Welcome to the Region 4 Assistive Technology Consortium’s free and flexible professional learning series for 2021. We have designed a high-impact, high-engagement learning series that is both flexible and accessible.
This site is the home of our asynchronous modules, designed to build on what you know about learner variability, designing rigorous high-quality instruction, and reaching all learners. As you navigate through the asynchronous modules, you will have opportunities to take on new learning, to reflect on what you know, and to apply it to real learning opportunities you are designing for your learners right now.
About Our Work Together
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is at the heart of this learning series. UDL asks us to do a few things, and we’re asking you to do the same as you navigate these modules and participate in the synchronous courses:
- Engage fully and stretch yourself. Being a teacher means doing the emotional work and the heavy lifting of daily teaching, and that can be exhausting. High-quality professional learning can put fuel in your tank, inspire you when you feel least inspired, and boost your self-efficacy as you gain practical approaches to reach all learners.
- Think in terms of possibility. Sometimes education conditions us to think in terms of impossibility…there’s not enough room, not enough time, not enough money, not enough support, etc. We’re asking you to think in terms of possibility. If you want to learn something or try something, nothing is off the table. In the world of design, the recurring mantra is, “Fail early and fail often.”
- Connect and ideate with others. After you complete the asynchronous modules, come to the synchronous sessions with ideas…things you’d like to try, lessons you’d like to revamp, questions, epiphanies, something that worked in one lesson that you’d like to generalize and use in lots of lessons. Think about what you’d most like to work on and go after it fully.
Our Goals for Your Learners and for You
The ultimate goal of UDL is to create expert learners, and our hope is that this professional learning series will help you design opportunities for all of your learners to become just that. The UDL framework defines expert learners as…
- Purposeful & Motivated–Learners who are excited to learn new things, who are driven by the learning itself, and who know how to self regulate and stick with learning even when it gets hard.
- Knowledgeable & Resourceful–Learners who know what they know and what they don’t know, who are able to connect new learning to prior knowledge and see how they would use it in other contexts, and who are fully aware of the resources that can most help them reach their learning goals.
- Strategic & Goal Directed–Learners who can formulate plans for learning, who can choose learning strategies that work for them, who can set challenging learning goals for themselves, who can manage multiple tools and resources to get the job done, and who can monitor their own progress.
Throughout this learning series, our aim is to create a community of learners who are, themselves, expert learners. We are excited about these learning opportunities, and we hope you are too!