4b.   Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility 

Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an  evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional 
practices.  Specifically, teachers address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.


In their book Teaching and Learning with Technology, authors Judy Lever-Duffy and Jean B. McDonald discuss the “Universal Design for Learning” (UDL) created at the Center for applied Special Technology (CAST) to be used in the teaching/learning process. They write,

“Universal Design for Learning (UDL) addresses curriculum and instructional strategies so that they are focused on supporting all learners. UDL suggests that instruction be offered in multiple formats and that it address the three primary systems that make up learning: (a) recognition systems that identify patterns and objects, (b) strategic systems that tell us how to do things, and (c) affective systems that determine wht is important and provide the motivation for learning” (Meyer and Rose, 2000)

According to UDL, instruction should include a variety of multimedia experiences, tools, and strategies that ar designed to target these systems. CAST note that UDL calls for:

  • Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
  • Multiple means of action and expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and
  • Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.

Undergirding this design model is recent research in neuroscience that shows that each brain processes information differently. Lever-Duffy and McDonald write, “The way we learn is as individual as DNA or fingerprints. In its research, CAST has identified three primary brain networks and the roles they play in learning”

  • Recognition networks -- Gathering facts. How we identify and categorize what we see, hear, and read. Identifying letters, words, or an author's style are recognition tasks—the "what" of learning.
  • Strategic networks -- Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas. Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks—the "how" of learning.
  • Affective networks -- How students are engaged and motivated. How they are challenged, excited, or interested. These are affective dimensions—the "why" of learning.

UDL principles are purported to “help educators customize their teaching for individual differences in each of these three brain networks.”

The CAST research parallels my research on brain synchronization. In the CAST paradigm, the Recognition Networks coincide with the perceiving back part of the brain were visual (occipital lobe), auditory (temporal lobe), and kinesthetic (parietal lobe) receptors are located.
The Strategic Networks coincide with the frontal lobe cortex where cognitive processes are conducted (i.e. metaphoric (right brain) and logical (left brain) thinking). The Affective Networks coincide with the reptilian limbic region of the brain which is the seat of emotions and the root of affective domain. CAST research also include regulatory functions in this network.

The one region of the brain that the CAST networks do not seem to address explicitly is the work of the prefrontal “cells of will.” It is this part of the brain that is important in volition/conation. It is my contention that that the prefrontal lobe gives us the ability to set goals and fantasize goal attainment for future selves. It also has the regulatory function of helping all the other regions of the brain function properly when brought into synchronization. The environment that I am trying to create in my Web 2.0 enhanced “distributed-learning communities” will, also, address the important volitional aspects of learning.

In the online class I am designing, I will be using a variety of digital media to provide students with “multiple alternative” to representing, expressing and engaging in their work. It will be possible, therefore, to customize teaching and learning to suit the diverse needs of students I teach.

Using UDL Guidelines, I have attempted to analyze the curriculum and pedagogical strategies planned for the online version of my course. In this analysis I have found that I will be able to address he diverse needs of all learners when aided by Web 2.0 tools and anywhere, anytime, any place learning conditions. I, therefore, am submitting the “completed” UDL Guideline/Checklist as evidence that I have addressed all aspects of these Guidelines thus insuring that the needs of all my students will be met. l

Click here to see Universal Design for Learning (UDL) completed Guidelines/Checklist.

Check here to see Rationale for Artifacts for this Standard.