Universal Learning Design: Empowering the Next Generation
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Universal Learning Design: Empowering the Next Generation


SO, I DIDN’T DO GOOD IN SCHOOL, LIKE, AT THE BEGINNING. [MUSIC] COLLEGE WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME. IT IS KIND OF HARD TO ADAPT TO THE PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU DON’T SEE THEM EVERY DAY. YOU SEE THEM JUST ONCE IN A WHILE. MY NAME IS STACEY KAYDEN. I’M THE DIRECTOR OF THIS PROGRAM. MY NAME IS KHALIL YASIN. MY NAME IS RUTH. MY NAME IS LUIS HERNANDEZ. MY NAME IS NELSON MALDONADO. I’M A MENTOR/COORDINATOR. WHEN I STARTED COLLEGE, I DIDN’T FEEL THE CONNECTION, SO I DIDN’T DO GOOD IN SCHOOL, LIKE, AT THE BEGINNING. WHEN I FIRST START WALKING AROUND THE COLLEGES, I NEVER FELT LIKE I WAS PART OF THE SOCIETY. I WAS ALWAYS WATCHING THE WORD, WHAT I SAY, AND HOW I PRONOUNCE IT. WHEN I WAS AT SCHOOL, I HATED LANGUAGE CLASSES. I COULD NOT SPELL. AND TRYING TO SOUND OUT WORDS I WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH, FORGET ABOUT IT. IN SOME WAYS, I WAS DISENGAGED FROM COLLEGE BECAUSE THEY WERE KIND OF ASKING ME TO DO IN COLLEGE KIND OF JUST THE FORMAT OR THE WAY THAT THEY WANTED ME TO SHOW WHAT I KNEW. IT WAS NOT THE FORMAT THAT I NEEDED TO EXCEL. WELL, GROWING UP, I GREW UP WITH THE TECHNOLOGY. I GREW UP WITH THE PLAYSTATION, A COMPUTER AT HOME. AND I’M PRETTY FAMILIAR WITH TECHNOLOGY SO THAT’S KIND OF, LIKE, A SECOND NATURE TO ME. SO WHEN I CAME TO SCHOOL, WE HAVE TEXTBOOKS, WHICH IS LIKE JUST REGULAR TEXTBOOKS YOU’RE READING. I LEARN BETTER WHEN I LISTEN TO THINGS. I USUALLY AM ABLE TO RETAIN THINGS BETTER THAN READING THINGS. WE NEED TO APPROACH THIS ON MULTI-LEVELS BECAUSE WE HAVE STUDENTS FROM ALL DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES COMING. SO WE HAVE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD, IF YOU WILL. [MUSIC] WE’RE CREATING SMART LEARNING. WE’RE TAKING KURZWEIL 3000, STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY, AND A STUDENT COMMUNITY, AND WE ARE ENGAGING TODAY’S STUDENTS. STATISTICS ARE SHOWING THAT THE MORE TOOLS THAT STUDENTS USE, THE MORE ENGAGED THEY ARE WITH THEIR READING, THE BETTER THEY DO. WITH PERMISSION, WE’RE CONVERTING TEXTBOOKS INTO AUDIBLE, MULTI-SENSORY, AND FLEXIBLE E-TEXT. ALL OF A SUDDEN, STUDENTS CAN HEAR THEIR TEXTBOOKS. WALL STREET SHOWED CLEAR RELIEF, MONDAY, OVER THE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO BAIL OUT CITIGROUP INCORPORATED. I LEARNED EARLY ON, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS OF LEARNING. AND I FOUND OUT THAT I WAS, LIKE, AN AUDITORY AND A VISUAL LEARNER. IT HELPS ME WITH MY PRONUNCIATION AND LISTENING AS ESL STUDENT. THEY CAN ANNOTATE IN MULTIPLE FORMS. I GO TO TOOLS AND HIGHLIGHT– IT GIVES YOU ALL THE REGULAR OPTIONS OF HIGHLIGHTING. LIKE FOR MYSELF, THE RED CIRCLE IS SOMETHING THAT– A QUOTE THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT I NEED TO REMEMBER. WHEN I MAKE A STICKY NOTE–STICKY NOTE, IT’S A LITTLE NOTE THAT YOU CAN PUT IN ANYWHERE IN THE CHAPTER. SO YOU CAN HEAR WHAT THE CHAPTER IS AND THEN YOU CAN SUMMARIZE WHAT THE CHAPTER IS ABOUT. TEACHERS ARE EMBEDDING STRATEGIES INTO THE TEXT. THEY’RE ESSENTIALLY CREATING