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The Future Directions of UDL

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework designed by CAST - guiding the design of learning experiences to actively meet the needs of all learners and where there are barriers to learning, it is due to the design of the environment, not the learner.

UDL was first introduced into learning environments in the 1980's and has since been adopted slowly across the world. Learning environments have seen such a shift over the past few years that it begs the question, "what's next for UDL and how do we see it evolving from here?"

We invited Steve Nordmark, Director of Business Development at CAST and James Basham, Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas and Senior Director for Learning & Innovation at CAST, to find out.

In the episode you'll hear discussions on the future directions of UDL, the UDL-IRN summit and listen to Steve, Joni and James unpack what an ‘expert learner’ really is…

Useful links from the episode:

UDL-IRN Summit (online) March 31 – April 1 ( with on-demand sessions available after April 1, to catch-up on in your own time): summit.udl-irn.org

Texthelp UDL-IRN on-demand session 1: Connecting the Dots Between UDL, DEI & EdTech

Texthelp UDL-IRN on-demand session 2: EquatIO Mathspace: There’s More Than One Way to Solve a Math Problem

Texthelp UDL-IRN on-demand session 3: Leveraging EdTech to Provide Options & Scaffolding for Your Learners

Texthelp UDL-IRN on-demand session 4: Take Your Digital Documents To The Next Level With OrbitNote

CAST UDL Symposium July 27 – 29 (online): bit.ly/cast-symposium-2022

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST: aem.cast.org

You can also hear more from Steve over on Twitter, @snordmark and James @JDBasham.

Transcript

Joni Degner (00:00:09):

Welcome to this episode of Texthelp Talks podcast. We have a panel of experts ranging from education right through the workplace, so make sure you subscribe. So today you're hearing from me, Joni Degner, territory director at Texthelp. And I'm joined by two of our good friends from CAST, Steve Nordmark and Dr. James Basham. And for those of us who have worked with him and known him for a while, he's Jamie Basham.

Joni Degner (00:00:35):

If you're not yet familiar with CAST, CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that created the Universal Design for Learning framework and the UDL guidelines, which are now used all over the world and make learning more accessible and more inclusive in learning environments, again, ranging from the workplace to our K-12 environments and higher ed environments. So we're going to have a chance to talk with Steve and Jamie about those things today.

Joni Degner (00:01:00):

So I want to give these guys a proper introduction. Steve Nordmark is CAST's director of business development. And Steve builds strategic partnerships throughout the global education field to advance the adoption and implementation of Universal Design for Learning. And we're also again, joined by Dr. James Basham, Jamie Basham, the senior director for learning and innovation at CAST. He's also the founder of the UDL-IRN, which is the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network, and we're going to hear a little bit more about UDL-IRN. But Jamie is also a professor in the department of special education at University of Kansas. And we have some people who are out there probably doing the Rockhawk, Jayhawks.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:01:43):

Yeah. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.

Joni Degner (00:01:45):

Okay, sorry. I really probably messed that way up. And Loui Lord Nelson and Stephanie Craig are like, "That's awful, Joni, just pathetic." But we know that they're doing some really fantastic work in Universal Design for Learning and accessibility at the University of Kansas, and Jamie's been a really big part of that. His research has focused on the implementation of UDLs, STEM education, learner-centered design, innovation and technology in human learning. But he is also a principal investigator on a number of federally and privately funded research and technical assistant projects, including the Center for Innovation, Design and Digital Learning, which is called CIDDL, C-I-D-D-L. And again, we're going to have a chance to talk a little bit more about some of these special projects and the passion that these guys bring to these projects and how they're moving UDL implementation forward through projects like these.

Joni Degner (00:02:38):

So today, because these guys have been in this work for a while, but also very much represent the future of UDL, that's going to be the topic of discussion. So looking at the future of UDL. So first I just want to say, Steve and Jamie, really great to have you on Texthelp Talks today. Thank you so much for joining us.

Steve Nordmark (00:02:56):

Glad to be here, Joni.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:02:58):

Yeah, thanks for having us, Joni. We're honored to be here.

Joni Degner (00:03:00):

This is going to be exciting. So one of the things I want to give you guys a chance to do is talk about why you're here together, because it goes far beyond you guys both working for CAST. You guys have actually been doing an awful lot of work together for quite some time, starting back with the UDL-IRN. And so I wanted to give you guys a chance to talk about the history of your work together and what brings you together in this work.

Steve Nordmark (00:03:26):

So this is Steve. I met Jamie when he was actually at the University of Cincinnati as a professor there doing similar work. I worked for a education technology company called Knovation and I was the chief academic officer. We had a colleague who was visiting and brought Jamie up to our offices. Had the chance to meet him, learn more about the exciting things that he was working on. We started writing grants together. We started getting interested in the shared passions that we had and trying to do things, innovative opportunities to help leverage Universal Design for Learning, personalized learning. So we struck up friendship in the education space, gosh, roughly about 2010, somewhere along those ways. And Jamie, you can carry it forward to your move to Kansas.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:04:16):

Yeah. Steve and I have known each other a long time, it seems like, and it gets longer every day. I'm assuming sometimes he wishes he did never meet me. But anyhow, no, I was at the University of Cincinnati and Steve was at Knovation and Knovation was one of the forward-thinking companies that was actually thinking about UDL in their products, kind of like Texthelp is, right? I mean, this thing about how do we take Universal Design for Learning and think about let's move beyond accessibility to think bigger with accessibility being the baseline. And I was just so impressed to be introduced to Steve, and so that got us on the same sort of wavelength. And then we're both Illinois grads. And while they just lost basketball here this weekend in a terrible way-

Steve Nordmark (00:05:04):

Very painful.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:05:06):

It was painful. We're both Illinois grads, so we started talking about that. And then we started moving down this thought process, where Steve brought this industry knowledge mindset to my academic and applied knowledge of how do we implement UDL in schools and supporting teachers in doing that work, and he brought that into play. And so it was just critical as the UDL-IRN was getting going that we brought the industry perspective, and Steve had extreme leadership in that area in fact.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:05:35):

He doesn't pat himself on the back enough, but he's led a lot of work, not only at Knovation, but beyond in SIA and some other organizations to really springboard and bring forth UDL and the work going on, not only in the United States within industry, but also bringing it across the globe. So we started working together and at some point in time in our relationship, Steve said, "Well, I want to leave industry and do this nonprofit work." Midlife crisis, I don't know what it was, but-

Steve Nordmark (00:06:08):

Yeah, I got to the point, Joni, where I said, "I see the path." For me, there are two things that are important, competency-based learning, and Universal Design for Learning. And Jamie had created this fledgling nonprofit. And at the time, I was casually doing it on the side while I was working at Knovation, but it just became more and more about what I was focused on, obsessed with, and interested in.

