Designing an online/blended environment in which UDL is the norm is very interesting to me because my previous trainings: bachelor’s classes, credential classes, BTSA, and professional development only merely touch on providing resources and help for students with disabilities. Only now have I been able to really look at ways to interact with students in an online setting where all my students can be successful.
The reason why I believe it is not more thoroughly implemented across the board is because UDL is overwhelming without the technology piece. Only through technology have we been able to see success for all as feasible. I am always in awe at all the different ways assistive technology and UDL design really helps all students succeed and it makes me very excited for the future. I do wish though, that it would be more thoroughly implemented so all teachers could reach all of their students. Something that I feel, we are still lacking as a system.
Additionally, I think it starts with administration. If I were to try to explain to a skeptic administrator the reasons why UDL training is essential to our staff, I think I would use some of the resources I have seen in this class. Several videos show the power of UDL when promoted by committed teachers and a unified system that is there to support students. In addition, I would invite them to see in my own classroom what a difference in makes when a teacher is given the tools and the direction, such as UDL design and framework, to work with students with disabilities and the difference it makes in students as far as independence and dignity. Moreover, I would explain that there as a teacher, when looking at academic integrity and UDL, it all falls into place. It is my duty to equip my students as much as I can to try to deter cheating and copying in class. Online and blended learning using UDL as the basis of my teaching and creating meaningful assessments does really diminish cheating in class.
Overall, I feel like, as a designer of an online course shell, I have done a good job. I have looked at resources, I have played with the different tools available to me, I have looked for ways to discourage cheating by providing authentic assessments and I have allowed students to be more independent, even as simply as through the inclusion of videos that they can watch as many times as they want in order to learn at their own pace. I have, in addition, also looked into ways of incorporating closed captioning in videos as much as possible and have also included several forms of resources, media and static.
In that way, TPACK and UDL are unifying learning in such a way that more students will be successful.