distance education displayed on illustration of computer

Ellen Wagner receives Wedemeyer award for contributions to distance education

Ellen Wagner was a pioneer of interactive distance education back in the 1980s. When she taught at the University of Northern Colorado, in fact, one of her papers was cited by a U.S. congressional report as the definition of distance education. After making her mark in academia, she explored innovative educational strategies in a range of nonprofit and for-profit settings.

For a career’s worth of achievements in the field, Wagner will receive the 2018 Mildred B. and Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Practitioner in Distance Education. She’ll accept her award at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, Aug. 7-9.

“No matter where I have worked, my driving interest has been in making the world a better place for distance teaching and learning,” says Wagner,

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Susan Aldridge shares new ideas for technology-enhanced education at Distance Teaching & Learning Conference

There’s a growing divide between how higher education approaches teaching and learning and what today’s students expect, according to Susan C. Aldridge. The president of Drexel University Online sees educators sticking with teacher-centered learning management systems in which students passively receive knowledge. Meanwhile, outside of school, students eagerly immerse themselves in the latest technology for their own self-directed learning and communication.

How to bridge this gap? Aldridge will explore the possibilities in her keynote speech at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, Aug. 7-9. “Harnessing the Power of Technology to Enhance the Promise of Education” will delve into Drexel’s Virtually Inspired, a repository of innovative ideas for technology-enhanced education.

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Alec Couros

Alec Couros sheds light on students’ digital reality at conference

According to Alec Couros, today’s young people no longer have separate online and offline lives. They inhabit a “hybrid reality” that affects the way they learn and communicate. To engage this generation, educators must understand their complex digital world.

Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, provides a road map at the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference. His keynote speech, “Understanding the Digital Realities of Our Students,” will explore the current information age, delving into contemporary trends. Participants will leave with new insight into young adults who are shaped by the internet and mobile technologies.

“Educators need to understand the complexities of young people’s digital lives so they can create learning environments that are better attuned to their needs,” Couros says.

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Patti Sanchez to share potent communication tools at conference

In her keynote for the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, Patti Sanchez will show how storytelling and strategic communication can help educators drive people to action.

But what’s the connection to distance teaching and learning?

“Using persuasive communication tools can inspire educators to articulate their vision – whether it’s a massive education reform initiative, a new instructional technology platform or tool, or a new way to teach a particular subject – and figure out how to effectively communicate that vision to their stakeholders,” says Sanchez, the chief strategy officer of Duarte, Inc., and the coauthor of Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, and Symbols.

She believes that we all have the potential to change our organizations,

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DT&L Conference ‘a game-changer’ for veteran educator

Prof. Jill Moore began her career at Alverno College in 1986, pre-computers. Back then Moore worked with the latest in typewriter technology, but now she’s the school’s academic director of hybrid and online programs for adults. That role brought her to last year’s Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, where she had an eye-opening experience about educational possibilities in the digital era.

“It was truly a game-changer for me,” says Moore. “I learned that you don’t have to sacrifice solid pedagogy when you move learning online.”

The 34th annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, explores new ideas that will help educators transform the 21st century classroom and workplace. On Aug. 7-9, leading lights from academia,

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Conference finds new ways to engage students in an always-connected world

Digital culture has profoundly changed the way students process information. The rise of social media, virtual reality, crowdsourcing, and other innovations presents tremendous opportunities for education, as well as tremendous challenges. With the 34th annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, the University of Wisconsin–Madison makes sense of new ideas that will help educators transform the 21st century classroom and workplace.

On Aug. 7-9, leading lights from academia, industry, and government will share the latest learning strategies at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The conference attracts more than 800 higher education faculty and staff, instructional designers, and workforce trainers in search of ways to engage students steeped in the internet and mobile technology.

“The Distance Teaching & Learning Conference is unique in being sponsored by a major public university rather than a professional organization or a vendor,” says Jeffrey S.

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Conference speaker

Educators glimpse the future at 2017 Conference

What does the future hold for distance education? Hundreds of higher education professionals and workforce trainers have a better idea after attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 2017 conference.

At Frank Lloyd Wright’s lakeside Monona Terrace Convention Center, they explored disruptive design, the next-generation digital learning environment, and other topics on the leading edge of educational innovation. With help from experts in the field, they learned the latest pedagogical techniques and technological tools for engaging learners. And they had fun, networking with colleagues from around the world while enjoying Wisconsin’s lovely capital city.

See the slideshow of this year’s Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, and watch this website for updates on the 2018 event, scheduled for Aug. 7-9. All photos by Scott Norris.

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Innovation meets inspiration: Meet the speakers for the conference finale

Focused on the future of online education, the finale is one of the most inspiring events at the conference. These visionaries will give short talks on some of the biggest, boldest ideas in distance teaching and learning. Then we’ll form small groups to start turning these ideas into action.

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Immersive technology is set to transform distance education

Virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence are no longer in the realm of science fiction. The Distance Teaching & Learning Conference will devote several sessions to such immersive technology and its uses in higher education.

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Are you ready for the next-generation digital learning environment?

As technology continues to transform higher education’s approach to teaching and learning, everybody wonders: What’s next and how to prepare?

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Michelle Weise explores disruptive design at the DT&L Conference

Higher education is in the midst of a transformation, and Michelle Weise is a key figure in making sense of it. Her keynote speech at the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference will help prepare educators for the changes to come, shedding light on “Disruptive Design for the Future of Online Learning.

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