2013 Scholars Institute Keynote Speakers

May 21
Anya Kamenetz, 
DIY U: The Transformation of Higher Education

UA System faculty and staff may request access the archived recording by emailing si2013@uah.edu.

Headshot of Anya Kamenetz

Abstract: While the ultimate aims of education, the pursuit of knowledge and the good life, have remained steady since Socrates, the means are changing dramatically, as are the burdens on the system. From babies with iPads to unemployed graduates with $27,000 student loan burdens, we are all wondering about the shortcomings of the education system and how to create one that is accessible and relevant to the way we live our lives. Kamenetz will share a glimpse into the classrooms of the future from her experiences running a peer-led self-directed online learning community, playing with robots and 3-D printers, and brainstorming with the designers of free and openly accessible resources for teaching, learning, assessment, and finding a job. Her talk will cover several models of blended learning, the changing roles for education professionals, emerging business and organizational models, and most of all the learners' changing paths to acquire the content, experience, relationships and self-knowledge they need throughout life.

Anya Kamenetz, is an expert on learning and technology with a passion for the complexities of how we will learn, work, and live in the new Millennium. An educational futurist and speaker on issues facing the Millennial generation, she delivers audiences core insights into change, technology, and talent. Her popular book, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, tells the story of how technology is disrupting one of the most tradition-bound industries in the country. Named an “Educational Gamechanger” by Huffington Post, and a two-time winner of the national Education Writers of America prize, Kamenetz is a senior writer for Fast Company magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media.

May 22
Curt Bonk, 
Stretching the Edges of Technology-Enhanced Teaching: From Tinkering to Tottering to Totally Extreme Learning

Access the archived recording.

Headshot of Curt Bonk

Abstract: Look left, look right, look back, and then look dead-on straight ahead...what do you see? Of course, the air is filled with e-learning opportunities as well as talk of educational transformation. So much news. So much progress. The world of technology-enhanced learning is looking up, up, up. But wait a minute. Far too many in higher education are content to tinker with blended forms of learning. They dip their toes into the technology change movement by embedding shared online videos, simulations, timelines, collaborative groups, and open access articles in their courses. This is helpful but it is no time to be content and just let the "inevitable" future unfold in front of our eyes. No! At some point, we need to enter deeper waters and push toward the edges of what is possible while teeter-tottering on the brink of transformation. Pushing further still are those who venture to the extreme edges of this learning planet. They might tap into virtual explorers, artists, archeologists, and adventurers to excite their learners. It is in such courses that scientific discoveries appear live and outside experts enter the learning situation at a moment’s notice to apprentice and guide learners. It is time to stretch toward the edges of learning from those of us tinkering on the shores to those whose learning approaches are tottering in new directions and even landing in totally extreme or alien lands. This talk will showcase examples from all three worlds - the world of the tinkerer, the totterer, and the totally extreme. In which world would you like to find yourself?

Curt Bonk, is Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University and President of CourseShare. Drawing on his background as a corporate controller, CPA, educational psychologist, and instructional technologist, Bonk offers unique insights into the intersection of business, education, psychology, and technology. A well-known authority on emerging technologies for learning, Bonk reflects on his speaking experiences around the world in his popular blog, TravelinEdMan. He has authored several widely used technology books, including The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing EducationEmpowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and DoingThe Handbook of Blended Learning, and Electronic Collaborators.