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Learn about UDL > Flexible Digital Technology

What is flexible digital technology?

Universal Design for Learning promotes flexibility in curriculum by providing (a) multiple representations of information, (b) multiple pathways for expression, and (c) multiple opportunities for engagement. Unfortunately, many classrooms today continue to utilize one medium - the printed textbook. This fixed medium does not provide the flexibility that is needs for many diverse learners.

Digital media can help to overcome the limitations of traditional text-based instructional formats. Flexibility is inherent in the way digital formats are stored and retrieved.

Unlike a print book that can only display text and print, digital media can display text, still and/or moving images, sound, text on video, video in text, and more. In addition, digital media can be displayed in multiple ways. For example, sound can be loud and soft; text can be large or small; text can be transformed into speech; and speech can be transformed into text. These are just a few possibilities of the ways that digital media can be transformed to meet the individual needs and preferences of a student.

Digital media can also be marked. That is, a teacher may bold key terms, highlight key points to be learned, or underline topic sentences. This same content information can be marked in different ways for different students, and it can be un-marked and re-marked to suit the needs of other student. Students can copy/paste and otherwise manipulate text.