The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Dr. Michael Allen, chairman and CEO of Allen Interactions, Inc. with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award on May 23 at a ceremony during the ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes an individual for an exceptional contribution of sustained impact to the field of workplace learning and performance.

Allen's belief in the potential of e-learning technologies guided his more than 40 years of professional, academic, and corporate experience in the development, sales, and marketing of e-learning support systems. His time as director of Advanced Educational Systems R&D within Control Data Corporation's PLATO project inspired him to found Authorware in 1984, the company that produced the first industry-standard e-learning authoring tool.

"Technology enables, but also leads. It amplifies whatever you do," notes Allen. "We can do a lot of damage, wasting time and money and possibly teaching the wrong thing, but when we get it right, we can do more good than ever."

Allen's career demonstrates a commitment to developing tools that enable meaningful, memorable, and motivational e-learning experiences.

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Founded in 1993, Allen Interactions designs, develops, and implements interactive educational simulations for the world's largest corporations. Allen serves as a high-level consultant for multimedia design and production groups wanting to take full advantage of interactive technologies. His numerous books, including Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning, feature interviews with pioneers in the field.

Currently an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, Allen is working to develop e-learning curriculum focused on reducing the spread of HIV and AIDS.