Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
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Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

The Opportunity for Inclusive Learning in a Pandemic

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Listen and learn : Panel

Kimberly Coy  
Rhianon Gutierrez  
Mindy Johnson  
Dr. Luis Perez  

Listen as members of the Inclusive Learning Network panel discuss how the pandemic presented an opportunity for them to more strategically apply Universal Design for Learning principles and collaborate with colleagues to design more equitably and inclusively. The panel features public school educators and professors with experience in online learning.

Audience: Teachers, Professional developers, Curriculum/district specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Universal Design for Learning/differentiated learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Not applicable, Special education
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges and the impact of learning with technology with other education leaders who want to learn from this work.
Systems Designer
  • Ensure that resources for supporting the effective use of technology for learning are sufficient and scalable to meet future demand.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

1. Participants will be able to describe the key principles of Universal Design for Learning: multiple means of engagement, action and expression, and representation.

2. Participants will be able to identify scalable ways in which they can apply the principles of UDL to teaching in an online or blended learning environment across PK-12 by listening to examples from PK-12 and higher education.

3. Participants will be able to see in action, and evaluate specific practices, by teachers and students by listening and looking at lessons, assignments, and engagement ideas from a panel of experienced educators.


1. Introduction: the opportunity and the why
2. Stories: two PK-5th grade educators; one 6th-12 grade educator; one higher education professional. The stories will reflect high and low tech approaches, challenges with access to technology, the strengthening of relationships with families and paras, and lessons from higher education that can be applied to remote learning.
3. Sharing: hearing from folks in the room about what has worked for them
4. Next Steps: where do we go from here?

Supporting research

Burdette, P. J., & Greer, D. L. (2014). Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: Parent Perspectives. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 13(2).

Cavanaugh, C. S., Barbour, M. K., & Clark, T. (2009). Research and practice in K-12 online learning: A review of open access literature. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(1), 1-22.

Coy, K., Marino, M. T., & Serianni, B. (2014). Using universal design for learning in synchronous online instruction. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(1), 63-74.

Gemin, B., Pape, L., Vanshaw, L., & Watson, J. (2015). Keeping pace with K-12 online & blended learning: An annual review of policy and practice. Evergreen, CO: Evergreen Education Group.

Meyer, A. & Rose, D.H. (2005). The future is in the margins: The role of technology and disability in educational reform. In D.H. Rose, A. Meyer & Hitchcock (Eds.), The universally designed classroom: Accessible curriculum and digital technologies (pp. 13-35). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Smith, S. J., & Basham, J. D. (2014). Designing online learning opportunities for students with disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(5), 127-137.

Thompson, L. A., Ferdig, R., & Black, E. (2012). Online schools and children with special health and educational needs: Comparison with performance in traditional schools. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(3), 1-9. doi:10.2196/jmir.1947

Vasquez, E., & Serianni, B. A. (2012). Research and practice in distance education for K-12 students with disabilities. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 31(4), 33-43.

Vasquez III, E., & Straub, C. (2012). Online instruction for K-12 special education: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Special Education Technology, 27(3), 31-40.

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Kimberly Coy, California State University Fresno
Rhianon Gutierrez, Boston Public Schools
Mindy Johnson, CAST

Mindy Johnson is the Director of Digital Communication & Outreach at CAST. She is a former high school special education teacher and instructor for the Boston Museum of Science Overnight Program, providing insight into UDL implementation in informal learning environments. She is also one of the co-founders of #UDLchat on Twitter and coordinates the digital outreach activities (web and social media) for CAST. Mindy is the 2019-2020 President of ISTE’s Inclusive Learning Network and was part of the Technical Working Group for the development of the 2018 refresh of the ISTE Standards for Educators.

Dr. Luis Perez, National AEM Center, CAST

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