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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Symposium features national experts

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 22 - February 26, 1998

The university's 125th anniversary symposium, "The Impact of Technology on the Learning Environment," will feature several nationally and internationally recognized experts and authors in the use of information technology in education and training.
The symposium, which will be held in the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center on March 30-31, will focus on the ways technology is changing and will change learning in the K-12 educational setting, higher education, and corporate training and will look at the future of technology in education and training.
The symposium keynote speaker will be Don Tapscott (see separate article), chairman of the Alliance for Converging Technologies and author of several international best-selling books. Other featured speakers will include John D. Bransford, Margaret A. "Peg" Miller, Eli M. Noam, Charles "Chic" Thompson, and Susan Saltrick.
Bransford, the centennial professor of psychology and education and co-director of the Learning Technology Center at Vanderbilt University, will focus on technology in K-12 education. The author of seven books and hundreds of articles and presentations, Bransford is an internationally renowned scholar in the areas of cognition and technology.
Bransford and his colleagues at the Learning Technology Center have developed and tested a number of innovative computer, videodisk, CD-ROM, and Internet programs for mathematics, science, and literacy, including the Jasper Woodbury Problem Solving Series in Mathematics, the Sciences in Action Series, and the award-winning Little Planet Literacy Series, which are used by schools throughout the world. They are currently developing "The Education Connection," an Internet project that provides web pages and links to each of the nation's 106,000 K-12 schools.
Miller, president of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE), will focus on technology in higher education. She worked as an English professor and campus administrator at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth for 15 years before joining the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in 1986. From 1987 to 1997, she served as SCHEV's chief academic officer, which included responsibilities for the approval, review, and assessment of academic programs throughout Virginia.
Miller has advised university systems in Hungary, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Puerto Rico on issues of quality assurance and has written about and been a featured speaker throughout the country on assessment, indicators of institutional effectiveness, restructuring colleges and universities, the new teaching technologies, changing faculty roles and rewards, faculty workload, tenure, general education, and the university of the 21st century. At AAHE she continues the association's work to bring together thoughtful constituents to address the major challenges facing higher education in the current era of constant change.
Noam, director of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information and professor of finance and economics at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business, will be the corporate-community featured speaker.
The author of over a dozen books and about 200 articles on domestic and international telecommunications, television, information, and regulation subjects, Noam has served on the boards for the federal government's FTS-2000 telephone network, the IRS's computer modernization project, and the National Computer Lab. He has also served as public-service commissioner engaged in the telecommunications and energy regulation of New York State. Among his books are Telecommunications in Europe, Telecommunications in the Pacific Basin, and Asymmetric Deregulation. Forthcoming books include Telecommunications in Africa, Interconnecting the Network of Networks, and The Last Bottleneck of the Information Revolution: Competing for Attention Span.
Thompson, president of the Creative Management Group and a best-selling book author, will focus on the future of technology in education and training.
Thompson's first book, What a Great Idea! was a main selection of the Executive Book Club and has been published in Japanese, German, and Spanish. His second book, Yes, But....The Top Forty Killer Phrases, is a guide to overcoming the bureaucratic language that stifles innovation and re-engineering. Thompson is also an adjunct faculty member at Arthur Andersen's Center for Professional Education, IBM's Advanced Management School, the University of Virginia's Darden Business School, Federal Executive Institute, and the FBI Academy. He has worked in new product development and marketing for W. L. Gore and Associates, Johnson & Johnson, and Walt Disney, which he left to start his own cartoon company to produce educational videos.
Saltrick, vice president and director of new media for the publishing firm Addison Wesley Longman, New York, will make a special presentation, "Through a Dark Wood." Saltrick is a new-media publishing professional with nearly 15 years experience in the acquisition, development, and marketing of educational technology. She has been responsible for the publication of over 200 new media titles.
In 1996 Saltrick co-directed the Summer Program in Multimedia for Higher Education. She speaks and writes frequently on the intersection of education, technology, and publishing and its impact on our life and world.
For more, check the Web site at http://www.conted.vt.edu/125/anniversary.html, call 1-5433, or send an e-mail message to schroder@vt.edu.