Steve Nordmark (00:06:38):

So I actually left my job as the CAO, the chief academic officer at Knovation and helped the IRN get its formal nonprofit status, our first planning grant and was working as a consultant in the ed tech space at the time. But that's where my passion was, making sure that competency-based learning and Universal Design for Learning were moving forward.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:07:01):

Yeah. And so that's how we really began working together in a large way because when we moved the IRN from basically a fully volunteer-based nonprofit, which Joni you were involved in, to having a couple employees of which Steve was one and of course McKenzie, who's the lifeblood of the entire organization I think still to this day, Steve was the business brains behind making that all come to be. As an academic, we don't always think in that direction. We think about how do we gather data to answer questions around effectiveness, et cetera.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:07:37):

And my primary work in UDL really began with using UDL as a model for whole school transformative change. And it began right as the guidelines were even coming out, it was even before the guidelines. We started that work before the guidelines. And after seeing how we not only transformed the school, but really the school community using UDL as the foundational framework for developing a UDL-based STEM school that was failing by all accounts until we started working with them, I took it upon myself to say, "Well, gosh, we need this to take over and support schools throughout the nation and throughout the globe, because we really want to produce what we now call as expert learners. But how do we do that?" And that was the thought process going into the IRN.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:08:23):

And we can go into longer stories about that, but the whole premise was one of the things that we learned at that point in time in doing that school transformative change work is that UDL is not about just educators doing something in their classroom. It's not about software companies building software. It's not about just leadership in schools. It's about bringing everyone together under the same big tent, really focused on learner-centered design and focused on how do we support a foundational, transformative change model in education where students or the learners are really at the center and that we design around those things. And in meeting Steve in Cincinnati and doing that work, we were speaking that same sort of path, so it really turned out well for us.

Joni Degner (00:09:11):

It's funny because I think that when you guys start talking about your work together, a lot of that kind of ... Because of the experience I had in getting started at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, which is here at Columbus, Indiana. That's my hometown, my home state. And I was blessed to be part of that organization for over a decade where we were really centered on Universal Design for Learning and looking at it as a model for change.

Joni Degner (00:09:39):

And it's funny, Steve, because I was blessed to move up into different positions and to be pulled into different committees and things like that. And the thing that you said about, that became just what I was obsessed with, I think that once you really start doing that work, it's not a framework, it's not guidelines, it becomes the value system for how you look at learners and how you look at instruction and how you look at the way that we design opportunities and the way that people get to engage with those opportunities and understand the world around them.

Joni Degner (00:10:10):

And the interesting thing is that I've loved that in that work, we started really looking at it from everything we were doing, from the professional learning that we would design right over to the way that we were adopting resources and things like that. And so everything, as you said Jamie, really does come down to, does it make it a better experience for our learners? Does it promote expert learning for our learners? We were evaluating teachers based on their UDL implementation, and so we also were looking at things when we were adopting, does this make it more possible to implement UDL? Does it lend itself to that for our teachers?

Joni Degner (00:10:47):

So I really love what you're talking about because I think that once you do get into some of this work, it really does become the lens through which you perceive everything and critique everything, from the dashboard in your car to your drive-through experience and the homework your kids are working on at the kitchen table and things like that. It just become the lens for everything that you're looking at.

Steve Nordmark (00:11:08):

Yeah, you're so true, Joni. And one of the things that Jamie helped lead and the IRN helped produce was the Critical Elements. And I remember using those, I don't know it was probably 2014, 2015, right after they were authored. I was working on a project as a consultant for a group out in North Carolina that was producing some courses and it was just such a great way of thinking about instructional design, to think about that learning experience design.

Steve Nordmark (00:11:41):

And now it seems more second nature, but at the time it was such a comfortable tool in those Critical Elements to make it more apparent to someone like myself who was used to doing educational product design at that point, but hadn't really thought in that UDL lens in that way that the Critical Elements articulated. But the way it was articulated was just so clear and helpful to anybody.

Steve Nordmark (00:12:06):

So to me, when I think about UDL, I always think about it as the vision for how we want to design increasingly more effective learning experiences. So I like that vision piece, I'm attracted to that. To me, that's really helpful because it's not something that you're going to be like, "All right, I'm there, I'm done." It's that thing in education ... And some people may get frustrated because they'll see it as, well, I want to know that I'm doing it. But for me, it's that vision piece that drives because you're always thinking of that improvement. You're always thinking about how can I continually reduce those barriers. And that's what I love about UDL in particular.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:12:52):

And just to clarify, I don't want to leave him out of this, Jeff Diedrich actually, the other co-founder of the IRN, who's now off doing other things, he's the one that brought the concept of the Critical Elements and some of the early work going on in Michigan in having the Critical Elements and then we advanced to the instructional planning process, et cetera. So I don't want to leave him out of the conversation.

Joni Degner (00:13:13):

So I want to move into this because you guys are already starting to talk about some of these digital components a little bit. The thing that I think is easy to get into is thinking that if you are folks like us working at CAST, you're working at Texthelp, you're having these conversations, it's easy to start thinking that UDL is ubiquitous that, of course everybody knows about this, and of course everybody is practicing it in some measure, but that's not always true. And in fact, we need for it to be more true than the truth that it is right now.

Joni Degner (00:13:55):

The shared experience of a now multi-year global pandemic has certainly had its challenges, but it's also had some significant silver linings where education and the design of learning opportunities are involved. And so can you guys talk a little bit about that Universal Design for Learning and accessibility and the future as you see it? How have we taken steps toward that future over the last couple of years?

Steve Nordmark (00:14:23):

Well, I know for me, in particular, it's, as everyone understands, forced the issue from assuming that there's your classroom. I remember even talking about, within a project that I'm working on right now, doing some research on creating a UDL guide for inclusive practices and I had to specifically remove the word classroom, because it carries such a connotation for all of us being in that physical space.

