IATED talks
Bringing some cutting edge ideas to you.

Where is higher education going? What changes can we anticipate now?

Bryan Alexander (BAC, USA)

Where is higher education going? Bryan Alexander gives an overview of the future of education based on his experience as researcher, consultant and educator. His talk begins by examining powerful present-day trends most likely to shape the future of post-secondary education. Demographic, economic, and political forces have already set in motion the creation of very different universities for the global north and south. Technological advances have started to redesign pedagogy, curricula, campus spaces, and research. Alexander also explores the ramifications of more emergent technologies. What are the learning opportunities enabled by 3d printing? Can blockchain improve credentialing or scholarly publication? How can automated tutors replace or work alongside human instructors? As these technologies combine to restructure society, how should education respond? A glimpse of the future not to be missed.

Escuela Nueva Activa: Quality Education for promoting Equity, Peace and Democracy

Vicky Colbert (Fundación Escuela Nueva, Colombia)

The Escuela Nueva educational model is worldwide known for its proven effectiveness in improving the quality of education. Vicky Colbert, founder and director of Fundación Escuela Nueva, explains the origin of the model and its main objectives, strategies, adaptations to other contexts, results and evaluations, which demonstrate better cognitive and non cognitive results in Escuela Nueva schools compared to conventional ones. She gives an overall analysis of why improving the quality of the most vulnerable schools requires a systemic perspective and a paradigm shift, a shift from transmission of knowledge to comprehension and social construction of knowledge and a new role of the teacher for the 21st century. Colbert describes how Escuela Nueva, a local innovation that became a national policy in Colombia. An inspiring talk where she highlights why necessity is the mother of innovation and how Escuela Nueva, a systemic perspective and proven solution to improve quality education, enhances equity, instills democratic behaviors, promotes twenty first century skills and both cognitive and socioemotional skills.

The imperative and practice of girls' education in Africa

Ann Cotton (Camfed, UK)

Girls' education is still a problem in different parts of the world, but especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Ann Cotton, founder and CEO of Camfed, explains in this talk how her organization supports girls to go to school and succeed, and empowers young women to step up as leaders of change. Ann's talk focusses on the implementation of a model driven by community activism that supports girls through primary and secondary school and onto higher education or employment pathways.
Learn here about an initiative that contributes to the sustainable transformation of impoverished rural communities in Africa.

Rethinking Higher Education

Ben Nelson (Minerva, USA)

Universities today are under an enormous amount of criticism and pressure: structures and pedagogical models developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, increasingly higher costs and rising demands for an educated work force in a changing and complex world. Minerva’s founder Ben Nelson talks about the origins of some of these problems, but also offers some disruptive ideas in order to change this situation.
He describes a new model of Higher Education based on a redefined student body, a reinvented curriculum, rigorous academic standards, cutting- edge technology and an immersive global experience.

The Role of Education in an Inclusive Innovative Economy

Anne-Marie Imafidon (Stemettes, UK)

Anne-Marie Imafidon main aim is to engage girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers. In this quest, she has cofounded Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics roles via a series of events and opportunities. In 3 years, 7,000 girls across the UK, Ireland and Europe have had attended Stemette experiences.
In this talk, Imafidon explains why it's important to have a representative force, steps to take and the role of educators as well as wider society in increasing participation.

Audio Learning in Remote Villages

Cliff Schmidt (Literacy Bridge, USA)

How to make agriculture and health knowledge accessible to people without literacy skills in remote rural areas? Cliff Schmidt’s talk focus on an educational technology initiative to solve this problem: an audio-based mobile device called the "Talking Book", a simple, durable, and battery-operated audio device that provide on-demand access to locally relevant knowledge.
Learn about this approach to delivering education in extreme situations by combining locally created content with technology designed specifically for the learning needs of oral cultures. A project that collaborates with UNICEF and other partners to impact hundreds of thousands of people each month.

Transformational Six

Alan November, November Learning (USA)

What is the unique added value of technology to transform learning? In this talk, he focus on 6 questions educators can ask as a gauge for moving beyond technology as a “$1,000 pencil”. His talk provides examples of how to answer yes to questions such as Did the assignment build capacity for critical thinking on the web? or Is there an opportunity for students to create a contribution?
Alan November was one of the the first teacher in the world to have a student project on line in 1984, a database for the handicapped. Since then, he has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant, and university lecturer. November has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology.

