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Friday – Grad Students, Virtual Access and Technology

Grad students, Virtual Access and Technology

While instructors, faculties and campuses are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of technology to widen access for all, many still feel that this is not immediately relevant in the case of graduate students.

Classes are small; there are rarely exams and many see supervision as structured more around the dynamics of a relationship than the issues of access.

We wanted to take time on this, last day of our Disability Awareness Week, to debunk this myth and remind practitioners that there are many possible barriers in the graduate experience and that technology, once again, has the potential to remove these and to widen access.

Listen to this video where graduate students at the University of Michigan discuss their needs relating to Access.

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UDL and the Graduate School Experience

Tools such as Skype and document sharing software are a great way to enhance access at graduate level.  Academia.edu is a great example too of an IT platform being used by supervisors to offer students multiple means of engagement with their work, by allowing them to showcase their research & create networks in a real world dimension.  The three principles of UDL are multiple means of representation, expression and engagement.  Examine how many of today’s technological tools can fulfill this mandate in the interaction between a supervisor and a student.

As a conclusion to the week, we would like to share with you our newly released video about Universal Design for Learning and the graduate experience.  We hope it will encourage you to keep in mind the growing role of technology in inclusive practices with graduate students.

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