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AU Freshman Introduced to IDPP and CIDP Virtual Classroom

Dr. Cogburn discusses IDPP with AU SIS Gateway studentsFreshmen from the American University School of International Service’s Gateway Mentorship Program attended a presentation by Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, IDPP and COTELCO Executive Director, on the IDPP project and the COTELCO Center on 9 November 2011. As a Gateway mentor, Dr. Cogburn helped welcome the freshmen to AU and SIS, and gave them an opportunity to get to know a faculty member outside of the classroom. Students had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Cogburn about his life, hobbies, background, travels, and asked questions about the IDPP, which is led by COTELCO. They asked numerous questions about the Master’s of International Affairs in Comparative and International Disability Policy program; and the cyberinfrastructure technology that brings together students who are blind or visually impaired; deaf or hard of hearing; and/or mobility impaired from the ASEAN region to learn in the same virtual classroom.

The Gateway students reacted positively to Dr. Cogburn’s presentation, and were in awe of the demonstration that illustrated how the virtual classroom, hosted by Blackboard Collaborate, can include closed captioning, incorporate audio and video, and allow CIDP students to participate live in class, no matter their country locale.

One Gateway student asked why the cyberlearning technology was not used more widely on campus and globally. Students were impressed with the access a student who is blind or visually impaired; deaf or hard of hearing; and/or mobility impaired has in navigating the virtual classroom, while allowing faculty to keep a unified learning environment. Furthermore, the students were thrilled at the growth and potential of the IDPP project in coming years.

Thank you to Dean Maria Green Cowles for inviting Professor Cogburn to be a faculty mentor for the SIS Gateway Mentorship Program.