Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the Role of Accessible Technology

October 19, 2016

What is Universal Design for Learning? 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) encompasses three brain networks, providing insight and strategies to allow all students the opportunity to access academic curriculum. The three brain networks are as follows:

  • Recognition Network: The WHAT of learning. This relates to the need to present material in multiple formats. With differing representations of information, students are more likely to understand what they learn. Teachers should consider delivering material in ways that appeal to different learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic).
  • Strategic Network: The HOW of learning. For many students, expressing what they know can be a challenge. Students may have difficulty with oral or written expression and/or word retrieval. Difficulty in any of these areas may result in a limited ability to adequately demonstrate their knowledge through a specific means. Therefore, it is important to provide students with a variety of options for showcasing their understanding of the given material.
  • Affective Network: The WHY of learning. Keeping in mind the three different learning styles, as well as the prevalence of comorbid diagnoses like ADHD, it is important that teachers develop lessons that engage and stimulate all types of learners.

What is the Role of Technology?

The role of technology in education is a widely discussed and debated topic. Among the many questions facing educators is the efficacy of technology as a tool in the classroom. While “assistive technology” portrays the idea that technology is acting as an assistant, the term “accessible technology” more adequately conveys the representation that technology can allow students access to the curriculum with which they would be otherwise unable to engage. Under the principle of UDL, technology is another viable option for providing students with a means to access the curriculum. Over the course of this year’s publications, we will explore a variety of accessible technologies, as well as the research behind the appropriateness of technology in the classroom.

How Does This Connect To Landmark’s Teaching Principles™?

By following the principles of UDL teachers will inherently adhere to Landmark’s first teaching principle: Provide Opportunities for Success. For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Provide Opportunities for Success” click here.


Strategies to Download

Guidelines for UDL application in the classroom


Summary of research about technology in the classroom


Research References


Let us know what you think! Email to share your thoughts and strategies.

Support Your Students with SLD

Receive free teaching resources, information about professional development opportunities, and alerts about promotions

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Check Out Our Blog

A Blog for Busy Teachers

Learn about our new updated blog format that will combine our monthly newsletter and Free Teaching Strategies into one resource!