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Sep 1, 2023

Tips to Support Each 'Universal Design for Learning' Pillar with Video

Screencastify Squad

As educators, we are constantly thinking up more ways to reach all of our students on their various paths to mastery. One framework called Universal Design for Learning encourages us to design learning experiences that take into account all the differences of our learners. 

Specifically, the framework encourages us to be thoughtful in our approaches to the following:

  • Engagement: Students are motivated by different things – we should provide a number of options for learning activities 
  • Representation: Students each learn differently, so we should vary the ways in which we actually present the information
  • Action & Expression: Students can demonstrate what they have learned in a variety of different ways, so we can provide multiple options for assessment

Video as a tool for Universal Design for Learning classrooms

There’s no one answer or singular tool for building a strong classroom using the UDL framework, but video can certainly be valuable for each of the three pillars. Provide students with the option to learn via video, explore multiple strategies in multiple videos, and even allow students to use video themselves to show what they know! Read on for more on how video can support the UDL framework and listen below to see how to let students take control of their learning. ⬇️

Engagement: Student choice with video

Video is an awesome way to build in student choice and give students ownership of their learning.

Instructional videos as an option 💻

With video as an option alongside written work and hands on activities, students can engage with instructional material at their own pace and in their own way. They can pause, skip, and restart videos as many times as they like, building real confidence in their understanding of the content.

With Screencastify for example, you can create videos using the browser tab or desktop settings to record your screen and the webcam setting to capture yourself on camera—read a book, give a live demonstration, you name it. (Bonus: use Screencastify’s embed webcam option to record your screen AND your webcam!)

Whether you are using choice boards, classroom stations, or most any other teaching model, you can find fun ways to share your instructional videos as an option for homework or class work or both. You can even organize your videos into playlists to create an entirely self-paced experience for your students.

Related: These are the 11 best EdTech tools to enhance your classroom

Representation: Teaching with video

Get creative with the videos you are creating for your students, even if you’d consider yourself a newbie. 

Whether you have made a ton of videos or are just getting started with video as an instructional tool, Screencastify makes it easy for you to create dynamic and engaging videos that allow students multiple points of entry. 

Use title cards to build in a variety of activities 🙋

In the Screencastify Editor, you can add title cards to your videos to create built in think time or work time for your students.

Simply select “add title card” and you will be given a blank screen where you can add whatever text you like. Here, you can choose to provide a variety of activity types for students. For example, ask students to write an answer in their notebook, discuss with a partner, or draw a picture on a graphic organizer. 

Once you make these changes, you can save your new video to Screencastify or your computer. You will still have your original recording, though, so you can always re-use videos or create different versions depending on the needs of your students. 

Using video and audio 🎧

Remember, Screencastify doesn’t just capture video. You can use the microphone and tab audio settings to also include audio in your recordings. You can even download just the audio of your recordings and use them in your classroom. 

Meet the needs of all of your learners by being strategic about what you include in your recordings. Capture demonstrations on screen, repeat important information verbally, or display steps in a process on screen using the text option in the editor. 

Action & Expression: Student video assessments

Student video creation can be an illuminating tool for educators — like a backstage pass into student thinking. 

Video assessments with Submit📱

Create assignments using Screencastify Submit and automatically collect student videos on your Google Drive. 

Regardless of what subject you teach, you can provide students with the option to demonstrate their learning through video. Students can talk through their thinking with a screen recording, complete a demonstration with a webcam recording, or show what they know with both. 

For an added element of collaboration, you can adjust the settings on your assignment and allow students to access each other’s videos. Create an online debate, digital discussion board, or virtual gallery walk for your class. 

Presentations with video 🎥

Student presentations can provide opportunities for creativity and expression that are absent in a written assignment. Even for students that lack skills and confidence in public speaking, video is a great option. 

Students can create presentations using software of their choosing (Google Slides, PowerPoint, Canva, etc); they can add text, video and audio elements. Then, students can use Screencastify to record a video of themselves talking through the presentation. They can pause their recording or restart it as many times as they please and even record in smaller chunks and splice them together on Screencastify Edit. 

Universal Design for Learning with Screencastify 

If you’re using the UDL framework, or any other that encourages differentiation and student choice, using video to clone yourself can make your job way easier. Try it out and let us know how you used it!

Screencastify Squad

Helping educators accomplish more, create visible success and inspire new ways of teaching.