Steve Nordmark (00:14:48):

And so now we realize ... I mean, it was happening, but just not to the degree ... so much more than ever that learning doesn't have to occur synchronously, learning doesn't have to occur in the same space. Not that it shouldn't, because it should have the flexibility to occur in all those different formats. And that's one of the huge things to Universal Design for Learning was recognizing that it's not about where you are, it's not about when you are, it's about what are those barriers, what are those opportunities that you're trying to address in that learning experience and trying to accommodate.

Steve Nordmark (00:15:23):

I do remember one particular story. Actually, it was before I met Jamie. I did a delegation trip and we were in the Netherlands and they were a very high end school that we were visiting and they were using Skype quite a bit. And one of the reasons that they were using it was because they had one particular learner who had a medical condition that prevented him from attending the school.

Steve Nordmark (00:15:47):

So they embedded in the design of their lessons, already were incorporating the fact that this learner was remote all the time. So it's just thinking about that, not just for the pandemic, but in other reasons why you have to accommodate for different needs of different learners at different times.

Joni Degner (00:16:04):

One thing I want to point out is with regard to UDL before we go on and let Jamie jump in here is that, if you are new to UDL or you've got some toes in the water, but maybe you aren't quite ankle deep yet, one of the things I just want to call attention to is one of the things that Steve just brought up, is this. A lot of times when you hear us talking about Universal Design for Learning, we don't use the term classroom, you'll hear the term learning environment because it is that acknowledgement that learning happens inherently wherever we are.

Joni Degner (00:16:35):

And you'll also hear less language about students and teachers. You'll hear the term learners far more often, and sometimes I have to go back and correct myself. I'll write an article and then go back and say, "Okay, replace students with learners," because I'm still undoing that old terminology. But it really is to acknowledge that learning happens anywhere and it can happen in any space and that everyone is a learner.

Joni Degner (00:17:03):

So not just those enrolled in a K-12 setting or not just those enrolled in postsecondary education, that everyone is a learner, including those people who are designing the learning opportunities, the administrators. Everybody who is connected to learning is a learner. And so we recognize that sometimes somebody takes on the role of the educator and the facilitator of course, but that you quite frequently will hear a shift in language to learning environment, learners and things like that.

Joni Degner (00:17:34):

So I just want to call attention to that because that's the other thing I think that UDL has done is it gives us a nice shared language for accessible and inclusive practices. So Jamie, what would you say about this? What are some of the silver linings that have come out of this situation that we've all been wading through over the last couple of years?

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:17:52):

It is obviously sad that we've gone through this big pandemic and it's taken a pandemic for us to realize that the environments that we're in, that many of our students are in, or the idea that we have students failing, students not succeeding, and it's maybe not due even their abilities, but yet the design of the environment. Or even you brought up design of learning environments, but we may even see the design of learning experiences, the interactions taking place within those environments.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:18:19):

The barriers that are put in place in a normal environment were becoming obvious to many of us, and as founder of UDL, used to talk about the idea that kids with the disabilities are the canaries. They're the ones that are dying first. Variability in itself is in everyone and that there's lots and lots of reasons as to why barriers emerge for people and that this variability isn't dealt with in the current way we design learning environments or learning experiences.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:18:48):

And so I think what the pandemic has provided us as a way, as a silver lining, it's a means to step back and say, "Okay, we have these new variables that are in play, how do we overcome them?" In the very early days of the pandemic, many of us were brought onto calls with different countries, states, provincial governments, and even schools, districts, et cetera, asking for solutions. How do we overcome these issues here? Here's the issues we're dealing with and how do we overcome those?

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:19:18):

And what we quickly learned was that the schools that were further advanced in their UDL implementation, those districts and territories, et cetera, they were able to overcome it quite a bit differently and actually in a more rapid pace than schools that were not. And I think that's a critical thing that we found out in this whole process.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:19:39):

The other piece of it that I think is critical is that UDL is not a single practice. It's not a single practice. It's not something like I said earlier, that teachers are implementing in their classroom, it's something that is inherently baked into the way we think about learning, as Joni you were saying with the work you were doing in Bartholomew. It's a framework that is being implemented at all sides of the educational experience, from the way we make decisions as a leadership team, to the way we maybe acquire new technologies, to the way the teachers are teaching in their classrooms, to the way the principals are leading, to the way that we're doing professional and supporting professional development for our teachers.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:20:20):

All these things are playing out and I think the pandemic's provided us a great way, unfortunately, it's taken the pandemic, but a way for many districts to step back and say, "Oh my gosh, we've maybe been doing this all wrong to begin with from the very beginning and we may need to rethink this." And there's actually an article, and I could share the link out with you when we get offline, Joni, that myself and Jose Blackorby and Matt Marino wrote. We were asked to write about this at the beginning of the onset of the pandemic and how UDL is contributing to that thought. And some of the listeners might like to read some of that, so I can share that out.

Joni Degner (00:20:57):

Yeah, we'd definitely want to make sure that that's available on our show notes. Some of the things that you're talking about, again, go beyond that traditional learners in the classroom, because now you're also talking about the way we make decisions, the way we design professional learning. And what we're talking about is a systems approach to Universal Design for Learning, for whatever institution or opportunities you may be involved in.

Joni Degner (00:21:20):

And when we design our learning environments and our opportunities through Universal Design for Learning framework there are some specific outcomes really that we're looking for, right? And we talk about, again, some of the language associated with Universal Design for Learning, the notion of an expert learner.

Joni Degner (00:21:41):

And so I want to move in to talking about outcomes because when we design with the intentionality, through the UDL framework that you guys have touched on here, there are some pretty specific outcomes that we're looking for, some that are going to be quite unexpected, some things that will certainly happen that maybe we didn't anticipate. But for the most part what we're really looking for is to build systems that promote expert learning. So can you guys talk a little bit about that and how do we ensure that we're getting the outcomes that we're hoping for?

Steve Nordmark (00:22:18):

Jamie's had a lot more experience in this from a systemic ... So he can speak to that. The quick thing that comes to mind is as part of the work that we've been doing over the last few years looking at not just that classroom learning experience, but looking at the entire school system. So the school itself or the school system, as within the school implementation and certification criteria that we've published recently, thinking about the culture and the environment, the teaching and learning, professional learning, the leadership.

