LTEC Connections virtual event image

On March 27, 2021, the College of Education (COE) Department of Learning Design & Technology (LTEC) got creative to host its annual networking event, LTEC Connections. This year’s event, which took place entirely online using video conferencing, brought together over 60 students, alumni, faculty, and staff around a theme of celebrating creativity and community, virtually.

The two-hour event featured a “Creating Creativity” workshop facilitated by guest speaker Dr. Brad Hokanson, Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota. Following the workshop, the department took the opportunity to recognize Paul Stanley*, the 2019 recipient of the LTEC Distinguished Alumni Award. This award recognizes outstanding alumni who have contributed to their field through professional excellence and significant career achievements, inspirational leadership, or innovative service benefiting their communities.

Peter Leong and Skyler Smela
Peter Leong & Skyler Smela

One of the highlights of the event was “breaking virtual bread.” Participants were provided free, prepaid lunches from Zippy’s, thanks to the the LTEC graduate student organization, Association for Educational Communications and Technology Hawai‘i (AECT-HI), and the Student Activity and Program Fee Board (SAPFB). This was an effort to bring people together for a virtual meal while supporting the local economy. During lunch, attendees broke into groups for a game of “No Connectivity Trivia,” which required them to answer questions the old-fashioned way – without the internet.

“No smartphones, no Google, no Alexa or Siri,” said event host Dr. Dan Hoffman. “When all the guesses were entered and the answers revealed, LTEC master’s student, Skyler Smela, emerged the winner. She won a brand new, eight-quart, 7-in-1 Instant Pot! The success of our virtual LTEC Connections is evidence that people can still connect and support one another amidst the challenges of social distancing.”

LTEC Connections was organized by Drs. Ari Eichelberger, Dan Hoffman, Grace Lin, Peter Leong, and Seungoh Paek with major support from Office Manager Kitty Hino and AECT-HI board members, Johnny Zhou and Waynele Yu.

*LTEC Distinguished Alumni
Paul Stanley, who earned his MEd in Educational Technology, BEd in Elementary Education, and PD in Secondary Education from the COE, is an educator and musician. He currently teaches yearbook and advanced media design at Mililani Middle School and has served as a state resource teacher for Teleschool, technology coordinator, computer teacher, and high school band director. He has also taught various core and elective subjects at several Hawai‘i schools throughout his teaching career of 30 years. He plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet, Yamaha WX5 wind synthesizer, and is a performing artist for GMS Saxophones. For more info, see

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