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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 786-2627
For Immediate Release

March 4, 2013

High-Tech Learning at Virginia's Colleges and Universities:
SCHEV asks, "Where are we? Where are we going?"

The Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference scheduled for March 7, 2013 has been postponed due to the threat of inclement weather. Details will be forthcoming once the event is rescheduled.

RICHMOND — Digital learning, open source textbooks, virtual libraries, social media, MOOCs. These are all terms we've heard applied to higher education in Virginia, but what exactly do they mean, how are they being used, and what new technology and practices are just down the road? Just as importantly, how are students and other stakeholders in the higher education community reacting to these new and emerging trends?

These are all issues that will be addressed at Virginia's inaugural Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference on March 7, 2013. The press is invited to attend this event at the University of Mary Washington, Woodard Campus Center, 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 from 8:30 AM until 4:45 PM. The theme is OpenVA which encourages institutions of higher education in Virginia to confront the possibilities and challenges of open education experiences and resources. Coordinated by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), presentations will cover a broad range of subjects and best practices. For a complete schedule go to The conference will also provide feedback from students and scholars regarding the history and value of these technological tools.

Secretary of Education Laura Fornash will provide welcoming remarks. "Technology-enhanced instruction, including course redesign, online instruction, and resource sharing among institutions are all goals of Governor Bob McDonnell's Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011," says Secretary Fornash. "This conference takes an important step in achieving those goals by bringing stakeholders together to share information about what is available now as well as future ways in which to use electronic learning tools."

The Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference is an initiative of the Secretary of Education's Office, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Virginia Community College System, and the following partner institutions: University of Mary Washington, Christopher Newport University; The College of William & Mary; James Madison University; Longwood University; Old Dominion University; Tidewater Community College; the University of Virginia; Virginia Commonwealth University; and Virginia State University.

SCHEV is the Commonwealth's coordinating body for Virginia's system of higher education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on higher education issues.

For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Communications and Government Relations, at or (804) 225-2627.