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The Winds of Change
Elizabeth Perrin, Ph.D., Editor
Heart-felt thanks to our readers for their support through
the myriad of changes, technical, human, philosophical within the learning arena.
Focus in Distance Learning has been sharpened, defused and then sharpened again
with the introduction, implementation and evaluation of wave after wave of technologies
- hardware, software, courseware, networks and content.
Distance Learning, in our world, began with a small gray
banner on the cover of the Anaheim TeleCon Convention brochure announcing two
sessions on Distance Learning. Dr. Robert Threlkeld and I gave one of them.
The other was a presentation using a now non-existent technology. That was some
17 years ago. Five years later, the Banner Titles of the TeleCon Convention
Brochure were shared equally by Technology, Education and Distance Learning.
Now we are all part of mega Distance Learning and Training conventions, national
Assessing the impact of these major technologies, both practical
and philosophical, within Distance Learning and Training, is of primary importance
for guidance and fulfillment of our broad education mandates and training objectives.
A number of entities collect data on use of technology in education and training.
These include the Bureau of the Census, National Center for Educational Statistics,
and studies commissioned by public and private groups and foundations. Accurate
data is invaluable to interpret growth and impact of technology, and for plotting
a future course. The Pew Trust is one of the premiere institutions dedicated
to the needs of education. Through research and partnerships,
the Pew Internet and American Life Project is providing much needed data, insight,
and foundation for future planning.
The Project recently completed
two major research projects on use of the Internet in K-12 schools and in college.
With kind permission from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, we present
summary of findings for each of these projects in this issue and links to the
entire document. We recommend detailed study of this data resource. These studies
are listed in Feature Articles.
Journal Restructure, Change and Growth
With support from the USDLA Board of Directors, Glenda
Mathis, President and Dr. John Flores, Executive Director, we are in the process
of introducing substantive changes in the format and staffing for the USDLA
Journal. These changes will enable us to better serve our readership,
national and international, academia, business, industry, government, and health
We are pleased to announce additions
to our Editorial Advisory Board. In September we introduced Dr. Brent Muirhead
as Editor, Online Learning, and Stephen Downes as Editor at Large. As of October,
we are pleased to announce that Paula Moreira, Vice President of eLearning,
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, has agreed to join us as Editor, Training
and Technology. Paula brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her position
in the world’s largest IT training company.
We are fortunate to have been joined
by Michael D. Austin as USDLA Journal Development Coordinator. Mike has a love
of learning and a strong background in communication technologies. He is Co-Publisher,
The Editorial Advisory Board is pursuing five directions for improvement:
- A survey to learn more about our readership identified by over 100,000 hits
each month on USDLA Journal pages.
- A more comprehensive Online Journal that better represents interests and
demographics of our constituents - a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals
involved in education and training.
- Within the year, in addition to our monthly online Journal, the initiation
of a quarterly Journal in Print.
- A searchable index of all USDLA articles on the web.
- A web archive of articles in print from Ed at a Distance Magazine and USDLA
The editors welcome your input. Please click the Comments to the Editor
link below the left column menus to forward your ideas and comments.