Gloria Y. Niles

Credentials: Director of Distance Education, Coordinator of the Office of Professional Development and Academic Support (OPDAS), University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu

Gloria Y. Niles headshot

Gloria Niles serves as the Director of Distance Education in conjunction with her duties as Coordinator of the Office of Professional Development and Academic Support (OPDAS) for the University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu. Dr. Niles has enjoyed a varied career in academia from the time she became a Doctor of Chiropractic with post-doctoral training in Neurology. She holds a bachelor’s degrees in Organizational Managements, Master’s degree in Online Teaching and Learning, and a PhD in Education with a focus on Special Education Leadership. Dr. Niles is also a 2019 alumnus of the Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning (IELOL), co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium and the University of Central Florida. In addition to a teaching career in Special Education and the training of educators in the UH West Oʻahu Education Division, Dr. Niles earlier served as Dean of Academic Affairs at Palmer College in Florida. The combination of experience and training in distance education modalities with practical experience in the classroom and as an administrator drives Dr. Niles scholarship that centers the praxis of diversity to center the needs of diverse learners in digital teaching and learning. Additionally, Dr. Niles’ dedication to serving the profession is demonstrated by her role as a peer evaluator for WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), and a variety of volunteer leadership positions with several professional organizations including the Online Learning Consortium, Council for Exceptional Children, and the POD Network. Dr. Niles has been an invited speaker for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology (WCET) Annual Meeting, and the Distance Teaching and Learning Conference sponsored by the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Technologyʻs Impact on Diversity and Inclusion: From Access to Equity

Effective teaching is never about the tool itself, but how does technological innovation impact inclusivity within digital teaching and learning spaces? Innovation drives technology based on evolving cultural demands. Without intentionally centering and uplifting the experiences of individuals who have been intersectionally disadvantaged through structural and institutional heteropatriarchy, racism, ableism, capitalism, and settler colonialism, technology can perpetuate injustices that are not intentionally centered in the instructional design and online pedagogical approaches through diversity praxis.

The praxis of diversity is the active exploration and appreciation of what makes us simultaneously unique and different, yet similar. Diversity paxis is a perpetual human endeavor that aims to intentionally dismantle implicit biases that perpetuate and exacerbate inequities. Accessibility identifies and removes some identified exclusionary barriers in the use of digital technology. In this session, we will explore how shifting from individualized access to equitable design situates technology within the art and science of inclusive teaching.