This post completes my week-long feature of Universal Design for Learning, a project with the mission to maximize learning for all students. To read the earlier posts, you can click on these: Universal Design for Learning, Variability Matters, Planning for All Learners, and Learning Wheel.
Another tool that is provided by CAST, the organization that created Universal Design for Learning, is Book Builder. According to the site, “This wonderful and free online tool allows you to create your own interactive “books” to help young readers learn reading strategies to build comprehension. Enter your own text, images, and hints.” To use Book Builder, you will need to create a free account. Once you do this, you can create a book that has accompanying audio, “mentors” who can be clicked on for extra help or suggestions, and areas for students to respond.
CAST is working on a more robust version of this with its UDL Studio. With this tool, students can highlight text that proves an answer, and then compare it to the teacher’s highlights. The students can choose whatever modality they want to use for responding to questions built in to the book. There are many other features that make this a very strong tool in the hands of the right teachers. UDL Studio is still in Beta, from what I understand, but you can test it out for yourself.
Finally, I would like to leave you with one more video. It is an excerpt from Glee, in which a deaf choir performs “Imagine”, and the other students join in. It is a very powerful reminder of how amazing all of our students can be when given the opportunity.
(For my entire week-long series on UDL, check out the following links: Universal Design for Learning, Variability Matters, Planning for All Learners, Learning Wheel, and Book Builder. You can also click on the Universal Design for Learning category in my right margin or take a look at my Pinterest Boards for UDL for even more resources.)