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There is a lot of discussion concerning innovative technology and the virtual classroom. However, I really would like to hear your thoughts concerning your experience with adaptive technologies and if the tech community is looking at that as well. It's great to have technology in our curriculum; however, unless or until ALL audiences are able to utilize such tools - it will not be able to be appreciated in it's full capacity. Please share your thoughts, experiences, and oppositions..

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Thank you for starting this discussion, Zariah. Just a quick point of clarification...would your take on adaptive technologies include what are sometimes called 'assistive technologies'? I am guessing this to be the case because of your emphasis on 'all'.

A couple of very quick thoughts. I feel that equity of access is at the heart of the exploring the potential of adaptive/assistive technologies. However, to open up the learning such that it is accessible to all learners, there is much to be done around design. Universal Design for Learning, while not a technology, provides insights around how to design to meet the needs of all learners (there is a useful video here that covers the UDL guidelines, and you can also access this Interactive UDL guidelines wheel). 

Thank you for that point. Although the term is different from maybe state to state, or in our case, from country to country; adaptive/assisted is in this content the same. I would think of something such as JAWS, Dragon, etc. as just two of the many such technologies.

Great response and thank you for sharing. I do believe that as you pointed out, Universal Design for Learning is very important in not only a method in the "how" but also being able to help establishing a raw version of best practices. I don't think a concrete standard is a must; however, being able to identify from a pool of tools that have already been proven to work will help instructors/course designer with a more effective method for them to be able to design to meet the needs of all learners. It seems as though the Interactive UDL guidelines wheel  will help them accomplish such goal. I wonder if there is an international Wiki for Course Designers, which include learning/teaching methodologies, the UDL guidelines wheel, ADA/Section 508 compliance, etc... great site.

I've just found time to have a look at this site, which models the UDL principles in the ways you can interact with the content.

As an aside, I did find this neat online community for practitioners interested in UDL (facilitated by the National Center on Universal Design for Learning and UDL Connect). On this community I found the following introductory video:

Find more videos like this on UDL Connect

And I just found a wiki that has a neat section on UDL:


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