February 8, 2013
Tel: 781-245-2212 ext. 279
CAST today announced the release of UDL Exchange, a free website community that enables educators to create, mix, and share lesson plans and other teaching resources based on universal design for learning principles and aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework for developing flexible instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that meet the needs of all learners by considering their natural variability and diverse backgrounds from the outset rather than providing retrofitted solutions.
UDL Exchange also includes resources that teach about the UDL principles and a UDL Lesson Builder tool to support educators at all grade levels and in all subject areas in planning lessons and making their own UDL-based instructional materials.
Educators can browse, rate, and tag existing resources or build their own in three categories:
- UDL Lessons: Instructional plans that address the variability and diversity of all learners
- UDL Resources: Multimedia supports for UDL implementation, including videos and websites
- UDL Collections: Resources organized around particular themes, such as curriculum units, to support UDL practice.
“The inspiration for UDL Exchange comes from teachers themselves,” says Patricia K. Ralabate, Ph.D., CAST's Director of Implementation. “We created this tool to meet a clear need in the field and the classroom teachers we work with have played an integral role in the design and development of UDL Exchange.”
Critical features and capabilities most often called for by teachers in the field are fully integrated into the UDL Exchange. Importantly, the UDL Exchange allows for rich interactivity between teachers, provides a ready library from which teachers can draw resources and contribute lessons, aligns with the Common Core State Standards, and includes a mechanism for sharing lessons and soliciting feedback from peer educators.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations funded the development of UDL Exchange. The UDL Lesson Builder tool incorporated into UDL Exchange is an enhanced version of an earlier resource developed with funding from the Davis Foundations and the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Texthelp Systems of Woburn, MA, provides use of the SpeechStream toolbar in UDL Studio, which expands access for all individuals via text-to-speech, language translation, and other features.
CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand educational opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. To learn more, go to www.cast.org.