This picture shows a faculty member using laptop (technology) to connect with the Internet.
Author: James Basham, Director and Principal Investigator of CIDDL;

The Center for Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (CIDDL) is serving as the National Center to Improve Faculty Capacity to Use Educational Technology in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Personnel Preparation and Leadership Personnel Preparation Programs. When the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a competition to respond for the national center, our team quickly called each other to discuss responding. Across our team, we have multiple decades of teaching and research experience in the areas of technology, innovation, digital learning, and learning design for students with disabilities.  

While COVID-19 clearly demonstrated that the (special) education system was not prepared to teach or work in the digital world, the barriers associated with these outcomes were in place long before the pandemic. To support the future of special education, early intervention, and related services, our goal is to bring forth the adoption and use of technology by supporting increased understanding and collaboration across these interrelated fields.

Framework for CIDDL Work

To support this work we have developed a framework to support areas where there are known barriers in educational technology adoption and use. Thus, we are kicking off CIDDL with a focus on the following areas:

  • Thought Leadership: Inspiring thoughts, topics, and narratives around the use of educational technology.  
  • Policy: Discussing policies, rules, and considerations around the use of educational technology.  
  • Instruction: Supporting the tools, practices, and research needed to support effective knowledge, adoption, and use of educational technology in higher education and birth through 21 learning environments.   
  • Research:  Encouraging innovation across the field that supports, advances, and/or investigates the use of educational technology in higher education and birth through 21 learning environments.   
  • Design: Developing, researching, and using the design that promotes the positive impact of educational technology in special education, early intervention, and related services. 
  • Infrastructure: Providing considerations for the resources and underlying structure needed to support effective research and teaching using educational technology.

Inspiring Collaboration

We understand a small national center cannot singly transform how higher education faculty across special education, early intervention, and related services use technology. However, we hope to inspire existing and new leaders in these fields to think about, adopt, utilize, and pave the way for the future of all students, especially those with disabilities.  We want to collaborate with you. Please reach out and engage with us.

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