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Science & Technology - Campus & Community

Tech and Education: Drexel Online Celebrates National Distance Learning Week

October 30, 2015

A person working on a laptop.

Drexel University Online will celebrate National Distance Learning Week for the ninth consecutive year to recognize the innovations and ever-increasing growth in online education.

This year, Drexel University Online (DUO) will extend its celebration, both in length and in reach. Webinars, presentations and workshops for online educators are scheduled throughout the week of November 9–12, and will feature speakers from the Drexel community and beyond. While many events will take place on campus, most will also be available online — allowing attendees to participate from anywhere.

Robbie Melton, PhD, a leader in the implementation of mobile technology and mobile apps in education and associate vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, will deliver the keynote presentation Nov. 10, from 9–11 a.m. in Behrakis Grand Hall in Creese Student Center. Her presentation, entitled “The Emergence of IoT (The Internet of Things) Devices in Higher Education: The Impact, The Possibilities, The Challenges, and The Dangers“ will include a hands-on demo of some of the latest innovation in smart devices.

As associate vice chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents, she oversees an innovative strategic approach designed to enhance the pedagogical experience for educators and students alike with mobile technology. She has received numerous teaching and technology awards in addition to publishing and presenting around the globe — including a 2014 keynote workshop for the United Nations Mobile Education Conference in Paris.

“Integrating technology into education requires a new approach to educational change that infuses new technologies with teaching and learning,” Melton said. “Educators must understand the power of this technological transformation and apply it in redesigning institutions that meet the needs of today’s learners for tomorrow’s technological workforce.”

This year, National Distance Learning Week comes on the heels of DUO’s transition into a wholly owned, non-profit “division” of the University. This effort further cements Drexel’s position as an innovator in online education and promises to foster future expansion.

“Forward-thinking colleges and universities, like Drexel, are focused on becoming accessible cyber-portals of continuous education, making it easier for students to create individualized learning environments—at different times, in different places, and for different reasons,” said Susan Aldridge, PhD, president of DUO.

Drexel launched its first web-enabled course in 1996, followed closely by its first fully online program — an MS in library science. Today, Drexel’s award-winning virtual campus is home to 5,264 students, from across the country and around the world, enrolled in 120 online degree and certificates.

Nationally, distance learning is on the rise. According to an annual report by the Babson Survey Research Group, 5.3 million students took at least one online course in fall 2013. In 2014, 70 percent of chief academic leaders named e-learning as a critical element in their long-term strategy.

Join the conversation on social media during National Distance Learning Week with the hashtag #DrexelNDLW.

To view the full schedule of events, visit Drexel’s NDLW page