A TEACHER WITHIN THE TEXT. OH, IT’S JUST SO WONDERFUL THE WAY THE TEXT ACTUALLY CAME TO LIFE, YOU KNOW, BY HAVING A VOICE, THE TEACHERS BEING ABLE TO LEAVE MESSAGES AND NOTES TO THEIR CLASS, LET THE STUDENTS KNOW HOW WE WERE READING AND ASK QUESTIONS THAT WERE OPEN-ENDED, YOU KNOW, AND HELP THEM BE ABLE TO PROBE THE TEXT IN MORE MEANINGFUL WAYS. AND I REALLY LOVE THE WAY, YOU KNOW, YOU COULD TAKE THESE NOTES AND MAKE THEM INTO MP3, PUT THEM ON YOUR IPOD. I TEACH A RACE CLASS, AND NONE OF THE TEXTS ARE EXACTLY WHAT I WANT. AND SO I THINK IT WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT TOOL TO USE TO ADD COMPONENTS THAT YOU WANNA SEE IN YOUR TEXT THAT AREN’T ACTUALLY AVAILABLE. AND STUDENTS ARE HELPING EACH OTHER. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. INSTEAD OF THE TEXTBOOK BEING THIS AUXILIARY, SOLITARY, AND KIND OF CONFUSING AND DIFFICULT REQUIREMENT, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THEY BECOME THIS INTERWOVEN, ENGAGING TOOL OF THE CLASS. IT’S TRANSFORMATIVE. THIS IS THE WAY THAT THE WORLD IS GOING AS FAR AS TECHNOLOGY. THE WAY THAT THE WORLD IS MOVING AND THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, ECONOMIES ARE LOOKING TOWARDS IS TECHNOLOGY. IF WE CAN IMPROVE THE TECHNOLOGY THAT WE LEARN WITH, WE’RE GONNA BE ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH WHERE THE WORLD IS GOING. [MUSIC] AND THEN YOU WERE SAYING, LIKE, A FUN THING, AND THAT YOU GOT SOME PEOPLE THAT COME BECAUSE YOU FELT IT’S FUN. WHAT’S FUN ABOUT IT? I DO A LOT OF, LIKE, JUST PLAYING AROUND WITH IT. THAT WAS MY BIG THING. I WAS PLAYING AROUND, FINDING ALL THESE NEW FUNCTIONS AND ALL THE FUNCTIONS THAT WEREN’T COVERED IN THE BASICS. AND PLAYING AROUND WITH IT HELPED ME, LIKE, GET MORE IN-DEPTH INTO MY WORK. YEAH, IT ENCOURAGED ME TO GET INTO IT, AT LEAST– YOU KNOW, I GOT SOME BETTER GRADES, SO AWESOME. I PUT IT IN MY COMPUTER AND, YOU KNOW, I DOWNLOADED THE FILES HERE IN MY USB DRIVE, PRINTED THEM OUT AT HOME. AND WHILE IT’S READING TO ME, I DO MY WORK. IF I’M RIGHT, WHICH I AM, WE CAN JUST GO OVER, LIKE, SYNONYMS AND THEN JUST CLICK ON IT. AND THEN THIS HERE IS GONNA GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF WORDS. AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY USE ONE THAT SOUNDS, LIKE, COOL. THE WAY YOU AND I USE THE SAME WORDS. THE DATA WE’RE COLLECTING IS SHOWING EXCITING RESULTS. WHEN STUDENTS ARE CONNECTED AND THEY’RE USING THIS TOOL ALONG WITH THE STUDY SCHOOL FEATURES AND EMBEDDED INSTRUCTOR STRATEGIES, THEY ARE RISING ABOVE THEIR PEERS IN HIGHER LEVEL THINKING SKILLS. WE HAVE GOT THESE STUDENTS ACTIVELY INVOLVED. THIS PROGRAM IS–THERE’S NOTHING LIKE IT RIGHT NOW. THAT’S WHAT’S SO EXCITING ABOUT IT. AND IT’S TAKING STUFF THAT’S THERE, TECHNOLOGY THAT’S BEEN AROUND, AND USING IN THIS WHOLE NEW WAY. [MUSIC] WHAT I LIKE ABOUT LEADING THE STUDENT TRAININGS IS THAT THE STUDENTS FEEL COMFORTABLE COMING UP TO ME ‘CAUSE I’M A STUDENT JUST LIKE THEM. THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE COMING UP TO ME AND SAYING, “HEY, HOW YOU DOING?” AND SAYING “HI” OR WHATEVER. WHEN THEY NEED SOMETHING, THEY’RE LIKE, “OH, CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THIS?” I THINK THAT MY STUDENT PRESENTATION IS REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE. I HAVE DEVELOPED A SENSE OF, I DON’T KNOW, LEADERSHIP. AND I GAINED SOME EXPERIENCE AS, LIKE, I DON’T KNOW, TEACHING, YOU KNOW? MAYBE BECOME A TEACHER SOMEDAY OR SOMETHING, I DON’T KNOW. WE’RE KIND OF USING A STUDENT CULTURE. WE’RE KIND OF “WE’RE STUDENTS. HOW WILL WE WANT IT TO BE?” THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE DYNAMIC THAT HAPPENS BETWEEN TWO INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE STUDENTS. IT’S UNTOUCHABLE–ADMINISTRATOR TO A STUDENT, OR FACULTY TO A STUDENT. MANY OF MY STUDENTS HAVE NOT HAD THE SUPPORT OF PARENTS OR OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM. AND SO THE MENTORING PROCESS FILLS THAT HOLE, THAT GAP FOR THEM. BUT BY ME BEING IN THE CLASS WITH YOU, AND I MAY BE A MENTOR WITHIN THIS PROGRAM, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I’M TAKING THE SAME CLASS, TAKING THE SAME TEST, DOING THE SAME HOMEWORK. AND IT’S A COMMUNITY WE BUILD UPON WITHIN EACH OTHER, AND THAT’S WHAT ATTRACT STUDENTS, IS WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME GAME. WE’RE ALL TRYING TO DO THIS TOGETHER. THERE ARE SO MANY STUDENTS WHO HAVE LEARNING DISABILITIES. AND SOME OF THOSE FOLKS HAVE FIGURED OUT WAYS TO COMPENSATE BY HAVING STUDY GROUPS OR WHATEVER. BUT THE BEAUTY OF THE KURZWEIL PROJECT IS THAT THESE STUDENTS NOW HAVE A COMMON MEANS OF CONNECTING WITH THEIR CLASSMATES AND THEIR INSTRUCTOR. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN EXCITED ABOUT LEARNING. THE ISSUE IS, CAN YOU REACH ME,AND THEN WILL YOU GIVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW YOU WHAT I’M LEARNING? SO, IN ONE ROOM, WE HAVE STUDENTS WHO ARE– HAVE IDENTIFIABLE LEARNING DISABILITIES, THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE IDENTIFIED LEARNING DISABILITIES, AND THEN THOSE WHO HAVE NO DISABILITIES. THEY’RE ALL IN ONE CLASS, THEY’RE ALL USING THE SAME TECHNOLOGY, AND THEY’RE ALL ADVANCING IN THEIR LEARNING. WHEN I CAME TO THIS UNIVERSAL LEARNING LAB, I SAW PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD AND ABOUT THE HUMANITY AND THE HUMAN AND THE SPIRIT THAN WHO YOU ARE. THEY DON’T CARE THE WAY YOU TALK, THEY DON’T CARE THE WAY YOU LOOK, BUT THEY WANTED TO HELP YOU READ AND SUCCEED IN YOUR SCHOOLING. SO THAT WAS A TREMENDOUS, TREMENDOUS BURDEN BEING LIFTED OFF MY SHOULDER– TO WALK, LIFT MY HEAD UP, AND SAY, “THIS IS WHERE I BELONG.” [MUSIC] THE STUDENT CAN LEVEL WITH ANOTHER STUDENT AND, YOU KNOW, AND TELL THEM THAT, YOU KNOW, EITHER YOU NEED TO GET THIS DONE SO YOU CAN PASS THE CLASS OR– CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY PEOPLESUPPORT TRANSCRIPTION & CAPTIONING

2 Comments

  • Sean Daly

    This is a great video. It is first-hand showing the results of Universal Design for Learning in the classroom. It shows the account of a high school student who has now become empowered to want to be a teacher once he graduates.

    The video shows different learners who are assisted with programs such as audio text books. This assists ESL learners and special needs learners,

    This school documented has a "Universal Learning Lab". Every school should have a resource such as this.

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