February, 2011



If it's cold where you are - and even if it's not - you'll find some interesting fireside reading and resources in this issue of the UDL FOCUS, including 1) information about a UDL version of a classic fable written for UDL Bookbuilder, 2) a story about how a California district is providing students with digital textbooks, 3) a link to a webcast featuring David Rose discussing the neuroscience of learning, 4) details about a UDL conference hosted by the University of Vermont, 5) an announcement about the selection of two new UDL postdoctoral fellows, 6) an introduction to two members of the UDL Faculty and 7) an invitation to discuss the role of technology in the UDL Connect forum. 
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Implementation iconadvocacyThe Tortoise and the Hare: A Classic in UDL Bookbuilder 
image of the tortoise and the hare finishing the raceAuthor-Illustrator Mira Singer offers a beautifully illustrated UDL version of the classic fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. With UDL supports added by Kristin Robinson and Anne Meyer, this old favorite is now retold with a UDL flare! Enjoy the story and see how UDL can lead to winning learning environments for all students. Learn more about Bookbuilder.
UDL Guidlelines iconguidelinesBetter Learning by Design Conference
UDL-UVMlogoThe second annual Better Learning by Design Conference will be hosted by the University of Vermont, Burlington on June 1-2, 2011. Keynote and plenary sessions will feature nationally recognized UDL experts David Rose and Skip Stahl. In addition, multiple workshops will address the theory and implementation of UDL. As details become available, they will be posted at the UVM conference website.
UDL Guidlelines icon guidelines2California District Pushes Digital Text Initiative
word 'educate' displayed in digitized textOne California school district took Governor Schwarzenegger's Free Digital Textbook Initiative seriously when it was launched in May 2009. This article describes how hundreds of teachers in the Riverside Unified School District are using digital devices to provide content through e-textbooks. Read this EdWeek article for more details.
UDL Guidlines iconresearchUDL: A Cognitive Neuroscience Framework
PA pd conference logoRecent research in cognitive neuroscience reveals that what we call "learning" is highly diverse - both within and across individuals. The annual conference, Making a Difference: Educational Practices that Work sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, featured a keynote address by CAST's David Rose in which he presents a cognitive neuroscience framework for understanding individual differences in learning. To learn more, view the free, on-line webcast.
Community iconadvocacyNew UDL Fellows Announced
UDL Fellows logoCongratulations to two new UDL Postdoctoral Fellows, Joanne Karger and Frances Smith, who will begin their residency at CAST in September 2011! Boston College and CAST recently announced their selection of the third cohort of UDL Leaders in this four-year leadership preparation project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Dr. Karger, who holds both a doctorate and a J.D., has experience as a UDL policy advisor and an advocate for students from low-income backgrounds. A technology coordinator and collateral instructional faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Smith teaches graduate level UDL courses and is active with the National UDL Task Force and the IDEA Partnership National UDL Community of Practice. Learn more about the UDL Fellowship Program.
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Meet the UDL Faculty 

CAST's UDL Faculty prepare educators to apply UDL to the general education curriculum through on-site workshops and institutes. To learn more about UDL professional development opportunities, email pd@cast.org.


Melissa Hartman

Melissa Hartman photoMelissa Hartman is a special education supervisor for Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia. She coordinates the county's transition program and is responsible for the special education programs in 7 schools. Melissa is an adjunct professor at Shennandoah University and has been conducting trainings, working on the integration of technology and UDL, and spreading the word about UDL since 2008.
Janet Peters
Janet Peters head shotJanet Peters is the Project Coordinator on Educational and Assistive Technology for the Great Lakes ADA Center. She has 20 years of experience with assistive and accessible technologies for individuals with disabilities and technology implementation in classrooms. Her academic background is computer science and she is obtaining a Masters of Education in Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota 

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UDL Challenges

What is the role of technology in implementing UDL?
Is it an essential element or do you agree with some contributors that UDL can be unplugged?


UDL Unplugged: The Role of Technology in UDL shares an unplugged example of UDL implementation. Join this lively discussion on UDL Connect to share what you think.

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