Tony Bates, an expert in online learning and distance education who has written 11 related books, including 2011’s Managing Technology in Higher Education: Strategies for Transforming Teaching and Learning, joins e.SCAPE on March 5 to deliver its keynote address.
Bates is the president and CEO of Tony Bates Associates Ltd., a firm that helped several Canadian schools develop eLearning strategies. He has also held a number of academic positions, including that of director of Distance Education and Technology in the Continuing Studies Division of the University of British Columbia.
“Tony Bates’s wealth of experience and practical knowledge of learning environments will help guide our program planning in a fundamental way,” Bolton says. “It will help shape the questions we need to ask ourselves so that our courses and programs best meet the needs and expectations of next-generation students.”
The advantages of eLearning
Bates is clear on the benefits eLearning offers universities. “Knowledge management is essential for graduates to function in our digital society,” he says. “eLearning equips students with skills to go beyond mere digital literacy and teaches them to find, evaluate, analyze and apply information in whatever field they are studying.”
He believes technology will give faculty members a range of new ways to approach teaching, allowing them to move from the traditional classroom to a more dynamic model. Bates points to mobile learning, student ePortfolios, blogs and wikis, online animations and simulations, open educational resources and remote labs as examples of how technology can enhance the educational experience.
At e.SCAPE, he will also offer insights to members of the Concordia community who are shaping the university’s policies on eLearning and technology in teaching.
“Faculty, staff and students are crucial in crafting visions for the future,” he says. “Together, they can explore the best ways of developing both the people and technology infrastructure to support online or blended learning within the university environment.”
Participants will also have a chance to check out the latest tools and technologies for eLearning at a day-long teaching and technology fair.
Bolton sees e.SCAPE as an integral part of Concordia’s commitment to the use of technology in teaching.
“We encourage faculty to participate and hear first-hand from their colleagues about how the online environment can be both a challenging and productive learning space for all students as our university looks to the future,” she says.
The e.SCAPE: Knowledge, Teaching, Technology conference takes place from Wednesday, March 5, to Friday, March 7. Tony Bates will deliver the conference’s keynote address on Wednesday, March 5, at 6 p.m. in the Norman D. Hébert, LLD, Meeting Room (Room EV-2.260) in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building, 1515 Ste-Catherine St. W.).