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Sac State experts shine at international conference


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Sacramento State’s J.P. Bayard, assistant vice president for Technology Initiatives and director of Academic Technology and Creative Services, and communication studies Professor Raymond Koegel, who specializes in interactive learning, traveled to Haiti on Friday, Sept. 28, to help present a three-day information technology workshop to the leaders of primarily Haitian universities.

Haiti Conference

Bayard and Koegel were invited to participate in the conference, titled “Technology Applications in Higher Education: A Three-Day IT Workshop for University Administrators in Haiti,” sponsored by the Spanish consortium Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) and a Canadian consortium.

Information technology is a major part of Haiti’s plan to rebuild and expand the capacity of their higher education system. Sacramento State is a sponsor of the program by virtue of Bayard and Koegel’s involvement in this training effort. Although the University is not formally affiliated with Haitian institutes of higher learning, Bayard, who was born in Haiti, speaks French and Creole, and has provided IT assistance to Haiti’s higher education community since the 2010 earthquake.

Their presentations drew upon Sac State’s eLearning initiative to provide multiple learning opportunities for students. The sessions included theories and development of distance learning; models of mobile-based distance education; supporting community learning with mobile devices; learning management systems; and the emerging role of tablets, such as the iPad, for delivering instruction.

The sessions were very well received. “The content was interesting and very attractive,” said a program evaluator. “Bravo to all for your demonstration of an immense capacity to adapt.” Both the Spanish and Canadian consortiums, representing the universities of Laval, Ottawa, Moncton and Sherbrooke, were enthusiastic about the IT workshop outcome and expressed the desire for continued collaboration in the development of future workshops.

Koegel was particularly impressed with the commitment and sophistication of the Haitian educators in leveraging the resources at their disposal. Bayard noted: “As an IT administrator, it was a great opportunity for professional development, having to deliver services in an environment with very limited infrastructure, and appreciating how lucky we obviously are here at Sacramento State.”

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Alan Miller