A series of Blogposts will be published by ICDE on Paragons of online education. The first one is with Marta Mena – pioneer and advocate of Latin America. Marta Mena is an online education pioneer in South America who stands out as a paragon. Moreover, she is well known and respected globally in the online education sector. She was president of the Argentine Association of Distance Education and has held important positions in ICDE. During a four years period, she was Vice President of ICDE for Latin America and the Caribbean, and then, with the new ICDE Constitution, member of the Executive Committee for two periods.
I have myself done an interview with one of the early Paragons, namely Professor Börje Holmberg (95 years), my colleague, mentor, friend, and neighbor) )which will be in the following Blog post.
Holmberg studied English, German, Romance Languages and Education at the University of Lund and later went on to earn his doctorate in 1956. Holmberg worked in the field of distance education at Hermods [sv] in Sweden for over 19 years. He held the position of Education Director from 1956 to 1965. In 1966 he was appointed was appointed Director General of Hermods Foundation up till his resignation in 1975.
In 1976, Holmberg became Professor of Distance Education Methodology and Director of the Institute for Distance Education Research at the FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany. During his tenure there Holmberg published several books and made contributions to scholarly journals and papers. Among his works is Theory and Practice of Distance Education, a second and revised edition of which was published by Routledge in 1990.
In 1995 he became Planning President of the new Private FernFachhochschule Darmstadt (Distance Polytechnic, now Wilhelm Büchner Hochschule [de]) in Darmstadt. After his retirement from the FernUniversität, Holmberg continued contributing both to research and debate on distance education as an active practitioner in the field.
In July 2003, Holmberg joined a project concerned with online teaching and learning initiated by Ulrich Bernath and Eugene Rubin. As a member of their team he contributed to the development of the Virtual Seminar for Professional Development in Distance Education, which was successfully conducted in 1997 and 1998 with participants from all over the world. This course became the recommended first core course in the online Master of Distance Education (MDE) program, which is jointly offered by the University of Maryland University College and the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg.