A Call to Celebrate Digital Learning Heroes…on Groundhog’s Day

Published by: Lindsey Rae Downs | 1/22/2021

Tags: COVID-19, Digital Learning, WCET

For much of 2020, the pandemic had us trapped in Blursday…the nagging feeling of déjà vu that one day is very much like every other. If you’re like me, you probably expect to wake up each morning to “I’ve Got You Babe” playing on the radio as happened in the film Groundhog’s Day.


Even with the repetition, I experienced a nagging, aching feeling. There is something that not only have we not done every day, but we have barely done at all. What we have missed is that we have not properly celebrated the digital learning heroes who simply saved colleges from the pandemic. They were there when higher education and its students needed them.

Beginning last March and through the start of the current term, we have witnessed selfless acts dedicated to continuing learning. To achieve these heroic acts required faculty and staff to work endless hours and exhibit amazing creativity…all of this often in a very short window of time.

We all have heard (or are) of examples, such as:

  • Instructional designers trying to support many times the number of faculty they normally do.
  • Experienced online faculty mentoring their colleagues in how to succeed in a remote setting.
  • IT staff having to find computers and internet access for hundreds to thousands of students without proper access.
  • Student services personnel assuring that students had access to all the administrative, health, mental health, and financial support services that they needed.

In 2021, we should pause for a second to appreciate the miracle of what happened last year.

We Invite You to Honor Those Heroes and Share Their Stories During Groundhog’s Week.

We want to hear stories of WCET Members who went above and beyond to continue instruction and support services. By February 5th (the week of Groundhog’s Day), share with us….

A story of no more than 500 words describing the heroic actions of colleague or unit.

You may nominate an institution, an organization, a unit, a team, or an individual person. While we’d love to hear stories about how your dogs, cats, and other pets have supported you, they unfortunately won’t be eligible for the prizes below. Nominee must be a current WCET member.

Want to volunteer with your Cooperative? Please email us at wcetinfo@wiche.edu if you’d like to volunteer as a judge.

Winners will:

  • Receive a digital WOW Award to display electronically on your website.
  • Be featured in a post on WCET Frontiers.
  • Be showcased as a Digital Learning Hero in WCET’s community platform, wcetMIX.
  • Receive free registration for the 2021 WCET Annual Meeting for up to three staff members.

Please visit this page for more information and to complete the nomination form.

Thank you from all of us here at WCET.


Russ Poulin

Executive Director, WCET & Vice President for Technology-Enhanced Education, WICHE




LinkedIn Profile


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,218 other subscribers

Archive By Month

Blog Tags

Distance Education (283)Student Success (263)Online Learning (207)WCET (195)State Authorization (192)U.S. Department of Education (191)Managing Digital Learning (190)Regulation (186)Technology (163)Digital Learning (137)Innovation (125)Teaching (120)Collaboration/Community (113)Course Design (102)WCET Annual Meeting (101)Access (97)Professional Development (91)Cost of Instruction (88)Faculty (86)Financial Aid (83)Legislation (83)Completion (74)SAN (73)Assessment (69)Instructional Design (68)Open Educational Resources (65)COVID-19 (64)Accreditation (63)SARA (63)Quality (62)Competency-based Education (61)Credentials (60)Data and Analytics (59)Professional Licensure (58)Research (58)Accessibility (56)Reciprocity (49)Outcomes (47)Diversity/Equity/Inclusion (46)WOW Award (46)Workforce/Employment (44)Higher Education Act (41)Regular and Substantive Interaction (41)Policy (38)Negotiated Rulemaking (37)Title IV (36)Virtual/Augmented Reality (36)Practice (35)Disaster Planning/Recovery (34)Academic Integrity (32)Leadership (31)IPEDS (28)Reauthorization (28)Survey (27)Adaptive/Personalized Learning (27)Credits (26)Military and Veterans (26)Disabilities (25)Every Learner Everywhere (23)MOOC (23)WCET Summit (23)WCET Awards (22)Evaluation (22)State Authorization Network (21)Complaint Process (20)Retention (20)Correspondence Course (18)Physical Presence (17)WICHE (17)Member-Only (16)Products and Services (16)Enrollment (16)Cybersecurity (15)Forprofit Universities (15)WCET Webcast (15)Blended/Hybrid Learning (14)System/Consortia (14)NCOER (14)Textbooks (14)Digital Divide (13)Mobile Learning (13)Consortia (12)Personalized Learning (12)Artificial Intelligence (11)Futures (11)Marketing (11)Privacy (11)Prior Learning Assessment (10)Courseware (10)STEM (10)Teacher Prep (10)Social Media (9)LMS (9)Rankings (9)Standards (8)Student Authentication (8)Partnership (8)Tuition and Fees (7)Readiness and Developmental Courses (7)What's Next (7)International Students (6)K-12 (6)Nursing (6)Remote Learning (6)Testing (6)Graduation (6)Lab Courses (5)Proctoring (5)Closer Conversation (5)ROI (5)DETA (5)Game-based/Gamification (5)Dual Enrollment (4)Outsourcing (4)Coding (4)Security (4)Higher Education Trends (4)Fall and Beyond Series (3)In a Time of Crisis (3)Net Neutrality (3)Universal Design for Learning (3)Cheating Syndicates Series (3)Student Identity Verification (2)Cross Skilling/Reskilling (2)Nontraditional Learners (1)Title IX (1)Mental Health (1)Virtual Summit (1)ChatGPT (1)Business of Higher Education (1)OPMs (1)Third-Party Servicers (1)Higher Education (1)

Follow us on Twitter