Tony Bates has more than 45 years experience in using technology for teaching, starting in 1969, when he began researching the effectiveness of the BBC-Open University television and radio programs, as a founding staff member of the British Open University, where he became a full professor in educational media research.
In 1989, he emigrated to Canada, to take the position of Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Information Technology at the Open Learning Agency, Vancouver. In 1995 he moved to the University of British Columbia, to become Director of Distance Education and Technology. On retirement from UBC in 2003, he started his own consultancy company, specializing in the planning and management of learning technologies in post-secondary education. He has worked as a consultant in over 40 countries. He is currently a research associate for Contact North, Ontario, advising on strategies and policies for online learning.
He is the author of twelve books on learning technology and distance education, and he and his research colleagues have published over 350 papers in academic journals. He has received honorary degrees from six universities for his research in distance education