Past Events

April 17, 2020 at 3pm EST:   “Thinking on the Edge of the Box” – Michael Beaudoin, Ed. D., Emeritus Professor of Education

April 17, 2020 at 3pm EST:   “Thinking on the Edge of the Box” – Michael Beaudoin, Ed. D., Emeritus Professor of Education, University of New England  – Zoom info below. 

Current as well as aspiring distance education leaders, attempting to introduce innovative  programs and practices into conventional academic settings are often so eager to demonstrate they are ‘thinking outside the box’ that the new ideas they advocate appear too different and too radical compared to current practices, and thus frequently end-up alienating rather than attracting followers, thus generating resistance difficult overcome, and preserving the status quo.

The “Thinking on the Edge of the Box’ strategy utilizes an approach that cultivates interest and engagement by demonstrating how proposed new practices can augment rather than supplant existing ones (transactional distance), and in this manner, brings prospective followers closer to new ways on the edge of the box (transitional distance. Once conditions for change have been established, implementation of innovative programs and practice can occur (transformative distance).

This practice recognizes the value of concepts such as ‘early adopters’ and shows how innovative ideas can more gradually be insinuated into familiar environments so that skeptics eventually realize they have moved from the center to the edge and finally beyond the familiar. While the ultimate goal may require a bit more time to be fully realized, by convincingly articulating the benefits of where they propose to go, leaders are more likely to achieve greater success, and become more effective distance education leaders of the next era within their organizations.

Beaudoin biographical summary –

 Michael Beaudoin, Ed. D., Emeritus Professor of Education, University of New England (UNE) in Maine, has held senior administrative positions and faculty appointments at institutions in the US and Europe, and has developed, directed and taught in several distance/online education graduate degree programs. As founding dean of a new college at UNE, he was instrumental in launching innovative programs that had graduated nearly 10,000 students in the two decades since their inception in the early 90’s.

He has been a visiting scholar at institutions in several countries, and a Fulbright Fellow in Ghana in 2007. He has authored over 130 publications and presentations in distance education, leadership, and change. He is recognized internationally for his expertise in distance education, and his publications have been cited more than 1,500 times. He is a recipient of the 2006 Charles Wedemeyer Award for the book which made the most significant contribution to the field.

Michael’s recent publications include two book chapters- one in the 4th edition of the Handbook of Distance Education, which re-assesses leadership roles in distance education; the other provides a historical analysis of the evolution of distance education in the US from inception to present.  He serves on several journals’ editorial and review boards and continues to mentor emerging scholars and leaders in the field.  Personal interests / activities include running, biking, skiing, kayaking, hiking, photography, classical music and jazz, old house restoration, wine collecting, gardening, travel, and philanthropy.



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