Diverse Learning & Engagement via Digital Learning Games
Mary works hard to provide appropriate services to her 2nd graders in an inclusion general education classroom. She spends most of her lesson planning modifying material and developing personalized resources for specific students. Looking out at her students, she wonders how she can meet the needs of ALL students and help them achieve their academic goals.
Mary’s predicament is all too common. All of her students have diverse needs, abilities and preferences. Neither their strengths nor weaknesses are always obvious. Yet the typical curriculum, usually centered on printed materials, is designed for a homogenous group of students and is not applicable to meet different learner needs. The real challenge for educators is to provide learning opportunities in the general education curriculum that are inclusive and effective for all students.
Universal Design for Learning (or UDL) facilitates the design and implementation of a flexible, responsive curriculum, and offers options for how information is presented, how students respond or demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and how students are engaged in learning. UDL implementation provides equal opportunity for diverse learning, for all students to access, participate in and progress in the general-education curriculum by reducing barriers to instruction.
One way to integrate universal design principles into your classroom is to provide learners with multiple means of REPRESENTATION. This particular UDL dimension offers learners diverse ways to perceive and comprehend information. Learning is most effective when it is multimodal wherein students benefit from having multiple means of accessing and interacting with material and demonstrating their knowledge through evaluation.
What if we could have a suite of engaging learning games that could promote academic, cognitive and social-emotional learning goals via Multiple Means of Representation?
As an example, check out some of the existing games integrated into the Kinems Learning gaming suite:
Do Like: interactive gross motor activities [improve postural control and balance, impact gross and fine motor control, body awareness and balance]; verbal and/or visual instructions [teacher can choose from a variety of specified movements for the child to perform]; avatar gives instructions for child to imitate a demonstrated body movement; teacher determines time for completion [configuring the pace of a physical activity for motor control and postural stability]
Spot On: build-a-word and build-a-sentence activity [promote word recognition and spelling skills, produce complete simple sentences], put letters or words in the correct order to make a word or sentence [strengthen movement skills and spatial awareness strategies]; teachers can select the preferred learning task.
Ponder Up: practice comparisons of numbers and/or quantities; students become a frog avatar and jump to select bubble with correct answer [provide instructions to the student to make movements according to the task]; teacher chooses whether child will be asked to compare only numbers, only quantities or fractions and increase the difficulty level of the exercise.
Kinems offers a wide range of activities that promote children's development of motor skills, enabling them to reach their full potential! When educators utilize our active learning games, they have access to a seamless teaching tool that evaluates and monitors every child’s academic progress in real-time and promotes UDL learning.
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