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Wyoming Distance Learning Center Survey Will Help Establish Distance-Education Needs, Services


November 22, 2010 — In response to the growing use of online and distance education, the Wyoming Center for Excellence and Innovation in Distance Learning and Technology (WyoDLC) has created a survey to gather information and ideas on how it can help Wyoming educators and residents teach and learn at a distance.

The online survey is available on the center's web site at: www.wyodlc.org. Teachers, parents, students and the public are invited to complete the brief, 15-question survey.  The survey will help the center shape its priorities as it develops services statewide. It will be available online through Dec. 31.

"The survey will help WyoDLC discover what distance education is currently in use, what distance education opportunities people would like to see and what barriers limit access to distance education in Wyoming," says Elizabeth Simpson, who directs the center based at the University of Wyoming.

In a recent informal poll of Wyoming educators and administrators conducted by the WyoDLC, more than half of teachers surveyed said they would like to teach online, but they have not had the opportunity or training to do so. Yet most of the children they are teaching often access information through the Web.

"In today's economy high unemployment rates fuel the need for specialized job retraining that may be out of reach if travel is involved," Simpson says. "Distance education provides learning opportunities across the spectrum of needs of Wyoming citizens."

Recognizing these needs and acting upon the recommendations of a governor-appointed task force, the Wyoming State Legislature this year allocated funds to create the WyoDLC, which will help foster innovative technology, training and resources to increase distance-learning opportunities at all levels throughout the state.

The center finds ways to educate, share, and facilitate the expanded use of distance technologies such as video conferencing, audio conferencing and online platforms for learning and communicating. The center works with schools and serves as a hub for information and expertise for professional development and research, as well as government, non-profit and business uses.

For more information on the survey or the WyoDLC, visit www.wyodlc.org or call Simpson at (307) 721-9352.

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