Columbus State to Host First Distance Learning Conference

COLUMBUS, Ga. - More than 100 people have already registered for Columbus State University’s first-ever Distance Learning Conference, which will bring nationally known teaching professionals and technology experts to Columbus.
The Sept. 23-24 conference will offer sessions for educators of all experience levels who want to learn more about teaching with technology, online education and other aspects of distance learning, said Tom Hackett, Columbus State’s associate provost and chair of the University Distance Learning Committee.

“This event is the first of its kind to be held in Columbus,” Hackett said. “We’ve attracted enough expertise to our first event that we are confident that this will be a professional development opportunity on par with opportunities found in much larger cities in the country. We’re also confident that this will become an annual event that is attractive to many new and veteran educators.”   

The conference at Columbus State’s Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd., was developed by Hackett’s committee, University Information and Technology Services and the Department of Distance Learning Design and Delivery. 

The conference theme, “Distance Learning: The ‘Now’ Frontier,” offers professional development opportunities for all academics, educators and professionals interested in distance learning and communication through the use of distance technology.

The conference begins with networking opportunities and vendor exhibits at noon on Sept. 23, followed by remarks from Columbus State President Tim Mescon and an opening keynote by Nathan Benjamin, a leader in the design and development of distance learning courses for over a decade.  Day two keynote speaker and conference guest is George Veletsianos, assistant professor of instructional technology at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research and teaching interests include the design, development, and evaluation of digital learning environments, with a focus on adventure learning, virtual characters, emerging technologies and the learner experience.

Breakout session topics include presentations in five conference theme areas: Cool Tools, Creating Communities Online, First Timer’s Online Teaching Club, Innovative Strategies and What You Need to Teach Online.  Presenters include academics from universities in Georgia, Florida, Texas, leaders from the corporate field, and leading technology experts in the fields of online instruction and video production. A vendor fair featuring leaders in the field of technology will be held throughout the conference.

Cost of the two-day conference is $45 and includes a Sept. 23 reception, plus breakfast and lunch on Sept. 24.  Registration will be allowed until the day of the event. For more information, go to