Pearson Sponsors North Carolina's First-Ever K-20 Virtual Learning Conference

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North Carolina Distance Learning Association event connects 650 distance education leaders

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In response to the economic crisis that impacts all levels of education, the North Carolina Distance Learning Association Virtual Conference is a solution for coming together as educators to connect, collaborate, and create solutions for all learners

The nation's higher education system is increasingly under pressure due to the troubled economy, with rising enrollments and declining budgets straining the system, according to a recent national survey of community college leaders. The same survey found that online course enrollments continue to grow in popularity, with more than 92 percent of respondents reporting increases in the number of online courses offered by their institution in the past year.

With these economic challenges in mind, the North Carolina Distance Learning Association has convened leaders in distance education for Get Connected!, the state's first-ever K-20 Virtual Learning Conference designed to deepen understanding of distance education and how it is evolving to satisfy the different needs of both digital natives and digital immigrants. Pearson, the world's leading education publishing and technology company, is a major sponsor of the event, supporting keynote and other sessions.

"Today's economic realities call for increased investments in proven education solutions, which is exactly the strategy that we continue to pursue at Pearson," said Don Kilburn, CEO of Pearson Custom Solutions. "We are proud to support these North Carolinians who are innovators and leaders in distance education, and we share their goal of providing more opportunities for access to education for all students."

"In response to the economic crisis that impacts all levels of education, the North Carolina Distance Learning Association Virtual Conference is a solution for coming together as educators to connect, collaborate, and create solutions for all learners," said Dr. Bobby Hobgood, Chairman of the NCDLA Virtual Conference.

Pearson-sponsored presentations include a keynote address by Dr. Mary Beth Susman, a Smithsonian Institution Laureate and internationally-recognized authority on issues in online education and virtual schools, who is the founder and executive director of the Louisiana Community & Technical College System Online (LCTCSOnline); and a presentation by Professor Sandee House of the Georgia Perimeter College Department of Mathematics, who will discuss how technology motivates today's students and what the research says about how these Millenial learners need and want to learn, demonstrating several activities that promote student engagement and reduce cheating.    

Additional Pearson presenters include Heather Lloyd of Pearson eCollege, the leading provider of education technology, content and services, who will discuss institutional accountability in online learning, and how Pearson eCollege tools can be combined to simplify the process of gathering evidence of student learning against existing objectives, standards and goals for accrediting bodies; and Paul Vaupel of Pearson Learning Solutions, who will showcase the features and benefits of E-book technology that brings interactivity, flexibility and up-to-date data to the traditional print textbook.

Pearson's proven educational solutions offer colleges and universities innovative ways to cost effectively and quickly meet the growing demand for online and blended learning in today's economy. For example, Pearson recently partnered with the Louisiana Community & Technical College System (LCTCS) to create LCTCSOnline -- the nation's first completely customized, online learning program that provides access to course materials via the AT&T Blackberry Curve. The partnership, working with LCTCS faculty, brings together Pearson's leading print, digital and online content with CourseConnect, the company's suite of state-of-the-art, online courses, for a tailor-made solution that meets the needs of students and faculty. Pearson eCollege manages the actual day-to-day technical aspects of the program, freeing LCTCS faculty to focus solely on educating their students.

More information about Pearson's custom educational solutions is available at http://www.pearsonlearningsolutions.com.

About Pearson -- Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include eCollege, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, MyLabs, and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to http://www.pearson.com.

Contact:
Susan Aspey
Susan.aspey(at)pearson.com or 347-421-2473

About NCDLA -- The North Carolina Distance Learning Association is a non-profit organization formed to promote the development and application of distance learning in education and training. Among NCDLA's constituent communities are preK-12, community colleges, universities, independent colleges and government and corporate training organizations.

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Susan Aspey
Pearson
347-421-2473
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