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Supporting the National Education Technology Plan with CAST's Universal Design for Learning Solutions

Universal Design for Learning provides a common research-based structure and language to help all teachers design learning experiences to impact all learners.

2024 National Education Technology Plan

In January 2024, the United States Department of Education unveiled the much-anticipated 2024 National Education Technology Plan (NETP), outlining a transformative vision for K-12 teaching and learning enabled by technology. NETP 2024 represents a pivotal moment in education and education technology (edtech), signaling a shift towards a future where learning is inclusive, engaging, and accessible for all students.

The plan identifies and guides states, districts, and building-level administrators on three main divides that impede teachers and learners from taking advantage of the full potential of technology in education. The guidance emphasizes the importance of the neuroscience of learning and designing learning to maximize engagement using Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

The three Digital Divides identified by the NETP:

  • The Digital Use Divide addresses gaps in the ability of students to use and apply technology to enhance their learning.
  • The Digital Design Divide addresses gaps in the ability of teachers to design instruction, providing guidance on professional development and applying technology in education.
  • The Digital Access Divide addresses closing gaps in the ability of both students and teachers to access educational technology and content.

UDL is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. The UDL framework is used by some of the most forward-thinking educators in the country and is endorsed by federal policy, most recently the 2018 Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act and the 2016 Every Student Succeeds Act.

As the creators of the Universal Design for Learning framework, CAST commends the groundbreaking plan and its emphasis on fostering engagement, accessibility, and innovation in education. Now in our 40th year, our research and partnerships have helped educators, product developers, and system leaders worldwide design for today's classrooms and make learning more inclusive. Celebrate with CAST as we lead the charge in the 2024 National Education Technology Plan (NETP). With key elements from our work, we're uniquely positioned to elevate standards for elementary and secondary students and beyond. Contact us to ignite your journey in educational technology excellence.

Build the Foundation for Your Work With UDL

Discover how CAST's professional development opportunities and resources align seamlessly with the NETP guidance. Embracing the essence of the UDL framework through a diverse range of professional development options tailored to the UDL framework, CAST equips schools and districts with the tools to lead sustainable, transformative change.

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CAST’s Professional Learning team offers training for administrators, instructional coaches, and preK-12 educators on how to implement UDL in their learning environments. Through a variety of services, including online courses, coaching, customized consulting, and implementation planning, you will not only learn how to transform teaching with UDL but also how to use it systemically to close achievement gaps, including students with IEPs, support English Learners, and strengthen school culture.

Explore UDL with ease using CAST's Professional Publishing titles. From basics to advanced topics, our products support your goals in learning design, leading implementation and professional development, using Assistive Technology, and more to address 

At CAST, our dedicated workforce development team is at the forefront of integrating UDL into dynamic career exploration and development opportunities. They collaborate with students, educators, and industry partners to craft exciting projects that already address issues in the Digital Divide. Count on their expertise to tailor education and training environments that cater to the diverse needs of your learners.

Find Support to Bridge the Access Gap

How do you find the right accessible technology (AT) and accessible materials? Supporting the goals outlined in the National Education Technology Plan (NETP) and aligning with the AT Guidance from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), CAST hosts two specialized centers. These centers empower educators and districts to advocate for learners and seamlessly integrate accessible technology into their educational initiatives.

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The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning at CAST provides technical assistance, coaching, and resources to increase the availability and use of accessible educational materials and technologies for learners with disabilities across the lifespan.

The Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES) aims to empower school districts to build and maintain technology systems that include every student, particularly children and youth with disabilities who require assistive technology and accessible materials.


Showcase your Dedication with a UDL Certification

While the UDL framework has gained global acceptance, evaluating its effective implementation remains challenging. CAST's UDL Credentials offer a solution. Showcase your proficiency and commitment to UDL by earning a CAST credential and validating your understanding, application, and integration of UDL principles.

Made in partnership with Digital Promise, the Universal Design for Learning Product Certification is a vital resource for educators, offering insights into the accessibility and usability of evaluated edtech products. Aligned with the objectives of the NETP, this certification assesses the degree to which your product's design aligns with the UDL framework, ensuring intentional design features that cater to diverse learners.

Closing the Gaps

The 2024 National Education Technology Plan aims to reshape the face of how technology is used in learning environments. Together with CAST, you can break down barriers and close the gaps in education.

Contact CAST today for personalized support in aligning your efforts with the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). Alternatively, delve deeper into our initiatives to witness how CAST fosters a world where every learner can excel, regardless of individual differences. Take action now to join us in building a more inclusive future for education.


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Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES)

The Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems: Framing the Future of Learning with Technology

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About CAST Professional Learning

We'll work with you to find ways of improving learning opportunities in today's rapidly changing world.

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Credentials & Certifications

Learn about our credentials for individuals and product certification for educational technology developers.

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