Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Universal Design for Learning tip: How to screencast reading accommodations and scaffold reading strategies with screencast-o-matic

Screencasting is a great way to make test reading accommodations more visual and engaging. Screencasting can also be an effective way of scaffolding a reading assignment by previewing the text, demonstrating a reading strategy, and modeling how good readers attack a challenging text. 

My favorite free tool for screencasting is http://screencast-o-matic.com/. With just a few clicks you'll be recording your voice, your cursor movements, and all the action on your computer screen. 

Unlike verbal reading accommodations, I've noticed that students are more engaged by the screencast recordings and tend to pause and review the recordings more than they would ask me to repeat myself. The recordings also provide students greater autonomy over the pace of the reading. 

In my old school we even started providing screencast and audio recordings as an option for all students. It became a universal support, destigmatized the accomodation, and became an embedded practice for supporting all instruction, not just assessments.

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