The University of Florida has an ambitious goal: to harness the power of its faculty, staff, students, and alumni to solve some of society’s most pressing problems and to become a resource for the state of Florida, the nation, and the world.
For many years, higher education was mostly limited to affluent white males, but distance-learning helped open the door to students from all walks of life. Today, the Internet is picking up where distance-learning left off, transforming not only where and how we learn but also who can be a student. At the center of this quest to break down barriers to learning and move closer to the ideal of learning for all is Carole Beal, head of the University of Florida’s new Online Learning Institute. Along with Beal, collaborators from UF’s colleges of Education, Engineering, Journalism and Communications, and the Arts team up to combine technology and pedagogy with the aim of helping students who might otherwise be left behind, including students with disabilities. The interdisciplinary efforts of the institute also feature the work of UF’s Digital Worlds Institute and UF Online, one of the nation’s first totally online undergraduate programs.
No Student Left Behind traces the earliest correspondence programs to the most cutting-edge practices of online learning at UF, looking at some of the first implementations of an online class and exploring how the brain works in front of a computer screen.
The stories chronicled in GATORBYTES span all colleges and units across the UF campus. They detail the far-reaching impact of UF’s research, technologies, and innovations—and the UF faculty members dedicated to them. Gatorbytes describe how UF is continuing to build on its strengths and extend the reach of its efforts so that it can help even more people in even more places.
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