Member Giveback Week 2021
USDLA National Conference 2021 is now USDLA Member Giveback Week
Friends of USDLA,
Since our last gathering in Nashville during the week of July 12th 2019, much has changed in our world. The global pandemic has thrust distance learning to the forefront of our lives with schools on lockdown and our children communicating with instructors through a variety of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google, Teams and plenty others. While they are focused on learning, many of us are using these same platforms to carry on with our everyday lives, from working with colleagues and communicating with partners, to keeping in touch with relatives thousands of miles away. Our USDLA National Conference has long been an event where we mingle, discuss technology and learn from an audience broader than our own. Nothing can replace those live in-person interactions and conference feedback has always focused on those personal relationships made with one another.
Last year when the world threw us the mother of all curveballs, we pulled together and hosted an online USDLA Virtual Conference. This was a very successful event with fantastic USDLA volunteers, presenters, keynote speakers and attendees from around the world. However, it certainly had many of us wanting those personal interactions that our conference is well known for. With video conferencing seemingly dominating our lives these days, many of us are experiencing “virtual fatigue” in our daily lives, and rather than develop yet another week of paid virtual conference programing, the conference/events committee has decided to forgo our traditional paid conference this year and host a USDLA Members Giveback Week with a program focus on the up and coming Public Policy Forum.
The events planned for the week of October 4th will be a combination of live and on-demand material with the Public Policy Forum being a live event on Friday October 8th. While not our formal USDLA Conference, it will resemble the outline from last years’ virtual conference with a kickoff party the evening of Tuesday October 5th featuring some on-line musical entertainment and a kickoff address by Dr. Jack Thomas of Central State University. On Wednesday and Thursday we will have some public-policy related material available to our members with Friday focusing on the public policy address by Dr. Lori Williams. This will be a great week and free to all USDLA members with an active membership.
USDLA 2022 National Conference – 35th Anniversary Celebration
As for returning to normal, once our give-back week is complete, we will shift our attention to our 35th anniversary of USDLA, returning to a physical event in Nashville the week of May 16th, 2022 at the Nashville Hilton Airport location we enjoyed back in 2019.
I appreciate everyone’s support of the association and we are looking forward to connecting with you starting Tuesday October 5th2021.
Tuesday 10/5 Opening Event Speaker – Dr. Jack Thomas – Central State University
Friday 10/8 Closing Keynote Speaker – Public Policy Forum – Dr. Lori Williams
Tuesday 10/5 Pre-Conference Session 1 – Apple Teacher and Tool Lab – A Look into Creating Content with Apple Tools, Presented by Dr. Robbie Melton
Tuesday 10/5 Pre-Conference Session 2 – Grant Writing Workshop – A look into DL Grants, Writing Tips, Submitting, and Managing a Grant Presented by Kristin DeProspero
Award program celebration will be held during National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) on Friday November 12th
Our sessions will focus on public policy forum topics this year and run at various times on Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the Friday Public Policy Forum closing keynote.
- Open Educational Practices: Sharing the “Know-How” of Exemplary Instruction – Gerry Hanley Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Virus and Virtual Equity: A Review of Student Technology Support – Dr. Toni L. Hill (email@example.com)
- Distance Education by the Numbers: Fall 2020, COVID-19, and What’s Next? – Dr. Rachel Christeson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- No camera and other tips for working with access-challenged students – Eric Allen Holmes (email@example.com)
- Zero-Degree Programs to Promote Student Success – Dr. Veronica McEachin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Impact of feedback on isolation in Distance Education – Dr. Shanta Varma (email@example.com)
- Creating Humanized and Inclusive Learning Experiences – Brett Christie PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- What You Say Matters: How to make your course inclusive to all – Natalie Boulton (email@example.com)
This Year’s’ Event Kickoff Speaker – Dr. Jack Thomas
President Thomas is the ninth President of Central State University after serving nearly a decade as president of Western Illinois University (WIU). Dr. Thomas spent more than 20 years serving in various capacities in several institutions of higher education. A nationally and internationally recognized leader in higher education administration, Dr. Thomas’ influence on the academic community extends to his service on several distinguished boards including the Marguerite Casey Foundation Board of Directors; the Stillman College Board of Trustees; the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education Board; the American Council on Education Council of Fellows; the NCAA Presidential Forum.
Title: Year 2020 – Emergence of the Internet of Everything (IoE) SMART Distance Education Technology Transformation
Abstract: The rise of connected ‘SMART technologies provide new opportunities for transforming distance teaching and learning for the digital workforce. This presentation showcases the innovations of IoE Smart Technologies (EduGadgets) as data-driven transformation educational and workforce tools.