Digital Education Day is an annual event hosted by UM-Dearborn Office of Digital Education and the Hub for Teaching and Learning Resources. This year UM-Flint Office of Extended Learning has collaborated to provide our perspective and expertise at the event, which includes seminars, panels, and workshops on a variety of popular digital education topics.

Digital Education Day 2020

The 2020 Digital Education Day conference will take place on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the UM-Dearborn University Center. This year's conference event is open to and will include presenters from UM-Dearborn, UM-Flint, and Henry Ford College (HFC).


This year's keynote, Only Connect: Letting Go of Open Education, will be presented by Robin DeRosa, Director, Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative Plymouth State University.

In this presentation, Robin DeRosa will tell the story of her emergence into digital and online learning, and share what inspires her most about Open Education. As she explores different ways that researchers and teachers conceptualize learning environments in a connected world, she will also raise questions about how new ways of thinking about technology in education have obscured the human elements at the heart of learning. She will share how she has shifted her understanding of technology in light of her increasing focus on the people and relationships that ultimately shape and are shaped by the categories we use to articulate our pedagogies. With a focus on themes such as expanding access, developing inter-institutional collaborations, and learner agency, Robin will encourage a way of thinking about digital education that centers community connection over technology tools.

Robin will host a workshop after the keynote to answer questions and take a deeper dive into how curriculum and pedagogy might transform when technology is guided by humanity-oriented values.


The full conference schedule is listed below, but attendees are not required to come for the entire day. A space to work or network with colleagues will also be available.

8:30 a.m. - Sign-in begins

9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.  - Opening Remarks with Light Breakfast

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Breakout Sessions

  • How We Teach Online: A Faculty Panel

Students are well aware that everyone teaches online a little differently. Across the three campuses presenting this conference, there may be a bit of variety in online teaching culture as well. Come to this panel to hear about differences and similarities in how we teach online. You’ll pick up a few ideas for your own digital teaching strategies.
Panelists: Joy Beatty (UM-Dearborn), Vicky Bessette (HFC), Rosemary Miketa (HFC), and Jen Proctor (UM-Dearborn)

  • Questioning the myth of the digital native

Young people just automatically understand technology, right? This is the myth of the digital native, but we’ve found that this is not always true and we have the data to back it up. In this session, we will look at the digital divide and consider how technology access might affect the digital literacy/competency of our students and ourselves. Participants will engage in self-reflective exercises to challenge the myth and leave with some practical tools to help address it. 
Presented by: Autumm Caines (UM-Dearborn), Jessica Shamberger (HFC), and Alfonso Sintjago (UM-Dearborn)

  • Connecting Minds: Communication Tools and Techniques for the Online Classroom

As access to mobile devices and high speed internet has grown, our options for communicating and collaborating effectively at a distance have become more and more diverse. Text-based discussion forums still have a dominant place in distance education, but frequently they can be augmented or replaced with tools that incorporate audio and video. In this session we will explore ways to make all digital communication more effective, with a focus on using synchronous and asynchronous video to take the leap towards the familiarity of face-to-face discourse.
Presented by: Brandon Blinkenberg (UM-Flint)

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Breakout Sessions

  • Mythbusting Open Educational Resources (OER)

Presented by: UM-Dearborn OER Task Force

  • Virtual Village

Browse a variety of posters and displays with faculty's best ideas on effective digital teaching techniques that they use to promote student success including active learning, module organization, student engagement, etc. The teaching display format allows attendees to collect guides to these ideas and network with faculty and staff. Topics and presenters include:

  • "Cut Me Some Slack!: Messaging Platforms and Online Discussion" by Maya Barak (UM-Dearborn)
  • "Using digital storytelling with low beginner ESL students" by Mindy DeWitt (HFC) and Sarah Castillo (HFC)
  • "Socrative for Anatomy and Physiology students" by Cristina Bailey (HFC)
  • "Student collaboration and resource sharing with Padlet" by: Pamela Stewart (HFC)
  • "Using music as a teaching source" by Jessica Shamberger (HFC)
  • Designing Online Instruction that Engages Students in Authentic Problem-Solving

Many people (students and faculty alike) have the false impression that distance learning is characterized mostly by online presentations and multiple-choice tests. However, online instruction can easily be designed to engage students in authentic problem-solving skills. Come to this session for ideas, and to see example lessons designed with active, authentic learning in mind
Presented by: Jeff Drake (UM-Flint)

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Keynote with lunch

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Keynote followup workshop with dessert


There is no fee to attend the conference, but due to limited space registration is required using the form below. 

UM-Flint Faculty and Staff Registration Form

**Limited to 20 attendees. After 20, individuals will be put on a waiting list. 

Questions and additional information

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding Digital Education Day, please contact the Office of Extended Learning at or (810) 237-6691.