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New Trends in Online Education

Digital Education Summit 2023: Revolutionizing the Future of Education


On Friday, September 22, 2023, the fully virtual Digital Education Summit (DES) witnessed an unprecedented increase in participation. Organized by SHSU Online for the 12th year, the summit saw 660 registrants, with 324 checking into the event hub, and an additional 120+ engaging with the recorded content following the event.

Spotlight on Keynote:

DES23 was honored to host Dr. José Antonio Bowen, a visionary in the world of higher education with a rich academic background at institutions like Stanford, Georgetown, and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Dr. Bowen's discussion focused on the ever-pertinent theme of "Motivating and Engaging Students in the Age of AI."

Attendees were clearly and audibly impacted. As one expressed, "This was incredibly helpful! The biggest worry is falling behind… there’s so much!!" Another shared, "You have blown my mind, I am recovering!"

Dr. Bowen’s keynote is still available to watch at

Breakout Bonus:

This year’s summit included an impressive offering of 30 sessions, that created a holistic exploration of current trends and future trajectories, in digital education. The session "Ay, Ay, AI! What’s going on with ChatGPT and Generative AI?" attracted a particularly robust audience, showcasing educators' keen interest in gaining insights into artificial intelligence.

A dominant theme of DES23 revolved around the integration of AI, notably with platforms like ChatGPT. These technological advances are positioned to revolutionize the landscape of digital education. This transformative potential, especially in Learning Management Systems like Blackboard Ultra, signifies the innovative direction in which digital education is heading.


Embracing Global Perspectives:

One of DES23's defining notes was its representation of global voices and insights. With attendees hailing from various corners of the world, the summit served as a vibrant platform for a fusion of diverse ideas, methodologies, and best practices – all aimed at elevating the standards of digital education in this globally interconnected period.

Reflections and Reactions:

Feedback poured in from attendees, with overwhelming gratitude for the enlightening sessions and insightful resources. While feedback surveys remain active, early responses indicate that DES23 not only met but soared above its set goals.

Those keen on revisiting the sessions or those who missed out can access the majority of presentations at ( A further rollout on SHSU Scholarly Works is in development, ensuring greater access and a wider reach.

The Road Ahead:

The landscape of digital education, as unveiled during the summit, is brimming with potential and promise. The special lunch-n-learn session by Jacob Spradlin from SHSU Online showcased the latest AI enhancements in Blackboard Ultra, a special treat for attendees from SHSU.

In Conclusion:

The Digital Education Summit 2023 was nothing short of an impressive success, with participant numbers almost doubling from expectations. The inclusion of the 4 o'clock session this year was also a brilliant addition, witnessing record numbers for a Friday afternoon.

Finally, a heartful appreciation goes out to the DES23 planning committee, the SHSU Online Media Innovation team, our diligent moderators, tech hosts, and of course, our esteemed presenters. The collective efforts transformed this event into a monumental success.

As preparations begin for the 13th annual Digital Education Summit set for September 2024, we know the educational community is teeming with excitement. Drawing from this year's accomplishments, it's set to be another transformative event. Join us as we continue the journey of innovation and exploration in the world of digital education!