a guest on Episode 7, provides some very helpful videos to help teachers navigate through the tool. He also mentioned Sapna Khosa, who was a guest on Episode 5, and how she uses Google Sheets to create Pixel Art with her students.