Literacy Mashups: Great for Special Ed

K12 Online Conference Presentation: Free Tools for Universal Design for Learning in Literacy by Jennifer Kraft


Jennifer started her presentation by discussing student examples. These student struggle with reading and as a result find everything else difficult and frustrating, and sometimes aren’t able to participate in the same activities as their classmates.

She then discussed way to use technology to support literacy. (Used Glogster in her presentation.)

These tools could be combined to create Literacy Mashups.

Documents/Books Read Aloud

Notes Taken and Kept in one Place

Concept Mapping Read Aloud

Universal Design for Learning requires:

  • Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge (text to speech, ability to access textbook and reading for enjoyment)
  • Multiple means of action and expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know (speech to text, concept mapping, and researching)
  • Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners’ interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation (use tools to present information in various ways to engage them)

URLs of session and further resources:

I am familiar with several of these tools. But the way in which Jennifer combined them to meet the needs of students and apply universal design for learning principals is insightful.

I recommend that our special education teachers view this presentation and investigate the suggested tools. I’ve just installed the Meriam Webster Firefox tool that adds this dictionary as a search choice in my Firefox search box.  Having watched the quick introduction video at Evernote, I want to create an account and try this out. I want to investigate the Adobe reader text to speech feature. For my personal use, I may install the FireFox Click Speak Add on. In the evenings when I find time to catch up on the feeds in my reader, my eyes are often tired. I would like to be able to just listen to the articles.


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