UDL series: Social Studies

18 May


This post is the fourth of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • BreakoutEDU is an immersive learning experience like an Escape Room experience but set up for the classroom. The experience can be hands-on or digitally interactive whereby groups of students must solve various riddles and find clues to complete or “breakout” of the experience. Teachers can buy Breakout EDU kits and the platform of lessons. There is also a great template for teachers to create their own learning experiences (and students can even create ones too!) Great for any age, any subject area and even for staff. If you really like this type of learning I highly recommend joining the BreakoutEDU Facebook communities as well.
  • Chrome extensions 
    • 1-click-timer
    • Bitmoji – create your own avatar! Drag those images into GDocs as part of your comments on student work. Use them on top of other images/text in a Google Slide. Make a visual story, spruce up an email or grab attention in a newsletter.
    • National Geographic Photo of the Day – have some powerful conversations and or writing prompts with this!
  • Comparisons 
    • Dollar Street: TED Talk, Website – Gapminder visited 264 families in 50 countries and collected 30,000 photos. One can sort the homes by income, from left to right. Watch the TED talk for the introduction.
    • If It Were My Home – use the country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another.
  • RW4GC – Read&Write for Google Chrome has a variety of tools – text to speech, talk&type, dictionaries, highlighters, PDF reader, website reader, vocabulary list builder, etc. A subscription is required.
  • Rubrics
  • YouTube Playlists – curate a collection of YouTube video clips for students to watch and replay whenever they need.

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.


  • Book Creator – this infamous book creation tool for iOS is available in Chrome. Free teacher account has 40 books in the library that can be used. Students can add text, images, audio, and video. A fantastic way to showcase student learning.
  • Google MyMaps – Examples
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Big Huge Labs – create motivational posters, magazine covers, pop art, etc.
  • Civic Mirror simulation – great to have students see the results of their actions in an economy. Also nice for CALM for financial literacy.
  • GSuite – opportunities to use a Science template for experiments, writing prompts, collaborations, data collection via Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
  • Historical Fakebook Template
  • Videoconferencing – opportunities to connect with other schools, experts, and events.
    • Mystery Skype – become a member of the Microsoft community for free and then have access to Skype programs.
    • Global Encounters is an international student video conference program, offered through a partnership between the Centre for Global Education (CGE) and TakingITGlobal (TIG). We’ve hosted dozens of events on critical global issues such as child soldiers and armed conflict, women’s rights, mental health, climate change and many more.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: