Keynote Speakers

Michael Wesch, Kansas State University (USA)

Keynote: Teaching is really hard right now, and it's a "Great Thing"


For many of us, these past two years have presented us with the most difficult challenges we have ever faced as teachers. The pandemic has forced us to adopt new and unfamiliar technologies, adapt to ever-changing student needs, chipped away at our physical and mental health, and exacerbated political and ideological divides that now find their way into virtually every subject matter. Teaching has always been hard. Properly understood for all that it is - the instilling of knowledge, curiosity, discernment, character, wisdom, and skill in the next generation - the art of teaching is what the poet Rilke would call "a Great Thing." It is impossible to get exactly right, unconscionable not to try. But as Rilke notes, "growth is in being profoundly conquered again and again by greater and greater things." In this talk, we will explore how this mindset of seeing teaching as the impossible task that it truly is can actually energize us, center us, humble us, and most importantly, help us feel connected to our students and fellow teachers as we confront this mysterious great thing together.

Workshop: Four Types & Four Goals of Online Teaching Videos

Video is a great way to increase presence, connection, and engagement in your online class. In this breakout session I will give tips for creating four different types of videos, each serving one of four different goals: (1) "Super simple" videos to build connection and presence, (2) "Hype" videos to increase engagement and excitement, (3) "Explainer" videos to inform and explain, and (4) "Adventure" videos to inspire students and express the most important lessons of your class by modeling your practice and discipline for your students.

About Michael Wesch

Michael Wesch is Professor of Anthropology and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Kansas State University. He is the creator of the Teaching Without Walls video series which includes the top-ranked YouTube video for college online teaching.  The New York Times listed him as one of 10 professors in the nation whose courses “mess with old models” and added that “they give students an experience that might change how they think, what they care about or even how they live their lives.”  His videos have been viewed over 25 million times, translated in over 20 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including the US Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation, the Wired Magazine Rave Award, and he was named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.  He is also co-creator of and author of The Art of Being Human, a free and open textbook alternative for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

José Antonio Bowen, Association of American Colleges and Universities (USA)


Keynote: Blended and Included

Blended learning provides us with more options and modalities for what we do and when we do it. This creates opportunities, but also challenges, to ensure that everyone is learning. All good teaching is inclusive teaching and blended environments have the potential to create both better and more inclusive learning. Realizing this potential, however, requires a deeper consideration of transparency, belonging, engagement and scaffolding: good blended learning can maximize all of these, but only if we design it intentionally. This presentation will provide both a framework for thinking about inclusive teaching in blended learning and specific suggestions for designing assignments, activities, and structures that will support the success of all of your students.

Workshop: Teaching Change

This is a practical and active workshop for all faculty that distills the latest scholarship on how students learn to change into tested techniques and best practices that work. Decades of research have brought an explosion of knowledge about how human evolution has shaped the way we remember, process, and think. Better discussions and assignments require designing for the collaborative but socially conforming human brain. We will learn how to disrupt the social reasoning (what will my friends think) that alters how we see evidence, disrupts how we experience class discussion, and interrupts our ability to change.

About José Antonio Bowen

José Antonio Bowen, Senior Fellow at Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), has won teaching awards at Stanford and Georgetown, was Dean at Miami and Southern Methodist University and President of Goucher College. Bowen has worked as a musician with Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, and many others and his symphony was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music (1985). Bowen holds four degrees from Stanford University and has written over 100 scholarly articles and books, including the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (2003), Teaching Naked (2012 and the winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education), Teaching Naked Techniques with G. Edward Watson (2017) and Teaching Change: How to Develop Independent Thinkers using Relationships, Resilience and Reflection (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021). Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar (2010) and he was awarded the Ernest L. Boyer Award (for significant contributions to American higher education) in 2018. He is now a senior fellow for the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

About Bowen's book: “Teaching Change”

Jose Bowen has recently published a book: “Teaching Change”: How to Develop Independent Thinkers Using Relationships, Resilience, and Reflection. You can get 30% off Teaching Change books with Code HTWN here.