Role of a non-state player in improving public education

Safeena Husain, Educate Girls (India)

With over 200 million illiterate women and over 3 million eligible yet out of school girls, India is the epicentre of gender gap in education. Safeena Hussein is the founder and Executive Director at Educate Girls — a non-profit organisation that aims at tackling issues at the root cause of gender inequality in India’s education system. With a programmatic presence in over 4,600 villages and over 8,000 schools, Educate Girls' codified, sustainable program model has enrolled over 100,000 girls in formal schools and has directly benefited over 2.8 million children. Her talk shows the moving and inspirational story of how a non-state player achieve a vital catalytic role in improving the public education space for the most marginalized girls in India.

The rhizomatic lense - seeing learning from the perspective of abundance

Dave Cormier, University of Prince Edward Island (Canada)

Learning systems are fundamentally designed to solve the problem of information scarcity. Courses are designed to organize ‘content’ and assessments to ensure that students have remembered this content. But, is this approach the best way to prepare learners to deal with complex problems that do not have clear solutions? In a world where information is abundant, Dave Cormier thinks that it may be necessary to change this tactic.
In this talk, Cormier explains the rhizomatic perspective, which is situated in the idea that there is no beginning or ending to the learning process. He seeks to create learning environments where we focus on learning from within a community of knowing, where the idea of “content” is replaced with the actual people.

Plan Ceibal or how to accelerate pedagogy when technology is available for all students.

Miguel Brechner, Centro Ceibal (Uruguay)

In Uruguay, all public education students between grades 1 and 9 have laptops, 99% of them have connectivity in their education facilities and all have fiber optics in urban areas. But how did such a relatively poor and small country achieve this? Plan Ceibal is the answer to this powerful transformation. It is a program that provides equal opportunities to students and emphasizes social inclusion as a means of changing learning education.
Miguel Brechner is the president and founder of Centre Ceibal, the organization driving this program. In this talk, Brechner explains his vision about equality, and how technology and pedagogy helped to change the educational landscape and the society of his country.

Mind-blowing Tech

Donald Clark. PlanB Learning (UK)

Do you want to learn about the technologies that will shape the future of education? Donald Clark was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, the leading company in the early UK online learning market. He draws in his 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, social media and mobile learning projects to shows an array of recent technological innovations, with real examples, that can help us teach and learn.
Grounded in learning theory, or cognitive ergonomics, you will discover the new trends in open, semantic, adaptive, gamification, AR & VR technology that reveals how consumer technology can help some of the most pressing problems in education - crises in cost, relevance and delivery.

Orchestration Graphs

Prof. Pierre Dillenbourg. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (Switzerland)

A former teacher in elementary school, Pierre Dillenbourg works in developing educational technologies that allow educators to improve learning but also to manage their classroom. In this talk you will learn about his approach, known as classroom orchestration, with some pedagogical scenarios he tested in schools, in vocational training as well as in MOOCs.
The latest evolution of this environment are orchestration graphs, a language that describes the orchestration of integrated learning scenarios, i.e. scenarios that integrate individual activities, teamwork and lectures. The scenario is modeled as a graph aimed at optimizing the learner’s path along the pedagogical scenario.

Digital Learning Futures: Mind the Gap!

Steve Wheeler. Plymouth University (UK)

The future of education will be greatly influenced by new and emerging technologies. Appropriate technologies can reduce the distance, whilst inappropriate technologies may amplify the distance. Steve Wheeler is an Associate Professor of Learning Technology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth and he has seen how students are now engaging with knowledge in new ways, creating and repurposing, as well as consuming content. On the other hand, teachers are now grappling with a vast array of choices and possibilities, but often decisions are based on appearance rather than affordance.
In this talk, Steve Wheeler highlights some of the new and emerging technologies and argue that for education to truly harness the power of these new tools, we really need to consider the human (social and psychological) issues as well as the technical perspectives. These include not only skills and competencies but also the new literacies that are evolving as we engage with knowledge making in the digital age.

