The world of distance learning is certainly changing as it gives way towards digital learning methodologies. We’ve certainly seen our share of changes in the industry over the past 31 years and we continue to modify the association programs and offerings in order to adapt to the needs of our members. As I prepared to take the helm here at the USDLA, I began reviewing our bylaws and reflected upon our charter – “to meet the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity”.
I believe this charter is as relevant today as it was over 30 years ago. However, while the purpose may be the same, the content has certainly evolved and so have our outreach programs designed for our members.
Our water cooler chat webcasts have been extremely successful in bringing our members together to discuss industry topics in a relaxed, interactive format using a platform called Shindig – so a big thanks to them for being a valued USDLA sponsor and partner.
At our annual conference, our virtual sessions have continued to grow in popularity and help to extend the reach of our presenters to those remote participants who have limited travel budgets or schedule conflicts but still want to be part of the USLDA family. While these sessions have been asynchronous in years past, this year they are interactive, thanks to Lifesize Communications, another USDLA sponsor who continues lead the interactive video conferencing market with industry leading solutions.
Having been involved with visual communication solutions since the mid-90’s, I’m amazed at how video conferencing has evolved with recent cloud offerings in the marketplace have helped users migrate from clunky, expensive hardware endpoints to BYOD solutions. This truly is making digital learning possible across the industry landscape.
Our distance learning certification program recently underwent an update to reflect today’s industry requirements and we are exploring other credentialing opportunities to best serve the needs of our members and the learning community.
One of my main goals over the next 12 months is to strengthen our membership outreach programs and find new opportunities for our members to be involved with the association at the committee level. We are a members association first and foremost; a family that will continue to thrive with the right networking opportunities, service offerings and member involvement.
You’ll often hear me refer to the members of this association as family as that is truly the environment here; open and relaxed, all topics on the table and a true ability to grow our professional careers together by helping one another.
Thanks again for your time in visiting our website and if you aren’t already a USDLA member, please consider joining our family for a year to see how it can help in your learning endeavors.