Last January 14 and 15, 2010, the Hispanic Educational Technology Services Consortium (HETS) celebrated its First Annual Best Practices Showcase: Celebrating Technology Innovation for Hispanic Success in Higher Education at the recently inaugurated Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in Miramar. “This is the first time the HETS Consortium gathers its 30 higher education member institutions to share their innovative initiatives and best practices in the integration of technology and education for the benefit of the academic community”, said HETS Executive Director Yubelkys Montalvo.
Through more than 30 conferences by faculty and administrators from its member institutions, HETS celebrated the innovative use of technology to enhance teaching, learning, and student support strategies in postsecondary education. Topics included new classroom technologies, innovative learning support tools, collaboration tools, and the integration of social networks to the learning process, among others.
The event opened with an expert panel discussion with representatives from member institutions, including René Sainz, from the University of Texas at Brownsville; Ivonne Chirino, from Walden University; Juan Meléndez, from the University of Puerto Rico; and Judith García, from Miami Dade College. Overall, the experts shared their inputs on the importance of the integration of new technologies and technology infrastructure for the learning process, as well as the role of technology in the development of faculty training tools and support services for students.
Another major highlight of this first annual showcase of best practices was the keynote address from the Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Juan Sepúlveda. Sepúlveda is currently responsible for directing the efforts of the White House in engaging Hispanic students, parents, families, organizations, and anyone working in or with the education system in communities nationwide as active participants in improving the academic achievement of Hispanic Americans.
Other notable sessions included a pre-conference workshop with Ramona Munsell & Associates on Title V funding opportunities for institutions interested in applying for individual, cooperative, and/or post-baccalaureate Title V grants. The company also offered a workshop session for existing grantees interested in learning more about Title V compliance requirements and those interested in designing evaluation plans for future grant applications. A total of 64 attendees from all 11 HETS member institutions in Puerto Rico benefitted from this workshop.
HETS also took advantage of the opportunity presented by this event to showcase its member institutions’ Academic offerings through an Academic Fair for students and professionals interested in pursuing a college degree. More than 400 students from public and private high schools, as well as college students and professionals, visited the fair.
To learn more about the event, please visit the Best Practices Showcase section in the HETS official website at www.hets.org. For information about other HETS initiatives, or to express your interest in the February 2012 Best Practices Showcase, call 787-766-2600, extensions 8910 and 8911.