Dec. 27, 2022: Webinars 2023 + Updates from our Sponsors

A Note from Pat Cassella, executive director, US Distance Learning AssociationFirst and foremost, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday, and I want to be one of the first to wish you a Happy New Year.

In the spirit of getting a jump on 2023, you will find three upcoming USDLA Free Friday Webinars you won’t miss. Scroll down for details, and click here to register:

Also, below you’ll find exciting events that our USDLA Sponsors are hosting in January. It’s our privilege to support them, and look forward to offering this opportunity to more organizations who are signing up to work with us in the new year! Click here to find how you can become a sponsor in 2023:

Stay safe, and have a wonderful new year’s eve! — Pat,

Janet Major

Friday, Jan. 6, 1 PM Eastern: Telehealth in our Libraries: an Update on this National Trend

Presenter: Janet Major (with a follow-up session on the RUS grant by Kristin DeProspero at 2 PM ET)

About this National Trend: The future of delivering healthcare and improving access must include investing in technology and telecommunications connectivity in public places. Space that’s accessible to the public in locations where we can have private conversations about our health, whether we are at our local library, school, or visiting a mobile unit with internet connectivity. Technology + Connectivity can connect everyone in our communities to healthcare, including clinical and educational applications.

In this session: We will explore several state programs and modalities currently being used to provide access to healthcare in our trusted public places for people who often need it most. Investing in and managing technology and devices for those who do not own them is critical to increasing access to healthcare, empowering patients, and eliminating the digital divide. We will also explore several exciting programs from across the United States while sharing best practice protocols that will include everything from delivering telehealth services to our schools, in our libraries as well as the use of mobile units that provide not only technology and telecommunications connectivity but also deliver space and the ability to connect to our communities “anywhere” including the local food bank. The possibilities are endless if you have access to what you need to connect. A wide variety of useful resources will be provided, including potential funding opportunities along with the contact information for the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC) and organizations in YOUR home state who are leading the way.

About Janet Major: As the Associate Director for Innovation & Digital Health for the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC), Janet’s role includes the planning, development, and installation of the teleconferencing and telemedicine technology used for providing telemedicine services in a wide variety of locations. She provides training for all healthcare professionals in the effective use of videoconferencing for clinical and educational applications used for LIVE interactive and store-and-forward applications.  She has served as a leader for several statewide and national organizations with an emphasis on those that promote and support recruiting, training, and preparing the healthcare workforce of the future. She is the past Chair of the mHealth, Technology & Distance Learning Special Interest Group of the American Telemedicine Association. She continues to serve as a leader in the telemedicine technology community. She has served as President and Chair of the United States Distance Learning Association during her 10-year tenure on their Board of Directors. Ms. Major has been active throughout her career with the network of telecommunications experts of Arizona. She continues to participate in activities that support our state’s broadband office and as an Associate Board Member of ATIC: the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council. Janet is an enthusiastic advocate for improving broadband access for the tribal communities in Arizona and the southwest, including supporting the growth of telehealth in our neighboring states.

Kristin DeProspero will come back at 2 PM ET, right after Janet’s session, to answer additional follow-up questions from her session last week.

Topic: Understanding the Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine (RUS-DLT) Grant

About the RUS DLT Grants: These are specifically designed to increase access to education training and healthcare resources for organizations in rural America. Awards range from $50,000 to $1 million and are due Jan. 30, 2023. In this workshop, you’ll learn more about the grant, the application, and more. Don’t miss it!

About Kristin DeProspero: Kristin is the VP of Grant and Adoption Services at Solutionz, Inc. She has been a proven leader in the unified communications field, dedicated to healthcare and education applications, for over 30 years. Using innovative thinking and her specialized knowledge of a range of grant opportunities, including, but not limited to, E-rate, USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant, BTOP, School-Based Health Center Capital Grant, and HRSA grants, Kristin has helped countless schools, institutions, and organization secure funding so they could bring the best tools and resources to their learners. She is also a member of the USDLA Board of Directors.

Click here to register for the webinar:

Friday, Jan. 13, 1 PM Eastern: Leadership Perspectives of Rural Distance Learning

Presenter: Dr. Matt Newlin

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the countless ways rural and remote students are disadvantaged in higher education, particularly regarding distance learning. While institutions were quickly pivoting to online learning during the pandemic, little thought was put into whether or not some students would even have reliable broadband access once the campuses were closed. As we come out of the pandemic, very few substantive changes have been made to account for students and communities whose access to online or distance learning is restricted by geography or technological limitations. Students still struggle with access to distance learning, creating inequitable opportunities and outcomes for rural populations.

