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We cannot “Return to Normal”

Digital Education Day 2023 Keynote Address
Dr. Amy Collier

On Feb 10, 2023, UM-Dearborn, UM-Flint, Henry Ford College, and Mott Community College were happy to kick off the seventh annual Digital Education Days event with a keynote by Dr. Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning at Middlebury College. With the provocative title “We cannot ‘Return to Normal'” Dr. Collier made a compelling case for how nostalgia tends to encourage glossing over the discomfort and even injustices in the past – and that we should be mindful of when the classroom we imagine “returning” to is one that might not have been as idyllic as we remember. Dr. Collier challenges us to embrace a teaching practice that is

  • Flexible
  • Accessible
  • Anti-racist
  • Trauma-informed and
  • Engaged/connected/humanized.

Watch a recording of the entire keynote, including recommendations for future practice, below!

Here is a brief bio from Dr. Collier’s website:
As the Associate Provost for Digital Learning at Middlebury College, Amy Collier provides strategic vision and leadership for Middlebury to create and sustain a global learning community through the effective use of digital pedagogies and technologies. Working closely with the provost and senior academic leaders, Amy identifies and pursues opportunities for Middlebury to create online and hybrid/blended courses and programs that build on Middlebury’s pedagogical values, enable Middlebury to leverage its intellectual and pedagogical resources, connect diverse Middlebury programs with each other, and enrich the experience of current and potential Middlebury learners. Amy Collier received her doctorate in from Texas Woman’s University in 2008. Through her graduate studies in social sciences and more than 10 years working in faculty development, Amy has been an advocate for learners and teachers across a variety of educational institutions, from community-based service organizations to large public broad-access universities. She frequently presents at universities and conferences, sharing her passion for topics like student privacy, critical instructional design, design justice, and complexity in education.

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