Associate director, Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning also named "Elluminate Hero"
Shari McCurdy Smith, associate director of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at UIS.
SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield is among 11 institutions in the U.S. and Canada recently selected as 2008 Centers of Excellence by Elluminate, Inc., a leading provider of live eLearning and web collaboration solutions.
The Center of Excellence program highlights best practices and recognizes academic institutions and corporations that take a "progressive approach to change" by implementing Elluminate Live! in creative ways to improve classroom or distance learning programs, training, staff communication and collaboration, or administrative operations. Center of Excellence status is typically bestowed for one year.
Maurice Heiblum, Elluminate, Inc., president, said that the program "showcases those institutions and individuals who are the best of the best in developing live eLearning programs … . We are excited by the creative and innovative use of Elluminate Live! by our winners and are honored to play a part in the outstanding results they continue to achieve."
Shari McCurdy Smith, associate director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, was also named an Elluminate Hero. "Elluminate Heroes" are the individuals or teams who are responsible for their institutions being accepted into the program.
Said Smith, "Nothing happens in this world without open and frank communication. A synchronous web conferencing tool like Elluminate allows all users to connect at the same time, speak in frank and open dialog, and connect ideas in an affordable manner. Our institutional changes are nothing less than spectacular."
Smith added that, by using Elluminate, UIS has brought online and on-campus initiatives together, saved time and resources, and "effected powerful cultural change." Additional benefits, she said, include enhanced student services such as online writing and math workshops and career advising, as well as the chance to build collaborations -- some for teaching, others for sharing ideas and instructional techniques -- where they might not otherwise have existed.
A member of the OTEL staff since 1999, Smith has wide experience in technology instruction, program development, conference planning and presentation, grant development and review, and high-end videoconferencing systems. She regularly makes presentations at professional conferences on topics ranging from best practices in online learning to faculty burnout. In addition, she facilitates faculty development workshops for the Sloan Consortium and is an administrative fellow at the University of Illinois. She has also created, developed, and taught three fully online graduate courses in educational technology.
The mission of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at UIS is to promote faculty use of the Internet and allied developing technologies to enhance learning, scholarship, and service.
Additional details about the 2008 Elluminate Centers of Excellence awards are available at www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=831089.For more information about the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at UIS, go to http://otel.uis.edu/Portal/index.asp.