Iowa Distance
Learning Association

2018 Spring Symposium Keynote: Ken Conn

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Reflecting on the Past & Present to Prepare for the Future

Reflection helps us navigate our present as we prepare for the future. A good place to begin a stroll of distance communication and collaboration is with a timeline of tools. From smoke signals and carrier pigeons up to the mobile devices and cloud computing of today, we’ll compare our experiences along the way. With the ever-increasing mix of Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z across our organizations, we will look at generational communication preferences and what that means as we are pushed into collaborative environments that transcend time and space. We will springboard from that to a critical look at the relationship and myth of multitasking with some interesting statistics on being able to hear and see who you are communicating and collaborating with. We will close with speculation on the future based on the trends that are forming today. This will center around the narrowing of the barriers as technology becomes easier to use, costs less, and disappears into the background with the focus widening on the challenges of change management and working with people.

About Ken Conn

USDLA President, i2i Technologies

Ken has worked with educators and trainers throughout the United States, sharing his passion for video communication. His experience and strong commitment to educational technology and distance learning programs promotes a collaborative atmosphere between many groups. Beginning his career as a classroom teacher, Ken was honored as Teacher of the Year at Navarro Middle School during the 2002-2003 school year. That same year, video conferencing was brought to his campus and Ken was hooked on the seemingly endless possibilities of the technology. Ken moved into an educational leadership role as a Technology Support Specialist at Navarro Middle School while also serving as the Distance Learning Coordinator (video conferencing) district-wide in an effort to support instructional technology initiatives in 2003.

In 2006, Ken made a career change and turned his focus to the integration of audio/visual products and services. In his characteristic “hands-on” style, Ken assisted in the basic design of audio/video systems, generated quotes and project summaries, as well as helped in the management of installation projects. Based on his success in this role and leadership skills, from 2009 – 2013 he also provided direction for a small, localized education team assisting inside and outside sales in product and service recommendations.

Beginning in 2014, Ken began to hone his skills and focus on his strengths – developing and maintaining partnerships to collaborate on integrating video communication solutions related to content distribution, conference rooms or interactive learning spaces, and video conferencing. Ken provides full circle support to each of his colleagues and clients no matter what the context.

Ken places a strong emphasis on volunteering and leadership. As Past-President of the Texas Distance Learning Association, he increased membership, especially in the K-12 constituency. Ken was the United States Distance Learning Association Chair of State Chapters from 2009-2016 and is currently serving a three-year commitment with the USDLA as the 2017 President.

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