LT’s Dr. Angel Pazurek along with Dr. Paul Hardt from Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) gave a talk at LTML on international perspectives in learning technologies. They discussed the implications of online education for international development while casting light on some current initiatives in Ecuador, where Hardt currently lives and works. Their presentation was titled “From Local Learning Places to Global Learning Spaces: A Discussion of Online Education in Ecuador.” LT faculty and graduate students in attendance shared in dialogue about new directions in online education and possibilities for implementing sociocultural models to forge international connections and collaborations. Hardt spoke about plans underway at USFQ to develop online programming that emphasizes social dynamics.
Hardt currently serves as the Director of Online Education at USFQ, Ecuador’s top-rated private university. He is a Minnesota native and University of Minnesota alumnus, and held former positions in faculty development at Capella University in Minneapolis. Pazurek is an instructor and researcher in Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarship examines online teaching and learning in higher education contexts. Most recently, Pazurek’s work has included an exploration of international initiatives in online education with a current focus on the South American country of Ecuador. She plans to return to Quito in June 2015 to continue research on how online technologies can extend learning across cultures and continents. The focus of this second trip to Ecuador will be to study how some Ecuadorian universities are implementing online education in their curriculum and the potential for partnerships with U.S. institutions.