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C2C Digital Magazine (Spring / Summer 2015)

Colleague 2 Colleague, Author
Cover, page 17 of 21


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#SIDLIT2015: Driving Change--Steering into the Future of Ed Tech (July 30 - 31, 2015)

By Vincent Miller, Johnson County Community College

Colleague 2 Colleague's signature event is the Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT).  The 16th annual SIDLIT is scheduled for July 30 - 31, 2015, at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kansas. The theme for the event is "Driving Change--Steering into the Future of Ed Tech."  

Presentation Topics

Topic areas for the presentations include the following:  
  • Educational Innovation and Practice 
  • Administration of Instructional Technology
  • Future Trends 
  • Technology Makers
  • Sponsor Showcase 
The conference will feature some 70 presenters from a range of disciplines and organizations.  The full conference schedule may be seen at the EventJoy site for this event.  (If there are questions about the event schedule, please email Dr. Ed Lovitt at 

Keynote:  The Next Generation of the Learning Management System: Social, Global, and Engaging

Dr. Ali Jafari, a renowned entrepreneur and computer scientist, is the 2015 keynote speaker. He will share his vision for social learning spaces.  

Jafari has gained an unofficial title of Founding Father of the LMS, will discuss his vision of the next generation of Learning Management Systems (LMS). Dr. Jafari envisions a new learning environment that looks and feels like an engaging social site with full-fledged learning management features, a system that networks your students with learners taking similar courses from across the world, and a platform that offers recognitions, badges, and a lifelong academic ePortfolio.

Jafari is an entrepreneur with 17 years of experience and is well known for his research and entrepreneurship in the area of information technology-more specifically, on the development of a series of learning management systems. He currently works as Professor of Engineering and Technology and Director of CyberLab at Indiana University, IUPUI campus and CEO of CourseNetworking LCC.

The four major software system products he envisioned, created, and commercialized compete among a dozen internationally known LMS products. Jafari’s projects included Indiana University’s Oncourse (now Sakai) (1999); ANGEL Learning (2000), which was acquired by Blackboard; Epsilen Environment (funded by The New York Times); and CourseNetworking, LLC (, 2011).

As a researcher and a technology designer, Jafari continues to innovate and combine the next generation learning management and social networking features into the academic sphere to form a new solution to teaching and learning. He leads a development team in China and a research and development team in the CyberLab (a partnership between CourseNetworking and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis).

Jafari has contributed his entrepreneurial and technology savvy to three books, co-editing and authoring Handbook of Research on ePortfolios, Designing Portals, and Course Management Systems for Learning: Beyond Accidental Pedagogy. He has presented papers and delivered keynote addresses at more than 100 national and international conferences.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Isfahan in Iran, an M.S. in media technology from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in telecommunications and mass communication from Indiana University.

For Additional Information

If you  have any questions, please email  

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