10 Tips for Supporting Virtual Professional Learning Communities

10 Tips for Supporting Virtual Professional Learning Communities

By Magdelena Ganias and Katie Novak Over the last several years most districts across the country have taken small steps towards incorporating technology into professional practice. District and school leadership teams have discussed options to meet the needs of professionals who are juggling both professional and personal responsibilities. Professional learning, including Twitter chats, online graduate courses, and Facebook book groups have become popular alternatives to “sit-and-get” professional development (PD) options. Although these options have been valuable to many educators, they were often not the norm, as faculty meetings, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and professional development workshops were still held largely

Innovate Inside the Box and the Profile of a Graduate

Innovate Inside the Box and the Profile of a Graduate

Today I had the opportunity to work with an amazing administrative team in the Del Norte School District on the northern coast in California. We were discussing the best entry points to teach high school staff about the importance of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and providing all students with opportunities to become expert learners.  We had an a-ha moment (think – fireworks in the brain!) and decided that a great place to start is the profile of a graduate. Sometimes called a portrait of a graduate or a vision of a graduate, “a graduate profile is a document that

The Danger of Erasing Disability

The Danger of Erasing Disability

A contribution from the brilliant Dr. Eric Moore. Moore is the Universal Design for Learning  & Accessibility Specialist + Instructional Designer at the University of Tennessee as well as a practicing educational consultant and author of UDL Navigators in Higher Education: A Field Guide. Contact him directly at DREJMOORE@INNOSPIRE.ORG *** “Come the glorious day when all barriers went… y’know…. We’d just be people with impairments; we wouldn’t be disabled people anymore.” ~Laurence Clark When I was a middle school kid in the early stages of going deaf, I didn’t understand all of the cultural baggage and philosophical context associated with

Growing, Changing, and Deepening Thinking About Disability

Growing, Changing, and Deepening Thinking About Disability

Recently, I shared a blog, “My Struggle with the Word “Disabled” and asked for others to share their perspectives. I am floored by the response. It is my goal, with permission, to elevate and celebrate the stories that have been shared with me. In this third installment in this series, I’m happy to share the perspective of Amy Boyden, an educator, a Momma, and an advocate for all students and UDL. I am chiming in because I found myself thinking about disability in a slightly different way this week.  I was looking over a page of my own blog, a page

Shifting From Power to Empowerment

Shifting From Power to Empowerment

Recently, I shared a blog, “My Struggle with the Word “Disabled” and asked for others to share their perspectives. I am floored by the response. It is my goal, with permission, to elevate and celebrate the stories that have been shared with me. In this second installment in this series, Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles shares her thoughts on disability. Hillary is an Assistive Technology Specialist with 20 years of experience, an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of New England, and the brilliant author of One Size Does Not Fit All: Equity, Access, PD, and UDL. Perhaps we do not want to