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Florida Distance Learning Association

Ft. Lauderdale, FL was the site of the first annual conference on distance education sponsored by the Florida Distance Learning Association (FDLA). The conference brought together individuals involved in the provision and administration of distance education in K-12 and higher education. The purpose of the conference was to provide educators, trainers, and supporters of education on all levels with information, skill training, and exposure to distance education technologies and teaching strategies. Conference planning chair, Joel Levine, proclaimed the event a great success and was already making plans for the conference for next year.

The theme of or the 2002 conference, and the mantra for quality distance education today, was "...providing quality training and educational experiences to diverse audiences, regardless of time or location." The conference lived up to that theme by providing workshops, speakers and exhibits that highlighted the creation of quality distance education experiences for faculty and students.

Highlighted speakers and presenters included Gary H. Becker (Manager of Media Productions, Seminole County Public Schools & Author of Copyright: A Guide To Information And Resources), Dr. David Thornburg (Director of Global Operations, The Thornburg Center & Author of Campfires in Cyberspace) John Opper (Executive Director, Florida Community College, Distance Learning Consortium and Interim Executive Director, Florida Virtual Campus), Julie Young (Director of the Florida Virtual Schools), Phyllis Schiffer-Simon (Director of BECON, School Board of Broward County), MaryAnn Butler Pearson (Distance Coordinator, BECON, School Board of Broward County), and Diane Lippe (Distance Education Director/Instructional Designer, Innovation Zone, Office of Information Technology, Nova Southeastern University).

The exhibit hall rounded out the opportunities for learning and included Applied Global Technologies Audio Visual Solutions, Barry University, BECON Broward County, Blackboard Inc., Diskovery Educational System, Electronic Classroom Furniture Systems, FDLA, Florida National College, Florida Virtual School, Lifetime Library, Longman English Success, Magicsoft Corporation, MCSI, Nova Southeastern University, Okee-Comp Corp, Polycom, Realcast, SBC DataCommunications, Spectrum Industries Inc., Tandberg, Teacher Created Materials, The Whitlock Group, VSGI, and WebCT.

The 2003 conference for FDLA, promises to be bigger and better. Distance education has taken off at all levels of education and creating quality distance education is a priority for many institutions. Solutions and best practices are gradually being created and conferences, such as the FDLA event, serve to circulate solutions and such best practices. Thanks to host Nova Southeastern University, and sponsors, the FDLA conference was a great success.

For more information: http://www.fdla.com/fdla_2002_conference.htm or http://www.fdla.com

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