Steve Nordmark (00:22:51):

So thinking about all the constituents, the parents, staff, community, and thinking about education from that context. So from an outcome basis, it's thinking about improving the entire system of education, not just that one learning experience that the classroom educator may be focused on for her lessons. So that's the first thing that popped in my mind. Jamie, I don't know what you want to add to that.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:23:22):

Yeah. I think obviously when we implement UDL it's goal driven, right? But we do want these expert learners and if you get into the language of UDL of that we want learners that are motivated or purposeful, that are resourceful and obviously have knowledge, that they're strategic and they're goal directed, the idea that we want learners that take on those qualities, knowing that people are going to come at it in varying degrees and bring their own variability to that.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:23:52):

But one of the things that again, getting into where we are in the contemporary age we're in, a very pluralistic sort of society, we want people that really have a lot of information literacy that understand how things can operate in the modern world and to take on these lifelong learning qualities, and to build that in, actually very purposely into the way we design these learning environments and learning experiences.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:24:20):

And that's not something that we've always encouraged in education. The idea again, that we used to produce people to go out to the workforce, which was generally at the time regional and would go out to this regional workforce. So if you were in a coal mining town or in a manufacturing town, or even in a business community, you would develop students, if you would, to graduate and go out to the workforce, armed services, whatever have you.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:24:46):

In this more globalized society that we're in, that's very information driven, but that has lots of innovations continually all the time, we need people that are thinking differently. We need a workforce that is as comfortable working in Ireland as they are in Kansas, and people that can work in between and then make the adjustments they need to make to their own learning to support that process. And so that's what UDL is really asking.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:25:13):

I think the idea of an outcome brings me as a researcher to measuring though. And that's something that I think we're working through as a UDL community on how to do that. My colleagues and I are really looking at when someone says they're implementing UDL, are they actually implementing UDL? Are they actually implementing something different? And we're getting to that outcome measurement perspective.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:25:35):

And it makes it hard because it's not a practice everyone does. And that's really the way the current education system's set up. It's like, if you want to measure something, you go measure this, quote-unquote, "evidence-based practice." I'm doing these things, and if I do these things, if I do A, B will happen. Well, we've known that that's not necessarily the case. When you do A, sometimes B happens, sometimes C happens, sometimes B kind of happens.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:26:04):

And so when you bring up the word outcome, it brings the academic in me that says, "Well, we not only have to define the outcomes, but we have to define the measurement of implementation," which, that's a harder thing to carry. But we are working down that front now, and we've been working on it for a long time actually in some of the school work we've been doing, systems work.

Joni Degner (00:26:29):

It's funny because when you start talking about implementation, particularly if you were to walk into a learning environment where you do have a facilitator or an educator who's defined an educational experience, some sort of learning experience that you'll have a group of learners working through, that a lot of times when you have somebody advance in their UDL practices, it's hard to see it happening because there's so much shared understanding of what's available in the learning environment that you, a lot of times don't hear explicit conversations about, well, you guys have got access to Read&Write, so don't forget you can use text to speech on ...

Joni Degner (00:27:10):

Because a lot of times what you have is a group of learners who have created a community that's resourceful in itself. So you might not have somebody saying, "Hey, where's the text to speech tool?" Or, "Hey, can we use dictation on this?" Because the understanding is that that's part of the environment, it's always available to you, that a lot of times you won't have kids saying, "Hey, is it okay if we work in a group?" Because the notion is that if you have a question, your peers are a good resource to you. That's a place you can go and ask questions.

Joni Degner (00:27:45):

So you might not have a lot of explicit things happening, but what you get is a lot of learner ownership and autonomy, and they're using different tools and ways that suit them the best, but you might not hear a lot of chatter about it, or see a lot of explicit direction given about it. Which for somebody who I think is not maybe terribly familiar with that learning environment, it's very difficult to walk in and say, "Well, here's the depth of measurement. Here's the UDL dipstick on this part," because it's like, you know what's happening, but you can't reach out and grab it.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:28:24):

Yeah. And I think that's actually one of the pieces, and you pointed it out, that's hard. I think it's hard because it's asking educators to take on a different role, and it's the same thing with leadership. I mean, everyone in education takes on a different role. It moves from a very much an adult-centered or teacher-centered environment to really a learner-centered environment. And it changes the look and feel of the environment to the extent that initially people are quite uncomfortable, but yet in the end of the day that actually produces those outcomes.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:28:58):

And you keep bringing up the explicit notion, and at times, I want to just put a little pin in that to say, at times though, someone will be providing, could actually be providing very explicit understanding like, "Hey, you can use this tool," or, "Hey, let's think about it in this strategy," or even some explicit little instructional moment may be emerging and being used in the classroom. And then other times you have these other kids, or even in the same environment, other kids going off and doing these things because we're really focused on a more learner-centered perspective. So it asks for a much different way of operating than in a traditional environment.

Joni Degner (00:29:41):

And a lot of it is because I think that even if you're not really well versed in Universal Design for Learning that maybe the notion of a barriers and solutions approach does make sense to you, that as the person in charge of a learning opportunity or experience, I look at all of the things that might prevent my learners from accessing materials, from participating in activities, from engaging with their environment, understanding their content and moving forward in their skill level. I'll look at that first and design those solutions up front.

Joni Degner (00:30:19):

And so it really is all about intentionality, and sometimes it's difficult to step in and say what someone's intention is, right? So it's kind of like all of the measurement, really I think in some ways comes from the conversations you have with learners, asking them to talk about their environment, talk about themselves as learners, but also in getting educators to talk about themselves as designers, that here's how I look for barriers and this is how I approach them, and here's when I do that work, and here's how I approach it when there's a barrier I have not yet thought of, that a lot of times I think that the measurement of UDL is sometimes better maybe in conversations with learners and educators.

Steve Nordmark (00:31:11):

Yeah. I'd agree with that. It was interesting when you were talking about it early on, I remember visiting Bartholomew Consolidated. That was one of the challenges was seeing it. That conversation came up in being able to recognize it.

Joni Degner (00:31:25):

And I can remember Steve, when you and other groups of folks would come through, one of the things that I always had the benefit of, because I was a UDL facilitator in those buildings and working with those teachers ... So I did a lot of planning with them. We did a lot of co-creating and co-defining. And so I always had a finger on the pulse of their intention, and so when folks like you and groups of teachers and other educators would come through ... And then on the surface, it would be like, I'm having trouble getting a hold of UDL here, where is it? What is the thing that tells me that Universal Design for Learning has been implemented in some measure in this learning environment?

