A good first step in Powering Up your classroom is to make reading and writing more accessible for all students. Bring UDL principles into your lesson planning to ensure students are using technology tools to
- Represent information in multiple formats and media
- Show and express what they know in multiple ways
- Engage interest and motivation in multiple ways
Digitized textbooks and other accessible media are a great use of technology to meet the needs of a diverse range of students. Many teachers know that accessible textbooks are available for the iPad, but they may not know that they can go one step further by creating their own textbooks! Using iBooks Author educators can write and create their own textbook, picture book, or storybook on the iPad. In doing this, teachers can support reading comprehension and vocabulary development.
The iteach Lounge Blog even suggests alternate uses for the app, such as allowing students to create their own book in lieu of a report. This technology may not far off from all public schools; according to THE Journal, the federal government is aiming to place digital textbooks in all public schools within the next five years. California is a step ahead, according to the Center for Digital Education, who has plans to make core subject digital textbooks readily available (for free) to college students, beginning in 2013.
Acknowledgment: Special thanks to Rebecca Flynn for helping to prepare this blog post.