What is the difference between UDL and differentiation?

        UDL is a theoretical framework that focuses on supporting all learners through curriculum and instructional strategies. According to the UDL principle, instruction in the classroom should include a variety of multimedia experiences, tools, and strategies that are designed to target three primary systems that make up learning. UDL offers clear guidelines for the design of instruction so all learners could be successful. “UDL principles help teachers stay mindful of diversity and adjust their instructional efforts to truly serve each student (Technology for Diverse Learners, pg. 25).” Differentiation is the technique teachers’ use in their classroom, to tailor the curriculum goals and teaching strategies to the individual strengths and challenges of their students. To differentiate instruction is to recognize that students come from various backgrounds and cultures and it is important for teachers to take that in consideration when making his/her lesson plans. To accommodate the diverse learners in the classroom, teachers have to differentiate content, process, product, affect, and the learning environment. “They use varied curricula and instructional arrangements, strategies, resources, materials, and technology to address their students’ individual learning strengths and challenges, preferences, and styles, as well as their developmental levels, interests, and experiential, cultural, and language backgrounds (Technology for Diverse Learners, pg. 60-61).” The differentiated instruction practices includes UDL in the process.


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