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Administrators' Digest

January 2018 (Vol. 9, No.1)

How to Use Universal Design to Create Inclusive Classrooms

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principals for curriculum development that aims to provide all students an equal opportunity to learn. It can be used by educators at any grade level or subject area.

According to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning, “UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone—not a single, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.”

Here are five ways UDL can be leveraged to create an inclusive classroom:

  1. Use Varied Strategies to Present Content

    The first principle of UDL invites teachers to use “multiple means of representation

  2. Invite Students to Show What They Know in Varied Ways

    As the second principle of UDL calls teachers to use “multiple means of action and expression,” we ask, “How do you allow students to show understanding?”

  3. Motivate Students By Getting to Know What They Care About

    The third principle of UDL encourages teacher to use “multiple means of engagement” which can require some creativity and genuine connection to students.

  4. Reflect Diversity in Teachings

    No matter how homogeneous or diverse a classroom may be, every student benefits when inclusion and diversity is a priority.

  5. Support Fellow Teachers in Addressing Social Justice Issues

Grappling with issues such as bias, inequality, conflict and social justice can be difficult for teachers. Connecting with other teachers about ways to address concerns can help us navigate the topics within our communities.

Source: eSchool News

Report: Internet of Things (IoT) to Tip 41 Trillion by 2020

The “Internet of Things” refers to the increasing number of Internet-connected devices with Wi-Fi capabilities and built-in sensors. Connected items can include anything that has an on and off switch: cellphones, coffee makers, headphones, lighting fixtures, washing machines, personal wearable devices and machine components. The IoT is a giant network of connected “things” than communicate with each other.

Global spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow 14.6 percent in 2018, according to a new forecast from International Data Corp. (IDC), to hit $772.5 billion. The category will more or less maintain that upward trajectory throughout the prediction period, averaging a 14.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2021 and tipping the trillion-dollar mark in 2020.

Hardware will lead the way among technology categories in IoT spending in 2018, accounting for $239 billion "going largely toward modules and sensors along with some spending on infrastructure and security," according to a news release. Services will follow hardware for the year and spending on software and connectivity will come in third.


Getting Started with Video Coaching

By Adam Geller

Video coaching is no longer a professional development buzzword or novelty, in part because of the accessibility of devices in today’s world makes it a convenient choice for educators looking to improve their practice. Today all it takes is a smartphone with a high-quality camera to get started.

In South Dakota, a state-wide mentorship network  is taking shape, which pairs experienced teachers with those in their first year. Using the network, veteran teachers like Crystal McMachen serve as virtual mentors to those like newcomer Stacy Cope, who works in a school with only two other math teachers. Their collaborative learning is powered by the video evidence of their own classrooms.

During an instructional coaching cycle, teachers can use any device to easily record, upload and share videos of their classroom practices with their peers or coaches. Teachers can self-reflect on these videos, receive feedback on their instructional practices, engage in dialogue with colleagues, set goals for improvement and more.


Jobs of the Future will Focus on Intellectual Capitalism

“The jobs of the future will be those that focus on intellectual capitalism, not commodity capitalism,” said Futurist, Physicist and Bestselling Author Michio Kaku during the recent 2017 EDUCAUSE conference  keynote, held in Philadelphia, PA.

This was the big reveal to the thousands of EDUCAUSE attendees ranging from college and university faculty to CIOs, and from some of the world’s leading tech companies to some of the country’s most prominent higher ed provosts and presidents—all anxiously awaiting what the crystal ball of the postsecondary future had to say through Kaku’s educated guess.

The Good News

Kaku began his keynote by addressing what he says is the number one question he’s asked about higher education: ‘Is it worth it?’

“I’m happy to tell this crowd that the numbers show that of the 30 percent of the population that has a college degree, those 30 percent also have the white-collar jobs with livable salaries.” So society as it stands today still values the college degree, he explained.

But…the way of things is changing, mainly due to affordability issues and the rapidly shifting economy. And if colleges and universities want to survive this adaptation, the skills today’s students are required to learn must begin adapting as well.

Read the rest of the article at:


“In the future, where knowledge is everywhere and accessed instantaneously, and where robotics and AI can perform a variety of functions once held by humans, intellectual capital will be valued over commodity capital,” Kaku explained. “In other words, the ability to reason, to think outside-the-box, and to be creative will be the skills most valued.” Michio Kaku
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.