I teach a spreadsheets class online to adult learners who are members of a large labor union. They are rising leaders in their locals, but have faced many barriers for multiple reasons. Almost all of them are women of color, and most never had the opportunity to further their education past high school. For some, English is not their first language, and I have one student who was forced to leave school after the first grade to help care for her siblings. This is my third semester teaching the class, and what I quickly learned is that I’m not just teaching them how spreadsheets can help them professionally; I’m also teaching them how to become expert learners. The skills outlined in the graphic below include much of what I have been focusing on during instruction. UDL is crucial for our students to become expert learners so that when they become adults, they can learn something new. Their teachers will no longer be by their side supporting and guiding them.
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