June 12 to 14, 2008, was Athabasca University’s 11th Annual Distance Education Technology Symposium (DETS), held at the Delta Centre Suite Hotel in Edmonton. Having attended the first symposium in Banff, in 1998, I continued attending many, with this being my 6th. DETS is presented by the Centre for Distance Education of Athabasca University in conjunction with the Master of Distance Education (MDE) program. If you read my prior entry, you will know the connection with me as a MDE grad. Students, alumni, and others are welcome.

Events such as DETS are inspiring and tend to re-ignite passions. When it comes to teaching others and developing materials, I come alive with distance education and technology. This becomes obvious when I can spend hours working at the computer and wanting more.

The DETS agenda saw us meeting for a social the first evening, renewing and making acquaintances with faculty, staff, alumni, and current students. Friday and Saturday were packed full of presentations by faculty, alumni, and students, with one friend making the trip from Mexico City to stay at my home and make a presentation during the conference. I am not going to cover the presentations here, but it was great to see Dr Jon Baggaley’s session covering his 800 day trip to 21 Asia-Pacific countries where he was involved with distance education research and development projects.

The presence of Web 2.0 in education is certainly noted. Although not new, it is still in its infancy. Just as I am becoming more familiar with the use of Web 2.0 tools in relation to business, I look forward to following the educational applications and their effect on teaching and learning. For my part, I will be incorporating Web 2.0 and educational activities in my business, and I hope to be able to report at a future conference.

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