The Future Designed
2020 has been a year for the history books, one that has challenged us to quickly make dramatic, unexpected changes. As we start looking forward to 2021, we invite you to pause and think about how we can now begin to intentionally design for a better future. This year we saw that radical change in teaching and learning is possible. But 2020 also illuminated barriers to learning like never before. How do we ensure that the future is intentionally planned in a way that achieves the outcomes that we are hoping for?
This year we are looking for thought-provoking ideas that inspire us. We know you have great stories of the application and implementation of UDL in your unique setting. But this year is not about UDL as it has always been done. It is about the dramatic changes that we hope to see in the future and the innovations that can lead us there.
All proposals are due on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST (translate to your time zone). The 7th Annual CAST UDL Symposium: The Future Designed will be held online and on-demand from Wednesday, July 28 – Friday, July 30, 2021.
By engaging in remote sessions that encourage innovative ideas, systemic thinking, and application of theory to practice, participants will:
- imagine radical new ways to improve the future of learning
- be inspired to lead innovative change in their own settings
- examine the ways in which we unconsciously support systems that enable and reinforce barriers to equitable learning opportunities, along with strategies to minimize those barriers
- challenge their assumptions about schooling and learning for all
We are seeking a diverse group of facilitators who will offer thought-provoking sessions, extending the discussion beyond introductory UDL content and deeply examining this year’s theme of The Future Designed. We encourage you to share your latest research, unique practices, unexpected successes, and persistent challenges. Questions we hope to explore include:
- What assumptions about schooling and education need to be challenged in order for innovation to thrive?
- What are up-and-coming innovations that will improve teaching and learning? How can these innovations create systemic changes that ensure more equitable opportunities and outcomes for traditionally marginalized students?
- How can UDL prepare us for change and the uncertainties that come with it? How can building flexible environments prepare us to respond to the next big challenge and/or opportunity?
- What creative, out-of-the-box remote practices have become part of your daily routines that you will continue to use even in an in-person classroom?
- How can we connect the latest research to the design of bold new practices?
Do you have another idea? As always, we are hoping to learn from you, so please submit a proposal to help us learn more about the ways in which UDL can be creatively used to design the future.
Symposium attendees include educators working both inside and outside of classrooms, including teachers, administrators, curriculum designers, technology leaders, specialists, advocacy groups, workforce trainers, activists, researchers, parents, and more.
Please be aware, our 7th Annual UDL Symposium will be completely virtual. You may either facilitate a live synchronous session or prepare an asynchronous session.
- Live Synchronous Workshops: All live synchronous sessions will be 60 minutes in length. Of this hour, we expect that at least 30 minutes will include participant interaction through breakout rooms, chat discussions, live written collaboration, or full-group conversations.
- Asynchronous Recorded Sessions: Asynchronous sessions can take any structure you like. Any recorded video component can be as short as you like or up to 60 minutes (but no longer). Although interactions can be more difficult to facilitate asynchronously, we invite you to create backchannel communication using Flipgrid, social media, surveys, Google Docs, Padlet, etc.
- Other: If you have a unique idea that you’d like to try in this remote setting, please let us know! We are interested in continuing to expand our own toolbox.
Session Facilitator Responsibilities
We ask session facilitators to agree to the following expectations:
- Accepted facilitators of live interactive workshops will receive 15% off of registration (with up to 1 co-facilitator per session). The co-facilitator(s) must be listed on the submission form. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer discounts to facilitators of asynchronous recorded sessions.
- Facilitators agree to add all session materials to the public schedule no later than Monday, July 19, 2021. These materials may include:
- Digital handouts
- Web links
- Any other needed materials
- Please note: Facilitators who are unable to upload their materials by July 19, 2021 will be dropped from the schedule.
- Facilitators agree to make all materials (slides, handouts, video, etc.) and interactions accessible and inclusive (the CAST Symposium Team will provide guidance).
Deadlines & Notifications
Deadline for proposal submissions is Friday, January 15 at 11:59 pm PST. You will be notified of whether or not your proposal has been selected in mid-February.
Please note that we plan to accept fewer proposals for the 2021 Symposium and expect the review process to be significantly more competitive than in previous years.
Please note: Our submission form was created using SurveyGizmo. You will not be able to save your work to complete over multiple sessions. We have created a downloadable preview of the form to help you prepare your proposal prior to beginning the submission process. Proposal submissions will only be accepted via the online submission form.
Proposals will be reviewed to ensure that they address the following criteria:
- Does the proposal clearly and substantially connect to the Symposium theme? (3 pts)
- Does the proposal offer innovative, surprising, or unique ideas on how to design learning for a more equitable future? (3 pts)
- Does the proposal articulate a clear, challenging session goal that directly addresses the theme? (2 pts)
- Does the proposal clearly explain how the design of the session anticipates and reduces potential barriers, including access, to participants achieving the session goal? (2 pts)
- Does the proposal clearly explain how the design of the session will gather evidence to determine whether participants achieve the goals of the session? (1 pt)
We know that cost can be a barrier to participation, so CAST is committed to working with accepted session facilitators to reduce this barrier by offering a limited number of financial scholarships. We will send out financial aid applications along with acceptance letters.