Learning to make a difference: What should be the real core curriculum of Modern School

Charles Leadbeater. Management & Information Consultant (UK)

Charles Leadbeater draws on his extensive research on innovation in education around the world, from the poorest slums to the richest countries, to look at the six key qualities education will need to foster for young people to succeed in a modern world which is volatile, uncertain and yet full of promise and opportunity.
A senior adviser to different governments and companies, Leadbeater’s talk draws on examples of innovation in education from around the world to point to a system that nurtures talent and encourages children to ask questions when there is no just one answer, challenge conventional thinking, crate tangible products, persuade people with what they know, and collaborate to make solutions of their own.

In Search of Uncommon Wisdom

Larry Johnson, New Media Consortium (USA)

Join Larry Johnson, founder of the NMC Horizon Project, in an exploration of the road ahead for learning and educational technology. In the spirit of William Gibson, who observed that, “the future is already here; it is just unevenly distributed,” Johnson's focus is on where things are going — by understanding where they are coming from.
What Johnson sees coming for learning shares little in common with the technologies, networks, software, or systems of today’s educational technology. Virtually every assumption we have about the use of technology in education — our common wisdom — is based on how we have done things in the past— and our own experience is likely the biggest limit on our future success. The future state of any level of education certainly will bear little resemblance to its past.
Johnson address these topics in the context of the evolution of the modern university, and detail the significant challenges and shifts in that framework that schools and even universities must understand and embrace.

Innovations in Education for Poverty Elimination: the Financially Self-Sufficient Schools and the Poverty Stoplight

Martin Burt, Fundación Paraguaya (Paraguay)

During the past 10 years Martin Burt and Fundacion Paraguaya have been experimenting with new education models to address two intractable social problems: access to quality education in poor countries and multidimensional poverty in rural villages and urban slums.
In this talk, Burt addresses two successful programmes devoted to the promotion of entrepreneurship and self-help to eliminate poverty around the world. On the one hand, the financially self-sufficient school model (education that pays for itself) for the rural poor. On the other hand, the Poverty Stoplight, a new metric and methodology to assist families to self-diagnose their level of multidimensional poverty and develop customized plans to eliminate poverty.
Don’t miss this talk and learn about how these programmes are now being adapted to countries in Latin America and Africa, challenging conventional paradigms of how to promote youth employability and eliminate poverty.

Memorization or understanding: Are we teaching the right thing?

Eric Mazur, Harvard University (USA)

Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Dean of Applied Physics. Twenty years ago, he developed ‘Peer Instruction’, a methodology that refocused teaching physics from the point of view of the lecturer to the point of view of the student. Since then, ‘Peer Instruction’ spread across different disciplines and countries around the world. Through this talk, Mazur explains how he first came to this idea that revolutionized his lectures and the reaction of their students and colleagues. He shows how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom. Mazur introduces this pioneer methodology in an enjoyable and engaging talk where you will also learn some physics!

Not by Chance, But by Design!

Kiran Bir Sethi, The Riverside School in Ahmedabad (India)

From Ahmedabad, India, Kiran Bir Sethi has started a movement of empowerment and education that has reached over 30 countries – impacting more than 25 million children. She shares with the audience what happens when learning environments are infected by the "I CAN" bug and how design thinking has been used to create empowered individuals who can be agents of change. Kiran Bir Sethi is a designer and director of The Riverside School, but also the founder of the 'Design for Change' - the world’s largest movement of change – of and by children. Based on four simple steps - Feel, Imagine, Do and Share - children around the world have developed ideas and projects to drive social change in their society. She shows vivid and inspiring cases of social transformation that promotes optimism in education. Her talk asserts that new and better things are possible and that each of us can make change happen. After this talk, you will realize that change is the result of a process that can be consciously nurtured and energized.

The MOOC of One: Personal Learning Technologies

Stephen Downes, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

What will it happen after the MOOC? How will they influence the next generation technology? Stephen Downes, who built the world's first MOOC software, describes the development of MOOC and examines the transition from the idea of the massive open online course to the personal learning environment.
While much attention has been paid in recent years to the massive numbers of students able to participate in open online learning, what is often overlooked is the capacity of individual learners to use open online learning to shape and design their own curriculum and pedagogy.
This talk will examine how open online learning puts the control of learning into the hands of learners, how educators will adapt with new learner-driven pedagogies and curriculum design, and the technical infrastructure supporting personal learning in a community and cooperative environment.

