Universal Design for Learning

UDL clearing a path

Universal Design for Learning. What is it? It is a framework that every student succeeds. It starts with providing students multiple means of expression, representation, and action.  Widening our doors to how students learn and how they present their knowledge to us.  

How is this different from Differentiated Instruction?  The difference is the initial planning of the curriculum itself.  In Differentiated Instruction, curriculum is taken and modified based on the unique needs of the students.  In Universal Design for Learning, curriculum is developed thinking of a variety of students needs, so that modifications are not needed.
Think of it as curriculum being a sidewalk.  Differentiated Instruction is creating a curb cut after the sidewalk has been completed, while Universal Design for Learning is creating the curb cut as a part of the sidewalk being completed.
For more information in regards to Universal Design for Learning, Differentiated Instruction, the similiarities and differences, see these websites:
CAST: http://www.cast.org/
UDL Toolkit, a great place to go for resources of all kindshttp://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/