The Center for Educational Technology and Distance Education evolved from the Center for Distance Education (CDE) was established as one of the three University Centers in 1998 under the presidency of Atty. Lilia S. Garcia. Its main purpose was to provide preservice and inservice teacher education programs to students who do not have to come to the campus on a regular, full time basis. The Center is tasked to organize resources and fast track the implementation of open learning in teacher education.
The general function of the Center for Distance Education (CDE) was to "plan, design and manage alternative delivery systems for providing access to training, information, and educational services, to both beginning and continuing teachers who are constrained by distance, time, and varied personal considerations from attending a residential school context." It relates with the various academic units for the instructional design of distance education courses or programs.
with the rapid technological advancements in the 21st Century and the emergence of the highly significant and influential role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in current life and in revolutionizing education, the University deemed it necessary to recognize the value of educational technology to enhance teaching and learning.
The Center was thus renamed as the Center for Educational Technology and Distance Education (CETDE) in 2002, under the presidency of Dr. Nilo L. Rosas. With an expanded mandate, CETDE acknowledges the potential of ICT as a tool in the effective delivery of instruction through an open and flexible type of distance learning. The growing market of lifelong learners makes the demand
for distance education a need of the times and the use of ICT in education makes the Philippine Normal University abreast with the educational trend
to produce graduates who are globally competitive and possessing high level skills needed for survival and success in the Information Age.
Philippine Normal University Online Education was personally and officially launched on September 5, 2007 by the President of PNU, Atty. Lutgardo B. Barbo, in the Lecture-Forum held on that same day.