Dr. Gary DeLorenzo will present information on the COVID-19 impact on higher education.
Dr. Gary DeLorenzo, a professor in the Department of Math, Computer Science and Information Systems, will be the keynote speaker at the MakeLearn and TIIM (Technology, Innovation and Industrial Management International) Conference on May 21.
The two-day conference was originally planned for Venice, Italy, but was moved to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will now originate from the International School for Social and Business Studies, in Celie, Slovenia, the home institution of organizer Dr. Sreko Natek.
The conference encourages sharing of recent developments, discussion and the exchange of knowledge between academia and businesses while offering a variety of publishing opportunities.
In response to current events, DeLorenzo has changed his presentation title to “The Coronavirus, COVID-19 and Higher Education: The Short-Term Effect and Long-Term Impact.”
His address will still touch on his original topic: the evolution and changes of the student base over the past 15 years as it relates to technology and social norms.
“The students today are digital natives, and they’ve been around technology since they were young children,” said DeLorenzo, a past chair of Cal U’s Business and Economics Department who has decades of experience in information technology in the banking and manufacturing industries.
“Years ago, they were not exposed to this until high school or college, but now these students are so technologically oriented. It’s part of their overall, everyday, normal life.”
That familiarity has helped as students made a rapid transition to online education this semester, DeLorenzo said.
“Online delivery is a sweet spot as we look to find a solution, balance and bring together the scientific, business, financial and social impacts from the virus moving forward once this is contained,” he said.
DeLorenzo cited Cal U’s online bachelor’s degree in computer information systems as one example of how students can thrive in that learning environment.
“Students are working from home, getting their assignments done and adjusting to the challenges,” he said. “We will always continue to support our students, and the online environment seems to be working for them.”