UDL for math

Posted on September 9, 2018


I just finished a four-week course with LINCS (adult ed community):  Universal Design for Learning –math.

I’d thought that the biggest best thing is the book on UDL — but  I was only on page 21 of it.   The videos and stories of folks “in the trenches” are informative and inspiring.   I like the design that means I can skim the text of a page … but there are also links to videos, etc.   that sometimes go more deeply into a topic.   (I don’t like as much how … I don’t know… gentrified it feels.)

THe examples so so often show how much of a difference making things visual and concrete can be, including some where no, visual wasn’t enough — had to make stuff w/ construction paper and move it around (it was different kinds of cells)

Page 23 is about developing an “expert learning environment or system.”  It includes post-secondary (“the library, the bursar’s office, and the athletic department can demonstrate ways of growing and becoming smarter — using feedback from many stake holders to adjust performance and to improve efficiencies…”)  — I can tell you that colleges should be doing better, math-wise.

… but it’s time to skim it and see if it goes into math… It  does! It does!   It’s about a thing called iSolveIt and yea, it says

Success in algebra has been linked to success in postsecondary education and the workforce.16 Yet efforts to improve algebra performance have been largely unsuccessful. Algebra courses have been described as “an unmitigated disaster for most students” by the National Research Council (1998) and more recently as class that can make students math-aversive  (Russell M. Gersten as cited in Cavanagh, 2008). Most programs focus on describing and calculating, not on the underlying thinking that is essential to truly understanding and applying algebra.17

The “end notes” say a few more things.  Except, speaking of gentrified…. it’s about a thing called iSolveIt and of course the puzzles are “currently available for the iPad.”   Oh.   Thanks for nothing.

Why can’t these folks talk to the people at PhET?  Why can’t this be done in a way so that others can participate?

… the “more recent” citations are also from 2008, so … it’s not a new and up and coming thing, either.   Movin’ on…

Posted in: rant