Joni Degner (00:32:06):

And a big part of it really did come from, okay, well, the teacher's busy facilitating, but I can tell you some things about the planning that went into this. And I can tell you some things about the tools these learners are using and the way that they might use them differently on another day or in another task. But again, for folks who just come in to observe or evaluate, again, sometimes it's difficult to say, "Oh, there's UDL. There it is right there."

Steve Nordmark (00:32:36):

And I think the other thing you pointed out, the concept of barriers, there are just common things that you're going to want to look for in any learning experience, in any learning environment. But so many of them will come out individually within that culture, within that setting, in that social situation and that professional educator has intentionally designed for those barriers. You might not even understand that that barrier existed, so you might not even know that it's been intentionally designed to accommodate.

Steve Nordmark (00:33:10):

So it is a unique aspect where, how do you know it if you see it? Well, a lot of it comes from understanding more from that educator and that environment, what are those potential barriers that were designed for. And then back to your earlier point, though, you're going to see it in those learners, in how much agency they do have, own their learning.

Joni Degner (00:33:36):

And I'll be honest, if I have to go back into my own UDL implementation all over again, that's actually where I'd begin, getting kids to start talking about themselves as learners, helping them first understand what is an expert learner, why am I going to start teaching you in a different way, why am I going to start giving you some more choices.

Joni Degner (00:33:55):

And the truth is, I have actually taken that route with my own kids. I've got a third grader and an eighth grader, and so I'm always talking to them with that language of expert learners, talking to them about being motivated, talking to them about, well, what resources do you have available to you, what strategy did you use on the last assignment that worked for you.

Joni Degner (00:34:16):

And so if I had it to do over again, though, to go back as a classroom teacher, that's actually where I would begin is to start helping students understand you're not here to be an expert in American literature. I mean, I would love that, of course, because I was a language arts person and I could talk about it all day long, but the truth is it's far more important for students to think critically and to be able to move through a piece of literature, even when it's hard and answer various questions that represent different depths of knowledge and that they're able, when they don't understand a piece of literature, to know here's where I can go to understand this a little more deeply, to identify the terms that maybe are not familiar to me and help me get a better understanding of this.

Joni Degner (00:35:02):

And so what I really wish is I wish I could get in a time machine and say, "Okay, forget it. You guys are not going on Jeopardy! You're not going to get a category in American literature, like I keep telling you, you're going to, but you are going to actually use some of these skills." And so I think it's really for people who are looking for a place to begin, I think beginning with the outcome is a great place. Start talking to your kids about what kind of learners they are and what kind of learners they really need to be so that they can be successful when they leave us.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:35:34):

Yeah, I think that's a great step. And I actually think the idea that when people try and comprehend UDL and they look at the three principles and then they take into consideration, the guidelines, they just completely get overwhelmed. UDL is trying to frame the variables associated with the learning environment, with the learning experience. And so what could be the variables that could hamper learning or what we call barriers, right? So what could be the barriers in play and what could be some solutions? And that's really what it is trying to do and how do we think proactively about overcoming those barriers in the environment to meet the needs of all learners. But that's the piece of it.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:36:17):

But as far as engaging students, I know we eventually want to talk about more of the future sort of thing, but I actually think where we can make a lot of progress is in high schools and middle schools and actually motivating the students. We've always focused on the adult side of it and I actually think one of future things could be UDL clubs of students really getting together, talking about their own learning, students supporting a UDL movement in their school, and actually empowering the learners themselves to take on that understanding.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:36:51):

Because I think if you sit down ... I mean, both my kids are in high school right now, but all the way through school, I've engaged with them and their friends, but also when we used to go around the country or around the world and talking to learners, they know these things. These things are inherent into their own understanding of where they run into barriers in talking to them. And quite honestly, as adults, we know it too. And then getting adults to take on the view, take on the learning experience through the eyes of a learner, they really understand that.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:37:27):

But I think one of the next big phases for us, I think should be, how do we engage students? We've done it already and started doing that work at the university level, but I think it needs to go beyond the university level, to the high school level and beyond because we need to converge on this from multiple frames, the idea that we have some policies in place across various countries that are supporting UDL. We have the research that's out obviously out there too and that's continuing to emerge as research should as we ask more questions and get smarter about answering the questions. And we really have focused on the PL piece with the teachers and the school leadership. But I think we have to say, "Okay, now what's next?" And then part of what's next is how do we engage the students to actually bring this to the forefront? That's where a lot of it can come.

Steve Nordmark (00:38:18):

Oh, absolutely.

Joni Degner (00:38:18):

It's funny because I can remember having conversations around implementation and things like that and people asking the questions like, "Well, what if people won't come along? What if teachers won't do it?" And I said, "Look, if you have enough teachers on board, trust me, your kids will start demanding it." And when they start getting a sense of what it's like to have ownership over their learning and what it's like to actually feel like, I remember some resources that helped me in science that I can actually go use in my English class, that's a very empowering feeling to feel like I know just the thing that works for me, and this is hard, but I know what to do.

Joni Degner (00:38:55):

So it's funny because I really like that idea of the grassroots UDL movement should perhaps begin with learners. That's who we serve, right? And when we talk about a model for change and education, that truly is learner-centered, that seems to make the most logical sense, doesn't it? To begin with the learners and let them start talking about themselves as learners.

Joni Degner (00:39:21):

So I'm going to skip past the question because I feel like we've answered it, but I want to talk a little bit about multiple means of expression because the truth is you can't go on edu Twitter or pull up a blog or anything like that connected to anything in education without seeing the words, voice and choice.

Joni Degner (00:39:42):

And so I just want to talk a little bit about one of the principles of Universal Design for Learning is providing multiple means of action and expression. And when we say action, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm running around and moving around, we're really talking about interaction, interaction with peers, interaction with a learning environment, interaction with methods and materials. And so I want to talk a little bit about that. How do we break down barriers so that we can make sure that students, they do have a choice and that their voices are heard?

Steve Nordmark (00:40:15):

One of the things that I alluded to at the beginning, the two things that I think are critical are competence-based learning and Universal Design for Learning. So Universal Design for Learning is a framework that accommodates for that multiple means of action expression. But until the system of education truly embodies that competency-based piece that, so Jamie alluded to earlier, it's about the goals. So setting those goals out and then focusing on that as opposed to arbitrarily defining how you express that learning.

