GUIDE Conference: "Online Learning in the 21st Century: Practice, Problems, & Prospects"

GUIDE Conference: "Online Learning in the 21st Century: Practice, Problems, & Prospects"

On February 15-17 the Central Florida Campus, in collaboration  with Marconi University, Rome, Italy, co-hosted the XII Annual Global Universities In Distance Education (GUIDE) Conference in Orlando.  This was the first time the Guide Conference was held in North America.  The conference featured attendees from 29 countries, with 49 presentations on topics addressing: (a) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Generation, (b) Emerging Technologies, (c) Data Mining Strategies for E-Learning Organizations, (d) Engaging and Supporting Faculty, and (e) Creating Communities in Distance Learning.  Key note speakers included:  

Dan Bartell, Vice President at Sagence Learning has worked in higher education for over two decades, helping educators evaluate, understand and connect educational technologies and their supporting services to the academic missions of their colleges and universities. Dan has been at the forefront of efforts to both improve existing learning opportunities and to create new options for students to pursue post-secondary education; working with campus executives, faculty, governing boards, legislative bodies, and task forces charged with examining and solving critical initiatives and challenges in higher education.

 Dr. Hinrich Eylers, is the Executive Dean of the School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix, which offers the doctoral programs across all academic disciplines. His career spans 25 years in business, academia and the sciences. As Executive Dean, Dr. Eylers’ emphasis is on providing quality professional doctoral programs, expanding the program portfolio, increasing student retention and promoting and enabling innovative research and scholarship on behalf of the entire University. He is also one of the primary executive sponsors for University-wide technology projects related to student learning.  At the University, Dr. Eylers held a number of additional leadership roles including Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences. Before joining University, he spent 15 years in leadership roles in environmental engineering consulting, sustainability consulting, teaching and business and technology program management. Dr. Eylers earned a University Diploma in applied physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany, before attending the California Institute of Technology where he received both a Masters and Ph.D. in environmental engineering sciences. He also holds an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and was amongst the first to be licensed as a professional environmental engineer in the State of Arizona.

Raghu Krishnaiah, Chief Operating Officer, University of Phoenix is an innovative leader experienced at turning transformative products and business concepts into successful global companies. His career as a seasoned change agent and strategist spans more than 20 years of progressive P&L management, strategy, sales and marketing, product, operations, technology, human resources, and data-analytics responsibilities. Krishnaiah currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at University of Phoenix, where he is instrumental in the transformation of the University and responsible for all operating strategy and results. Before joining University of Phoenix, Krishnaiah held the role of Chief Operating Officer at Western Governors University, where he led significant growth in student learning outcomes.  Prior to Western Governors University, Krishnaiah worked as senior vice president at Kaplan Higher Education Group, and has served in a number of leadership roles throughout his career, overseeing large operational infrastructures at complex global organizations.  Krishnaiah earned both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.

Dennis Littky is the co-founder and co-director of The Met School, Big Picture Learning and founder and President of College Unbound. He is nationally known for his extensive work in secondary education in urban, suburban, and rural settings, spanning over 40 years. As an educator, Dennis has a reputation for working up against the edge of convention and out of the box, turning tradition on its head and delivering concrete results. From 2000-2010 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave Big Picture Learning 20 million dollars to replicate The Met School nationally and internationally. Currently there is a network of 113 schools, 52 across the country, 40 in Australia and 21 in the Netherlands. Presently, Dennis’s focus has been to expand the Big Picture Learning design to include a college, College Unbound, for adults, which allows them to earn a Bachelor’s Degree while creating a project around their interest and working full time. The innovative college is rethinking how we educate the 37 million adults who started college but didn’t finish. Dr. Littky holds a double Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. His work as a principal at Thayer Junior/Senior High School in Winchester, N.H. is featured in an NBC movie, A Town Torn Apart based on the book Doc: The Story of Dennis Littky and His Fight for a Better School. In 2004, he wrote (along with Samantha Grabelle) The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business, which went on to win the Association of Educational Publishers’ top award for nonfiction in 2005. In 2003, Dennis was recognized as a leader in education and awarded the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Fast Company ranked Littky #4 among the top 50 Innovators of 2004, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation recently selected Dennis as part of their Daring Dozen. Locally,  Dennis was awarded the Local Hero Award by Bank of America in 2008 and  College Unbound was awarded The Innovative and Creative Program Award by UPCEA, New England. Most recently, Dennis was awarded the New England Higher Education Excellence Award in 2011.

Pro. Matteo Martini is Associate Professor of Physics at "Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi" of Rome and his didactical activity is performed in different courses for engineering school. Concerning scientific research, he has 10+ years activity in High Energy Physics with collaboration with: Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics (Italy), Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (USA), CERN (Switzerland). Matteo Martini published 100+ scientific papers on International refereed journals together with an important activity in science outreach. 

Dr. Robert W. Robertson is President of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute. In addition, he is a Visiting Professor of Management at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Dr. Robertson serves as a Scientific Adviser to the Global Universities in Distance Education (GUIDE) association sponsored by Marconi University in Rome, Italy.  In 2016, Dr. Robertson was named a Fulbright Scholar by the United States Department of State; and, an Emerging Leader in the America’s Scholar by the Government of Canada.  Dr. Robertson has more than twenty five years of experience leading and managing organizations in the public sector and in academia in the Bahamas, Kazakhstan, Canada, Vietnam and the United States. Dr. Robertson’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science (East Tennessee State University); Master of Arts (Eastern Kentucky University); Master of Public Administration (Dalhousie University, Canada); Master of Studies in Environmental Law (Vermont Law School); Post Graduate Diploma in International Management-China (University of London, England); Post- Doctoral Certificate, International Business and Leadership (Argosy University); and, Doctor of Philosophy in Management and Organization (Stirling University, Scotland). In addition, he has completed an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

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