Linking Education with Entrepreneurship

Pape Samb, Exeleadmen (USA)

Entrepreneurship is one of the solutions for developing self-sustainable communities, women and youth-led initiatives in developing countries. But, how can we teach to be an entrepreneur? Pape Samb is a social entrepreneur specialized in international development. He is the chairman, founder and designer of the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN), a youth-run and led network of over 5,000 young leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and farmers in approximately 100 countries.
This talk shows the experimental learning approach that has been supported and sustained by the GYIN throughout its national chapters in Africa. Samb shares how to link education with entrepreneurship by transforming schools into experiential learning labs to promote dynamic interchange of ideas, shared learning, teamwork, innovation and greater personal accountability for achieving personal success. The speaker will present a three-step experiential approach including self-assessment activities, practical group learning, and use of success stories to develop innovative self-sustainable youth enterprises.

Video Games for Learning and Assessment: Potential for a Sea-change in the Educational Landscape

Robert Torres, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (USA)

“How can I have the greatest impact?” After some years working in education reform, Robert Torres realized that the impact was minimum. Then, he thought “why not pay attention to what children were doing?” The answer to his question was video games. Since then, his research has focused on the games based learning field. He co-founded Quest to Learn, a games based school in New York City, and now is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He leads two portfolios, one focused on Games for Learning and Assessment and another focused on Competency-Based Education/Anytime, Anywhere.
His talk is about the history of video games and their impact on learning. Don’t miss all his experiences and enjoy the latest examples of educational video games. Games that not only engage and create deep learning environments but also that are able to asses learning.

Cross-sector reciprocal relationships as a catalyst for change in Education

Louise van Rhyn, Symphonia Group of Companies (South Africa)

Louise van Rhyn is a social entrepreneur. She believes the worlds' huge intractable problems can be solved through cross-sector collaboration and a solid understanding of complex social change. In this talk she explains how she has put this belief into practice with the Partners for Possibility (PfP) Programme. This programme incorporates a simple idea of partnering business leaders with school principals.
Louise van Rhin became the first business leader to partner with a principal in an effort to improve a school's education outcomes in South Africa. Listen to Louise story about this inspirational project and how, 3 years later, the PfP initiative has started a real change in South African society with 155 schools and business leaders involved in the programme.

MOOCS and other recent innovations in online learning. Is the sky the limit or falling on our heads?

Philipp Schmidt, MIT Media Lab (USA)

What will education of the future look like? Open, free and collaborative are some of the attributes of Jan Philipp Schmidt’s vision of education. Schmidt is an open education activist and researcher based at the MIT Media Lab where he works with Joi Ito and Mitch Resnick. He is executive director and co-founder of the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), the grassroots community for social learning online.
In this talk he shows some examples of his projects, whose main philosophy is that students are in charge of their own learning. Participants act as both teacher and learner, and are thus able to collaborate throughout the entire course development process, beginning with design, and extending through co-teaching and peer evaluation. Don’t miss this talk about a different kind of elearning and MOOCs!

With Solar-powered Floating School, Comes Education and New Learning Technologies at Doorsteps: Hope Floats in Waterside Community

Mohammed Rezwan, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (Bangladesh)

Mohammed Rezwan grew up in the nearby village of Shidhulai and was often unable to go to school during monsoons, when the roads were flooded. "Schools would be closed for months" he commented. In 2007 more than 4,000 primary schools were closed, at least another 4,000 were affected and 44 were washed by river erosion. In his presentation, Rezwan, Founding Executive Director of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, introduced a floating education system to ensure year-round access to quality education in flood-prone regions. He shows how he developed, expanded and sustained the floating schools over 10 years. Drawing on his architectural expertise, he designed spaces on boats that successfully accommodated the needs of schools, libraries, and training and healthcare centers. In his presentation, Rezwan, Founding Executive Director of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha introduced a floating education system to ensure year-round access to quality education in flood-prone regions.

Understanding Transformative Learning through Designing and Developing Transformative Experiences: 9.5 Principles

Aaron Doering, LT Media Lab (USA)

Although the literature urges educators to provide transformative experiences, pragmatic approaches to designing and affording opportunities for these experiences are seldom acknowledged. Through the lens of contemporary online learning environments - designed, developed, and delivered at the Learning Technologies Media Lab and experienced by millions of students worldwide - Doering will provide an in-depth look at what he believes are the principles that guide the design of potentially transformative learning experiences. While it may be difficult to apply every principle in every environment, he urges designers to take a closer look at their designs to empower and motivate students, providing the opportunity for learner's to change the way they think, act, and feel – personal transformations.