Steve Nordmark (00:40:49):

So there's many different ways to demonstrate your competence and we really shouldn't limit it to it's got to be written or it has to be spoken. If that learner has a particular competence around maybe artistic talent, maybe they have a much easier time sharing their understanding through some type of artistic expression. But ultimately if you're getting at the content of the goal of that lesson, in what it is that they're expected to know and demonstrate they can do, then it really shouldn't matter if they're doing it through some type of artistic expression versus spoken word versus writing an essay.

Steve Nordmark (00:41:38):

So I've seen that in particular with my youngest son in the way that he's been able to do that. And unfortunately it's too often that he's only given the one choice in the way that he can do it. So I'm constantly reminding him to advocate for himself to say, "Hey, see if you have opportunities, see if you have options for this, because otherwise they may not be able to tease out what it is that you honestly know." That's something that I think is really important in that competency-based piece. If that's not there, then we don't appreciate that aspect of just being able to demonstrate that piece versus this lesson's focused on writing an essay.

Joni Degner (00:42:32):

Well, one of the things I want to say too, is that learners ... Our own kids are in a very unique position because I'm talking to my third grader about being an expert learner and go advocate for yourself, but one of the things that I think it's important for practitioners to understand is that a lot of students don't have somebody telling them, you need to go advocate for yourself, because mostly they're being raised by folks who understand education to be an exercise in compliance.

Joni Degner (00:43:06):

And so a lot of times it's like, well, this is hard, and you might have a parent who instead says, "Well, that's what you have to do because that's what they assigned. And so you're just going to have to buck up and do it," instead of saying, "Are you allowed to use a tool like this? Is it possible that you might be able to do this instead? Do you have a choice in this?"

Joni Degner (00:43:31):

I've experienced Universal Design for Learning from a few different angles now, and one of the things, that as a classroom practitioner, that I began to understand about kids advocating for themselves is that a lot of times it comes in as questions. Do we have to use the text? Can we work with a partner? Can I use my computer? Can we turn this in on Thursday instead? You start getting learners ... They're putting a toe in the water of advocacy, but a lot of times it comes in as, "Hey, I have a special circumstance and I've got a quick question. Will you please say yes to me?"

Joni Degner (00:44:20):

And one of the things that you can do to move forward in Universal Design for Learning is that if you say yes to that kid and you probably don't have a good reason not to, then that's the standard for everyone. Oh hey, by the way, if everyone needs to turn this in on Thursday, you can have until Thursday to turn this in, no problem, we can be flexible. Or hey, don't forget, you all have access to dictation, so if it makes more sense or it's more helpful for you to dictate this paper then by all means.

Joni Degner (00:44:51):

And so it really is I think about understanding that advocacy for a lot of kids will not come in as like, "Well hey, I have got a need and I would like to talk to you about my need." It's not going to come in such a formal conversation, it's really going to creep in like, "Hey, I've got a quick question I'd like to ask you at your desk, privately." And so really think about, that's a kid who's identifying a barrier for themselves. Can I work with a partner might mean I need some extra scaffolding. If I could see how a friend's approaching this, maybe I will have the confidence to take an approach on it myself, or I'll feel safer in that approach.

Joni Degner (00:45:32):

What you really get is somebody self-identifying a barrier and asking you, would it be okay if we removed this barrier in this way? And so you can get a lot better economy of a scale in your practice, if you say yes to that person and then make it standard across the board. I just want to plug that for a second as a former classroom practitioner because when we talk about advocacy, it's not necessarily going to come in all of the forms that you might expect it to come in.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:46:00):

I think that's a really good point. I think one of the things that systems need to do is really, we brought this up earlier, but reflect on where student voices are coming to the table and then think about that equity issue, right? Think about, as you just brought up, if you're making this, quote-unquote, "accommodation" for X number of students, why are we not doing that for all students? Why can't we support text to speech for all students? Why is that only being done for some? Because there's all these other variables out there that you're not even recognizing.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:46:38):

And some of the variables we could say are not traditional ones. If someone has a barrier that they're having difficulty processing text and trying to comprehend it, by reading it on their own, so they use text to speech. And there even may be legal, in some countries and the US included, reasons as to why they would be allowed to do that. But what about the student who is so involved in a traveling soccer team that he's just buried on the weekends traveling with this team, and they're really all-stars on this team. So you don't want to necessarily take that away, but they're really far behind in reading and such. Text to speech might be an option for them too.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:47:21):

Obviously we have to teach them strategies, just like we do for all students for how to access and meaningfully comprehend the text to speech, but there's lots of different reasons as to why we can take on these sort of considerations. And I brought up something that was more in the recognition category, but not in the expression category. So we would put it under that under multiple means of representation for the people that are new to UDL. But we could think about just about anything in that sort of capacity. I mean, there's just lots of different options.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:47:54):

I remember my daughter, years ago, she's a senior now in high school, but I remember in sixth grade she came home and she had just recently received a phone and went into sixth grade and this teacher was asking them, oh, you have to write these reviews of the news or something like that and every Friday they had choose something. And so her first intonation was to pick up her phone and dictate into the phone what it's going to say.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:48:21):

And I said, "Well, Audrey, why are you doing it that way?" And she said, "I'm not a fast typer, and so I find it much easier to talk into my phone and then pull the text down from my phone and then put it into the form that we're supposed to submit it in, because they were accepting, which was cool too, a digital submission. But then I go through and edit it."

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:48:41):

So she had done this on her own and we have to advocate students to think like that. We have to advocate for students who can think like my daughter. No, but someone that sees a situation and figures out what tools they have available to them, whether they're school-based tools or even personal tools and put them into a situation to overcome the barriers they have within the environment. And we need to support the learners in doing that sort of work. And that's really what it's all about.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:49:13):

That's really what it's all about because to this very day, she will go through problem solving like that. And yeah, we've encouraged that in our home. We want very self-determined kids and sometimes it comes back to bite us, when they get too self-determined, but overall it's the best thing we can do for them because we want them to be successful. We want them to overcome obstacles they have in their own life. And we want them to feel like I have the know-how how to do that. And if I don't immediately, can't think of something, I can talk to a friend or I can Google something and I can come up with these solutions, understanding my own barriers.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:49:55):

And that's what to me, part of the multiple means of expression is about, is coming through that problem solving process to help yourself overcome the barriers. Supporting very strategic and goal directed learners. I mean, that's really what we want people to do.