In this session: Participants will learn about the most critical issues for institutions providing distance learning to students who live in rural or remote communities. Discussions will be based on present research and examples of practical changes already being implemented by institutions and organizations. Attendees will have the chance to critique their approach to serving rural and remote students and learn how they address their rural populations’ needs from other colleagues.

Click here to register for the webinar:

Jan. 20: Leadership decisions in faculty training for online teaching and learning

Presenter: Lisa A. Clark, EdD, Senior Product Manager, Learn Ultra

Distance education has evolved into a trusted, necessary, and expected form of delivering higher education content, no longer considered a fad or a new method of instruction. Due to the rapid growth of distance education offerings, early participating faculty needed more training, guidance, or standards regarding building their virtual courses. Fast forward to 2020 and the shutdown of in-person instruction worldwide, most Instructors needed more time to be ready to address the differences between synchronous (traditional face-to-face) and asynchronous (via distance education) learning environments. Now, more than ever, students expect online education offerings at their institutions and may obtain their entire degree program via distance.

In this session: Participants will learn the best ways to encourage training for online teaching and what is truly important to instructors regarding their preference for training and incentives for training. These topics and more will be shared in this session to outline ideas related to leadership decisions for online teaching and learning training.

Click here to register for the webinar:

Apply for a Free* Seat in EiE’s All-New Computer Science Professional Learning Course

EiE®, Museum of Science is excited to offer an all-new computer science professional learning course, Computer Science and Computational Thinking for Elementary Educators. This course is a collection of five professional learning lessons intended to build confidence in K-5 classroom teachers and STEM educators who are getting started with or in need of a foundational refresher course in computer science and computational thinking.

Independent of any specific curriculum or tool, each lesson of the course offers interactive, self-paced activities that provide teachers with innovative strategies and tips for integrating effective and engaging computer science and computational thinking into their limited class time. Each lesson is expected to take approximately 75 minutes, including online learning and hands-on activities, to plan for and reflect on classroom implementation.

*Free enrollment in this course is limited and contingent upon your agreement to participate in a feedback process both during and after the course is completed. Free participation in this professional learning course requires participants to complete all five lessons between January 9 and February 3, 2023 (total of 9-10 hours) and complete two brief surveys, once upon completion of the course and again roughly 10 weeks later in April.  Chosen participants will be notified by email by January 4 and provided with all necessary instructions for participation at that time.

If interested, click here for more information • Questions? Contact Jeremy Simon,

Yellowdig Learner Engagement Summit 2023: Jan. 11, 9:00 AM Eastern — Jan. 12, 7:30 PM EST

USDLA Members: Don’t miss this no-cost conference, which will have many great opportunities for you to learn from your peers and discuss the future of education. Below are some highlights of what to expect from the event.
  • Yellowdig will kick off the first day with a short introduction from founder and CEO Shaunak Roy. Then, he will turn it over to Mark Milliron, President, and CEO of National University.
  • The day will flow following how a student would engage with an institution’s offerings across their time with the institution. For example, we’ll discuss orientation and co-curricular activities with the University of Michigan and Depaul University.
  • Throughout the two days, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from Yellowdig users innovatively and effectively driving engagement in their courses across many subjects, including Philosophy, Business, Language Learning, and Clinical/fieldwork.
  • There will be options to attend roundtable discussions featuring leaders, designers, and faculty members from institutions including Arizona State University, Boston University, Babson College, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and others.
  • Each day, we’ll conclude with a riveting keynote from a prominent leader in the field. On January 11th, we will hear from Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida. On January 12th, we’ll conclude the conference with a message from Richard Senese, Ph.D., L.P., President of Capella University.

Click here to register and learn more about the schedule and speakers!

Jan. 24, 10 AM  Eastern and Jan. 26, 2 PM Eastern: IntelliBoard Webinar

Topic: Higher Ed Costs: Do More with Less. Leveraging Technology in Student Retention Plans

Presenter: DeVon Hunt, Director of Training & Onboarding

Description: In this session, we will discuss using technology to create cross-department retention strategies that include early student interventions.

We will also cover how to decide the best technology and which criteria you should evaluate, including:

  • Ease of Setup
  • Scalability
  • Identifying Key Success Metrics

Click here to register!