Distance higher education has only relatively recently been established in some Latin American and Caribbean countries, as part of wider higher education reforms. It has steadily boosted enrollment since the 1970s but despite its growth and significance, the overall contribution and coverage of distance education are still marginal. However, the existence of distance education systems contributes to the increased complexity of higher level education in this region, allowing greater diversity in the use of technologies...


Fredric Litto

Professor Fredric Litto has been Founding-President of the Brazilian Association of Distance Education (ABED) since July 1995. He was Professor of Communications of the University of São Paulo from 1971 until 2005, when he retired from full-time activities. He is now Professor Emeritus of that institution, Brazil's leading public research university.  In the USA, he worked on radio production (Pacifica Foundation and Indiana University) and began working with computers in 1964, which led to the organisation and publishing of one of the first reference books in the humanities in the USA using a mainframe computer for content organization. Professor Litto has held various post-doctoral research positions.  In 2008 and 2011, he co-authored the books Distance learning-state of the art: Vols 1 & 2 (Litto & Formiga, 2008 & 2011) which received the award for best book in education from the Brazilian Publishers Association; and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (USA) awarded him the "De Kieffer Prize" for "International Educator of the Year ". In 2011, his second book, Learning at a distance (Litto, 2010) was awarded the prize for best book in informatics and technology by the Brazilian Publisher's Association. In 2013, the Syndicate of Engineers of the State of São Paulo conferred on him title of "Personality of the Year in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education" for his work in the development of engineering and technology in Brazil. In 2014, the OpenCourseWare Consortium (MIT) selected him to be recipient of its "Prize for Lifetime Achievements," "in recognition of his efforts to expand access to learning”. Professor Litto’s contribution to strengthening distance education in the region has been substantial.

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