Joni Degner (00:50:12):

And we actually had a conversation similar to this at South by Southwest EDU, just a couple of weeks ago about this notion of ... You're talking about that being used as a scaffold, like I need to gut this out and I don't yet have the keyboarding skills to really pound it out. But the truth is, I use that same sort of approach when I'm in an airport and I get an idea and I need to hurry and get it out and I will just speak it into the notes on the notepad on my phone really fast so that I capture it and I don't lose it. That's about strategy development now, right?

Joni Degner (00:50:49):

Whereas I may have been a learner who used it as like, well, this is really helpful for me as I'm developing my keyboarding skills or as I'm developing my handwriting skills or whatever it might be. But it's also, again, as we move educational opportunities, as we move into the workplace and post-secondary education, we really want learners like that, who say, "I know what is the most efficient way. I know what the best tools are for this job. I know how to pull together a team that can work together. I know how to set goals for this team."

Joni Degner (00:51:21):

I mean, that's really what we want, and so this really is about giving learners good practice in that. Again, there are very few places these days where a learner is going to go and get a job or where they're going to go to post-secondary or trade or technical school, where somebody's going to demand compliance of them. It just is not the way anymore. What we really want are people who are thinkers, people who are innovators who can solve problems, who can be resourceful and who can ultimately move a vision forward. I mean, it can all be automated at this point.

Steve Nordmark (00:51:59):

Yeah, just think how powerful it would be, if as Jamie was saying, in addition to the educators being trained as designing those learning experiences, removing those barriers, but every one of the learners was supported in understanding that capacity, so you had the entire community working as a whole, thinking about how to remove those barriers for themselves and for their peers, just for the overall learning experience. The power of that is awesome.

Joni Degner (00:52:26):

So I got to tell you, I talk a lot about Columbus, but I love Columbus. My kids go to school at BCSC in Columbus and I talk a lot about it. But the truth is one of the things that really got me excited when I was still working for BCSC was that when I started dropping off my youngest for preschool, that their director approached me and said, "Hey, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about working with a couple of my new teachers." And I was like, "Oh," because it was a private preschool, not yet part of the school system.

Joni Degner (00:52:56):

And then we also had two community colleges here that Loui Lord Nelson and I actually did some training with. And then we had people reach out from our Children's Museum here in Columbus and we're talking about universally designing their opportunities and their materials they were making available. And so when you talk about a community approach, again, it was that notion that there are lots of learning environments in this community, and that was a very invigorating experience thinking about this pre-K up through post-secondary education and then having different businesses and things like that reach out, but also serve our learners in our community to say, "Hey, what can we be doing better?"

Joni Degner (00:53:39):

I want to give you guys an opportunity to talk about some of the projects that are near and dear to you right now, because you guys are doing a lot of really great work at CAST with the UDL-IRN and at Kansas that are really moving UDL implementation forward. And so, one of the first things I want to give you guys an opportunity to talk about is some of the work with the UDL-IRN. Specifically, I want to talk a little about Learning Designed.

Joni Degner (00:54:08):

I want to give you guys also an opportunity to plug the big summit that's coming up, because there's a really great opportunity if you've enjoyed some of this conversation and you've pulled some pieces out of this and said, "Okay, I'd like to learn more about UDL," the truth is the UDL-IRN Summit, it is the place to learn about UDL from all angles. So I want to give you guys a chance to talk about Learning Designed and also this really great event that's getting ready to come up.

Steve Nordmark (00:54:32):

Yeah. So Learning Designed for those of you who are listening to this, but may not be aware, learningdesigned.org. Online platform that we came up with primarily because of the credentialing and certification effort that we were focused on. We were thinking about ways to increase awareness, adoption, and implementation of UDL, and then helping to just advance, as Jamie's been talking about, learner-centered designs. So Learning Designed is an awesome place where people can get access to research-based resources, classroom practice-based resources, a lot of wonderful tools, ideas, tips, tricks that people can take advantage of.

Steve Nordmark (00:55:16):

And then we have the credentials. So we knew that whether you were an educator, whether you were teaching learners and different learning experiences, or you were maybe even like I was, someone working in the ed tech space, we wanted to learn more and demonstrate that learning with Universal Design for Learning.

Steve Nordmark (00:55:37):

So we started coming up with different levels of credentials starting from really just having that mindset understanding of why it's important, just like we've been talking about today, to then the what of UDL and understanding it as a design framework. And then recently, or coming up soon, we'll be releasing the next level credential, which is focused on practice. So thinking about, as an educator, starting to implement it in your own learning designs and thinking about it as that framework for proactive and iterative design. So it's giving everyone the opportunity to demonstrate their competence, because they are competency-based micro credentials.

Steve Nordmark (00:56:18):

And then as an extension of that, we have now created opportunities for criteria for schools and I'm working actively now on the product certification criteria so that when ed tech products are out there trying to design again, great learning experiences, they can use UDL as their design framework and reduce those barriers in their products and produce greater opportunities.

Steve Nordmark (00:56:44):

So thinking about in those learning experiences, ideally with the educators and the learners, and then also thinking about the school systems themselves, so school implementation system wide, and then the products that are helping to support those learning environments, all doing intentional design with UDL.

Steve Nordmark (00:57:07):

So Learning Designed is a great place where people can gather, socialize, learn from each other and increase their awareness and implementation. And we hope that it continues to grow. And we've already had great recognition from across the globe and engagement from across the globe. And you mentioned the IRN, there's one of the implementation special interest groups that has a world accessibility subgroup that's been engaged in thinking about the different cultures across the globe that are looking to adopt UDL and how they're leveraging Learning Designed as a place to showcase resources from different cultural implementations. So love the opportunity there to continually be stretched and help support the globe.

Joni Degner (00:57:53):

That's super exciting. I love it. So people can come to Learning Designed as an individual, like I'm a lone wolf who wants to know more about UDL. I can sign up, I can get access to high quality learning opportunities from lots of different kinds of people who have lots of different kinds of backgrounds, right? Or I can come as a cohort. So if I have this professional learning network maybe that I'm a part of at my school and I want to gather up either my department or my grade level or whatever it is, we can join as a group. But, Steve said, you can also look at institution level membership and implementation and learning opportunity through Learning Designed to deepen your UDL practices and implementation?

