Trends in Educational Technology - serves as a venue to discuss and demonstrate some of the latest trends and developments in educational technology. Topics include mobile devices and BYOD (bring your own devices) in the classroom, social media for learning, agile development, active collaborative classrooms, flipped learning, badges, learning spaces, and personalized learning to name a few.
Innovative & Best Practice - focuses on creative and transformational ideas in learning technology and programmatic initiatives as well as established, proven and applied methods in the field of distance learning. Topics include theory, models of innovative and best practice in teaching and learning, course and program design and delivery, efficient and effective support systems, promoting a culture of innovation, etc.
Research - Theoretical, methodological, empirical, or application-oriented study of distance learning, blended learning, and educational technology is showcased in this track. Student research is encouraged.
Accessibility & Universal Design - focuses on how to provide equal access and opportunity to people with disabilities through universal design of online courses, websites, and other internet-based resources. Topics include strategies for creating an accessibility evaluation plan & policies, universal design considerations, creating and extending support services, understanding the laws, addressing legal issues, etc.
Cyber Security & Data Analytics – focuses on two different areas. Focus on how an organization is dealing with cyber security and the implications for a breach along with what data is being used to determine internet integrity. The other focus is on data analytics, which can range from using big data for institutional success to data at the course, student, and/or program level; topics include showing student retention & persistence, determining at-risk students, evaluating course design, showing faculty or staff engagement, data-driven decision making, analysis and creation of new insights, etc.
Faculty & Student Support – focuses on concepts related to providing employees, faculty, staff, and trainers appropriate professional development opportunities to help them stay current and productive in their fields including strategies and resources for providing technical and academic support to help distance education students succeed. Topics include identifying training needs, designing programming, training tools and resources, continuing education, incentives, help desk functions, call centers, technical manuals, work flows, self-help tools, written and video-based support resources, identifying student and faculty needs, etc.
PK - 12, Educational Outreach & Workforce Development - focuses on Pre Kindergarten to 12th grades, educational outreach activities, and workforce development opportunities at distance education or heavy technology integration. Topics include strategies for creating distance education courses, managing a distance education program with PK-12 audiences, distance education/blended continuing education certificates, creation of professional development series for employees, citizen science, etc.
Gamification & Virtualization - serves as a venue to discuss and demonstrate the latest trends and developments in gamification and virtualizations. Topics include educational game usage, game development and design, virtual labs, virtual worlds, 3D videos in education, 3D simulations, virtual reality, etc.
Administration, Leadership, & Policy – focuses on how to setup and administer an online or distance education program, including administering quality measures, planning, budgeting, compliance standards (THECB, SACS, HERC), leadership, mentoring, institutional effectiveness, administrative support structures, upgrade management and design plans, legal and policy issues, marketing, public and legislative policy updates and the impact on distance programs, students, and faculty.
Reflections of the Past, Visions of the Future – What do you want to share, demonstrate, present, and collaborate regarding the history and future of distance education that falls outside of the above tracks? This area is to show or discover your historian or innovator within. Is there a story you should tell or provide context to a topic, then this track is for you! Think outside the box and bring it on!