Hippocratic Learning: First Do No Harm...

Lizbeth Goodman, SmartLab (Ireland)

In this presentation, Professor Goodman argues that the most important aspect of inventing the future of education, and of educational technology innovation, is to go back to the basics of understanding and protecting the rights of the individual learners: the concept that systems of education should be built upon a firm foundation of ethical and empathetic commitment to maximizing learning potential for all. The Hippocratic Oath, normally sworn by medical doctors, should also be sworn by educators and inventors of technologies for learning, as well as by architects and designers of learning spaces and of curricular and assessment tools. As the speed of technology development has geared up to move faster and faster, and as innovations and iterations of learning tools have also moved forward faster and faster, what has tended to be left behind is the very basic idea that each learner should be protected and empowered in our learning systems. This talk argues for the inclusion of Empathy, Creative Thinking and Social Engagement as well as Literacy and Numeracy in our core curricula, and for a global commitment to learning as a right of all citizens.

Hole in the Wall

Sugata Mitra, Newcastle University (UK)

In an experiment conducted first in 1999, known as the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiments in children’s learning. In the initial experiment, a computer was placed in a kiosk created within a wall in a slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to use it freely. The experiment aimed at proving that children could be taught by computers very easily without any formal training. Sugata termed this as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since been repeated in many places, HIW has more than 23 kiosks in rural India. In 2004 the experiment was also carried out in Cambodia. This work demonstrated that groups of children, irrespectively of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own with public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds, even without knowing English. Enjoy this inspiring talk of the recent winner of the TED Prize 2013!

Equipping the Academy for the Age of Mobility

George Saltsman, Adams Center for Teaching and Learning (USA)

In fall 2008, Abilene Christian University (ACU) became the first university to initiate a mobile learning program by providing an Apple iPhone or iPod touch to all incoming freshmen to integrate technology and learning both in and out of the classroom. George Saltsman is the Executive Director of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning at ACU and one of the leaders of ACU Connected Mobile learning initiative. He works closely with faculty and administrators who are deploying and researching mobile learning within education. In this talk, George explains how mobile technology can be used to help people learn in new ways and how these tools can aid us in our mission to educate students. Find out why he is the winner of the Campus Technology Innovator of the Year and The New Media Consortium Center of Excellence award!

Society 3.0

Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Apollo Research Institute (USA)

Society 3.0 explores the intersection of technology, education, and business. Rapid changes in society and work, fuelled by technology, are creating new pressures on employers and educators to change. These pressures include an increased demand for an educated and skilled workforce, technology relevancy, and a propensity for lifelong learning. The 21st century requires preparing the workforce for current and future employment to ensure personal and national prosperity. Our new society requires that individuals take an active part in their own personal development and chart their future path. In this visual presentation, Tracey Wilen-Daugenti will outline current trends, research, and shifts in technology and society that change the way educators and employers need to advance today's workforce.

ICT to Inspire

Tim Rylands (UK)

Tim Rylands keynote speech was a truly inspiring and engaging journey through a range of ideas to use ICT in the classroom to make the learning experience more engaging, enjoyable and most importantly inspiring. Enjoy his imaginative and encouraging style of teaching, which allows children to express their creativity and make significant gains in attainment. He inspired the delegates with a range of Web2 tools and software (most of it FREE), hand-held devices, games and more. Rylands is a firm believer that ICT is about communication more than technology … and that it should be FUN. He proved it in this enjoyable talk!

Adventure Learning: Bringing Real-World Issues Direct from the Field into Classrooms Worldwide

Aaron Doering, LT Media Lab (USA)

Traveling the world to educate students about the changing environment has been Aaron Doering’s life dream. Over the past decade, Doering, professor of Learning Technologies and co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab, has educated millions of learners throughout the world through his travels bringing Adventure Learning to the forefront of education. Doering will speak about his expeditions crossing the circumpolar Arctic by dog sled and his latest project, Earthducation, which investigates the intersection of education and sustainability on every continent. Together let’s explore the world and understand the excitement about Adventure Learning!