I first started work as a special education consultant to schools 20 years ago, before Unique Learning System® was developed. I routinely asked audiences I was training about their curriculum and how state standards were made accessible to students. Many would say that the curriculum was the IEP. However, the IEP can’t be a scope and sequence of everything the student needs to learn. Some would say that the general education standards were the curriculum but had difficulty specifying how they were adapted. Many said they didn’t have a curriculum at all.
Things have changed a lot in the last 20 years. Teachers are more aware of their obligation to address the general education standards and to provide access to them. Districts are more aware that they need to provide specially designed instruction for each student. Part of my work with school districts as a consultant is to develop systems and programs that support their mission while making classrooms workable and functional for teachers and students.
The answer to many of the challenges teachers were facing became clear when I experienced Unique Learning System for the first time. It provides research-based content while offering automated planning, standards alignment, differentiated instruction, and reporting. Unique Learning System is especially helpful now because both teachers and students can log in from wherever they are, whether a traditional classroom or a remote learning location.
Unique Learning System has already helped many teachers across the country! Here are 7 reasons why I recommend it:
1. It’s research based and appropriate for all ages while meeting the developmental needs of all levels
This is one of the first things that attracted me to Unique Learning System. The fact that teachers can easily deliver differentiated activities and lessons really ensures that their students’ needs are met and meaningful progress occurs each day. I consult with teachers who work with learners from kindergarten all the way to adulthood. Finding age-appropriate and engaging content that meets the needs of each one is tough. With Unique Learning System, all students receive dynamic lessons that fit both criteria. It saves teachers from having to take the time to rewrite lessons on various levels, as this is already done for them!
2. It’s tied to the general education standards
Most special education classrooms serving students with disabilities don’t have just one type of student. Instead, they have students on many different levels, and often of many different ages. Trying to adapt all the standards needed for different grade levels into meaningful activities takes significant time away from teaching. Unique Learning System provides differentiated lesson materials and standards alignments so that teachers can focus on their students during valuable learning time. Teachers love reclaiming time to spend with them!
In addition, Unique Learning System provides flexible delivery options and the ability to look at data, which is automatically collected. Using its powerful tools, teachers can easily set up class schedules, automate lesson planning and progress monitoring, and access standards alignment. Since the lessons are already aligned to state standards, that is one less thing to worry about when administrators ask to see it!
3. It includes visuals that allow teachers to support a variety of students
This is another huge benefit because I know how much time it takes teachers to create all the visuals needed for specific activities. I’ve even worked with districts where the administrators tried to address this need by designating staff to just produce visual supports for teachers. Unique Learning System has the visuals built into the lessons so that teachers don’t need to spend their time creating new materials or trying to adapt existing activities.
Students stay connected and learning with high-interest content such as interactive online tasks, hands-on activities, experiments, and crafts. They also have multiple ways to interact with content, including text to speech, drag and drop, auditory-visual cues, and more. There is even a marker tool that writes and highlights right on the text! This variety of visuals and tools helps meet the needs of all learners.
4. The Goals, Preferences, and Skills assessment hub allows for ongoing progress monitoring
I love data and am a firm believer that teachers must use their data not only to monitor student progress and adjust their lessons but also to get credit for what they are teaching. Collecting it isn’t enough. The data should be used to make decisions about how skills are taught. The progress monitoring component of Unique Learning System is called GPS, which stands for Goals, Preferences, and Skills. GPS saves students’ progress through profiles, benchmark assessments, and monthly checkpoints. Teacher reports can easily be used to ensure students are on track to meet their goals. This helps them see how a student is performing, regardless of setting. As you may know, I am big on saving time, and having assessments already written is another huge time saver!
5. Administrators have access to provide teacher training and support
Trying to monitor classrooms and all of their students is a difficult job for administrators. They are often asked to oversee and monitor classrooms throughout many buildings, staff hired by many different principals, and students with many different needs. The administrator portal allows schools to manage faculty, monitor progress, and oversee implementation. All information is gathered in one place and can be accessed from anywhere. This gives administrators the appropriate tools to train teams and support the success of those using Unique Learning System throughout the district.
6. n2y keeps growing as education changes
When Unique Learning System first became available, materials had to be printed. It offered few computer supports, and you had to get creative to use it on a whiteboard. Fast forward to today, and all educators and service providers help connect with students through an interactive Student View wherever they learn—from self-contained and inclusive general education classrooms to resource room, therapeutic, or remote learning settings. This not only saves time, but it provides different modalities to ensure the students learn and remain engaged. Feedback from customers has helped n2y develop new strategies to meet the changing needs of unique learners and their teachers. And regular Live@n2y webinars are great for learning new ways to use Unique Learning System, too!
7. The price is great for the materials provided and the time it saves teachers!
I’m amazed at how much value Unique Learning System fits into one solution, offered at a classroom subscription rate (up to 15 students) instead of a per-student cost. When I think about everything that is included—differentiated lessons aligned to standards, assessments, enrichment activities, home access, administrator tools, and more—and the amount of development work that goes into creating up to 30 lessons per month, I’m convinced Unique Learning System is a wonderful gift.
I hope my insights into how Unique Learning System enhances teaching in so many ways, especially by lightening the load on educators and freeing them to spend more time with their students, are helpful for anyone interested in exploring new options for instruction.
See how your students can realize their full potential when you take advantage of Unique Learning System’s interactive lessons and activities.Watch Webinar