Steve Nordmark (00:58:39):

Yeah.

Joni Degner (00:58:39):

And that gives you access to a significant host of expertise in UDL, people who are involved in research, people who are involved in practice, people who are involved in higher ed or K-12, that there's so many different kinds of communities within that larger community of learning, right?

Steve Nordmark (00:58:59):

Yeah. So true, and just the community at large. I mean, a group, Texthelp is based in Ireland [inaudible 00:59:07] that helps support, in particular, the higher ed professionals. And they recognize the credentials that we have implemented and designed as global standards for evaluating competence. And they saw it as incredibly important for their professionals, not just to earn the certificates that they were earning in their own professional development, then to earn those credentials to demonstrate their competence as that global standard in UDL. So great partnerships like that exist as opportunities across the globe.

Joni Degner (00:59:37):

Tell us a little bit about the UDL-IRN Summit that's coming up.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:59:41):

Yeah. So the UDL-IRN Summit is the largest gathering of UDL implementers, researchers, people in various positions around the world, from architects to software developers, to teachers, to building leaders, to researchers, et cetera.

James 'Jamie' Basham (00:59:58):

So obviously before the pandemic, well, not obviously, but before the pandemic we were gathering in person and we plan to gather in person in the future, or at least in a hybrid sort of mode. This year we're online again. It's taking place next week and we're going to be getting together and there's presentations and engagements from people from throughout the globe, the work they're doing in UDL, whether it's implementation or whether it's research or whether it's something interesting around maybe software developing, et cetera.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:00:28):

So yeah, we're going to be getting together. Pre-conference session's on March 30th and then the summit itself starts on the 31st and goes through the 1st. And it's an on demand. We have both live, synchronous, but also asynchronous sessions and people can participate in that. And actually it's going to be a contained unit for next six months or so. So well past actually the 1st, you can still buy tickets to get into it and see everything going on.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:01:00):

And then next year we hope to be back in person to a certain extent. Now fingers are crossed to be back in person to a certain extent, but recognizing that the hybrid online component will probably stay with us for people that can't make it in from Singapore or New Zealand or wherever they're coming from. But we want to also provide a place in the multiple means way that we do things for people to get together and in various fashions. So that's coming up.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:01:30):

We also have the UDL Symposium, which will be coming up this summer, CAST Symposium, which is something that is near and dear to everyone at CAST. And it's different from the summit in that it is a much more targeted conversation around a topic. This year, we're doing stuff on learner voice, so we're extremely excited about that. And it's just a much more different conversation, the idea being the UDL-IRN Summit, I don't want to say it's a circus, but it's a little bit of things for a lot of people, right? So if you're into the monkey exhibit, you can go to the monkey exhibit. If you're into alligators, you go to the alligators and everything in between and the great experience and the networking that goes with that.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:02:13):

Whereas the symposium is really about really developing an in depth understanding around a specific topic and we do themes. And so that's going to be again this summer. And we actually have for people that do both, because we have some people that do both, you can buy joint tickets actually nowadays. So you can go to cast.org to learn more about that, but anything you can do to get more involved in the community.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:02:36):

I think one of the things I'm excited about personally is the IRN, we did merge with CAST a few years ago. So we're one organization. We laugh about how that works, because we still operate as IRN and CAST, but we converge on the very important things of developing community around UDL. So if you take away anything from the conversation, just dip your toe in the water and get involved.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:02:59):

You can sign up for the newsletter. We send a weekly update on what's going on in UDL at udl-irn.org. And that provides you a stepping off point to get a little alert once a week in your mailbox. We don't spam people. And it says, here's what's going on in the world, from things that are going on in schools to things that are going on in Learning Designed to even partners like Texthelp. If they have something going on like webinars and such, those are also highlighted there. And by the way, jobs occasionally are highlighted there too, that pop up. So that's a really simple way, low cost, low pain point to get involved. So that's something exciting.

Joni Degner (01:03:40):

So Jamie mentioned going to CAST, that's C-A-S-T.O-R-G to learn more, but you can also visit the UDL-IRN webpage at UDL-,I-R-N.org. And if you go to that website, then you'll see information about the summit that Jamie just talked about that's going to happen on March 30th and 31st and April 1st. And then you'll also though see information there about Learning Designed. You'll see information about the special interest groups, which is another great way to get involved in UDL is to look at some of the special interest groups from the UDL-IRN and see where you can help and add your voice and add your perspective.

Joni Degner (01:04:23):

I'm going to give you guys an opportunity for any closing comments, because we could sit here and keep on talking for a very long time about UDL, about implementation and the future of UDL.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:04:35):

I just appreciate you giving us the opportunity to come and speak with us today. I will say that earlier in the conversation, we did mention one of the other centers, ciddl.org, the Center for Innovation, Design and Digital Learning. And I will provide information in the show notes, but generally CIDDL is a US Department of Education funded national center to support faculty development, so faculty members in higher education development in use of innovation and technology and educational technology with a UDL base to it. And I'll put some information in the show notes for people with that.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:05:07):

But I just generally want to say, thank you for hosting us today here, Joni. It's always great to get together and see you. That's twice in a couple weeks. We're all down at South by Southwest EDU just a couple weeks ago. So it's good to see you again, and it's always wonderful to have an opportunity to talk.

Steve Nordmark (01:05:23):

Thanks for inviting both of us to chat with you today.

Joni Degner (01:05:26):

I just want to say, thank you guys so much. It's been great having you. I mean, two times in two weeks, it's got to be some kind of a record for the multiyear pandemic now. I know that our listeners are going to love this. So I want to say thank you to our listeners for listening. You can find out more at CAST, C-A-S-T.O-R-G. You can also hear more from Steve on Twitter. His handle is @S, as in Steve, Nordmark, N-O-R-D-M-A-R-K. And you can also hear more from Jamie, @J-D-B-A-S-H-A-M.

Joni Degner (01:06:02):

Don't forget to subscribe to Texthelp Talks so that you can get all of these episodes wherever you get your preferred podcast and you can make sure that you get to hear this episode, share it with your friends and colleagues and make sure that you catch the next episodes. Thank you guys so much, have a really great summit and I'll see you there.

Steve Nordmark (01:06:17):

Wonderful. Thanks, Joni.

James 'Jamie' Basham (01:06:17):

All right. Well, thank you.