Keynote Speakers

Dr. Nichole Pinkard, Associate Professor, College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University

Dr. Nichole Pinkard photo

Wednesday August 2, 2017
8:45 -10:00 a.m.

Equity Through Design: Defining the Components of a Community-based Equitable Learning Infrastructure

People and infrastructures of urban communities around the world are increasingly connected through smart technologies, whether through real-time transit and traffic information people access through their mobile phones or through bike sharing applications that make it easier for people without cars to get around. What would smart technologies that enhance families’ participation in community learning initiatives looks like? How can smart technologies ensure that a community’s program opportunities are aligned with the learning needs of the community? How can these technologies match program providers to available learning spaces? How could smart technologies be used to support decision makers in optimizing opportunities offered at the city and neighborhood level? How can smart technologies connect mentors with available opportunities to support youth and programs in their community, especially for subject areas that are critical yet under-resourced? In this talk, Dr. Pinkard uses the lessons from her past, present, and future work to examine the components of an equitable learning infrastructure needed to prepare urban communities for full participation in today’s technology-driven society.

Nichole Pinkard is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago. She is the founder of Digital Youth Network. DYN, with support from MacArthur Foundation,  created in partnership with the Chicago Public Library the YOUmedia teen learning space.  DYN also designed and implemented the first Chicago Summer of Learning, which has become the Chicago City of Learning. Dr. Pinkard is the recipient of a 2014 Northwestern Alumni Award, a 2010 Common Sense Media Award for Outstanding Commitment to Creativity and Youth, and the 2004 the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, an M.S. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. Her current scholarly interests include the design equitable learning ecosystems, use of pedagogical-based social learning networks, computational making, and new media literacy learning environments, digital badging, computational-making learning environments for underrepresented groups.

Dr. Alec Couros, Associate Professor, Information and Communication Technologies, University of Regina

Dr. Alec Couros photo

Thursday August 3, 2017
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Embracing Open/Networked Learning in a Post-Truth Era

In recent years, we have seen massive advances in technology that have brought enormous changes to the tools we use and the content we can now access instantly. In turn, these changes have shaped and shifted every aspect our lives: today's world is truly a digital and networked global culture, far different from anything we have previously known. Unsurprisingly, this new reality brings with it both challenges and opportunities for our institutions; consequently, while the pedagogical possibilities of Web 2.0 tools seem limitless, education systems have been slow to adapt to the connected world. But in the brave new world of our “post-truth” era, education - and digital literacy education in particular - plays a more urgent and important role than ever before.

In this presentation, Dr. Couros describes our changed (and changing) world and explores the tremendous possibilities for collaboration, connection, kindness, and sharing that digital tools and social networks can provide, so that educators are better able to leverage the power and promise of technology in meaningful ways. Participants will explore the ways in which technologies and networks can be used to transform their practice, prepare students for a rapidly changing future, provide youth with the skills and competencies needed to critically and responsibly navigate our connected reality, and - perhaps most importantly - create open and connected educational spaces that embody the best of our digital reality.

Alec Couros is a professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada. An award-winning educator, Alec helps his undergraduate and graduate students take up the incredible affordances of our connected world through the integration of educational technology in teaching and learning. Alec is also a well-recognized scholar and researcher who has given hundreds of keynotes and workshops around the globe on diverse topics such as connected/networked learning, digital citizenship, social media in education, and critical media literacy, providing educators, students, and parents with the knowledge necessary to take advantage of and thrive in our new digital reality. Finally, Alec is a passionate advocate of openness in education and demonstrates this commitment through his open access publications, considerable digital presence and contributions, and highly successful MOOCs and open boundary courses.

Keynote Speakers from the 2016 MN eLearning Summit

Randy Bass

Randy Bass photo

Higher Education in the New Digital Ecosystem

How might the new digital context—the whole of the emerging learning ecosystem—help us make higher education widely available to and meaningful for an expanded population of college students? Designing for that question compels us to look beyond the impulse to scale or automate current practices and look toward a broader paradigm for learning, one that is native to this moment and focused on the kind of graduates we are trying to produce for the year 2025 or 2030 or beyond. This keynote presentation will explore concrete approaches to this challenge through the lens of educating the whole person, where the role of digitally enhanced learning is much broader than teaching targeted knowledge and skills. Approaches to educating the whole person ask that we join the best of what we know about deep and durable learning with the capacities that are intrinsic to the emerging digital ecosystem.

Randy Bass is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. For 13 years he was the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). 

Marie Norman

Marie Norman photo

View a recording of the presentation.

We now have over 30 years of research on learning and cognition to draw from as educators. Yet it’s surprising how little impact learning research has had on classroom practice in higher education. Why is this the case? Is it possible that online education is better positioned than its on-site counterpart to bring learning research to bear on teaching?

In this presentation, we’ll discuss ways in which the affordances and limitations of online education can push us toward more lively, imaginative, research-based teaching practices—not just online but face-to-face as well.

We’ll talk about four powerful ways that learning research can inform teaching and examine how online education is particularly well-suited to bring this research into practice. We’ll consider examples of courses that utilize key learning principles and brainstorm ways to put learning research to work in our own teaching contexts.

By the end of the session, you should be able to:

  • Identify insights from learning research you can leverage to create dynamic and effective courses.
  • Explain why online courses are well positioned to utilize learning research (and why face-to-face courses can be too!).
  • Identify examples of creative online courses.
  • Brainstorm ways to bring learning research to bear in your own teaching, whether online or off.

Dr. Marie Norman is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. Norman has taught anthropology for over 20 years and worked in faculty development for 13 years, the last three focused on online education. She is the coauthor of the book How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching.

Keynote Speakers from the 2015 MN eLearning Summit

Aaron Doering, Associate Professor and Director, Learning Technologies Media Lab, University of Minnesota
Presentation: Innovations in Technology-Enhanced Learning: Designing for Transformation and Engagement

Aaron Doering is a professor in learning technologies at the University of Minnesota and the director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab. Aaron holds the Bonnie Westby-Huebner Endowed Chair in Education and Technology, is a laureate of the prestigious humanitarian Tech Awards, and is an Institute on the Environment (IonE) fellow. He is also a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Aaron has delivered education on sustainability and climate change to more than 15 million students by dogsledding and pulking over 5,000 miles throughout the circumpolar Arctic since 2004. One of his newer projects, Earthducation, is investigating the intersection of education and sustainability on all the continents over the course of four years.

Dr. David Wiley, Lumen Learning
Presentation: Improving Learning, Increasing Academic Freedom, and Saving Money with “Open”

Dr. David Wiley is Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning, an organization dedicated to increasing student success, reinvigorating pedagogy, and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources by schools, community and state colleges, and universities. He is also currently the Education Fellow at Creative Commons and adjunct faculty in Brigham Young University's graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology, where he leads the Open Education Group (and was previously a tenured Associate Professor).