It’s obvious that delivery of knowledge has gone through different phases regarding the teaching practices and the way educators approach the whole process. The deep understanding of how the brain perceives, analyzes, synthesizes and forms attitude towards received information, in addition to new theories of MI, Bloom’s Taxonomy, educational technology, layered curriculum, and culturally responsive techniques, all have resulted into better understanding of how to approach different learners in order to guarantee them smooth access to a purposeful learning experience that is more related to their background. The principals of UDL emphasize that more engagement in the learning process means increasing the role of the learner in determining the suitability of content delivery method as well as determining the appropriateness of the way of demonstrating that knowledge.
What really deserves to be discussed is if predetermining the level of presentation and the related activities that are directed to different learners means determining in advance the level of progress that we expect them to do and which might later prove to be wrong as the authors of “Differentiating Instructions” explained. So educators need to be cautious when getting too much excited to apply some of differentiation practices without conducting enough studies on their students learning styles and abilities. In addition to that the overwhelming preparations that are needed from the teachers’ side and having to teach the class as separate units with different or varied lesson objectives instead of the conventional way which deals with the class as one unit could cause them to be less motivated to integrate new strategies.
It was interesting to read about the comparison study that was demonstrated in chapter 3 “Teaching every student in the digital age”. Digital Media has refined the tools and facilitated knowledge deliveries to all learners including learners with different kinds of disabilities due to its too many qualities such as flexibility and transformability that have made it surpass other means of information delivery such as speech, text and images. The kind of educational service that multimedia can offer to remove learning barriers is really amazing but is it possible to make all these devices available to all schools everywhere? and what is the kind of training needed for teachers and students to use them?. I doubt that would be an easy issue to solve. So I believe that the kind of learning experience that multimedia allows learners to have needs to be incorporated with the traditional ones as I believe that each has qualities that enhance a cetain aspect and therefore necessary for certain kind of learning. For example, reading a text might or reciting a poem promotes imagination that will be limited in case of it is accompanied with images and so on.
“Universal principals of design” for Lindwell, Holden & Butler is very interesting and presented many new concepts for me. As for facilitating and providing several ways to present learning material, I found that chunking the information and focusing on repetitive exposure could help a lot to move information from the working memory to the long storage memory. Besides, classifying the information in hierarchical manner organizes it and makes it easier to be remembered afterwards. Using picture effect is yet another principle that can be applied to demonstrate a difficult concept so presentation could be more effective and remembered as it is associated with image. Establishing relations and comparisons is also an important principle that influences information presentation effectiveness and bring the new theoretical concepts to the world of practical experiences. Opening options in front of students as well as educators allows more creative initiatives through which learning become more of enjoyable and worthwhile experience.