Keynote speakers

Sugata Mitra

Professor of Educational Technology
Winner of the 2013 TED Prize
Newcastle University, the UK

Talk title: "The Future of Learning"

In this talk, Sugata Mitra will take us through the origins of schooling as we know it, to the dematerialisation of institutions as we know them.

Thirteen years of experiments in children's education takes us through a series of startling results - children can self organise their own learning, they can achieve educational objectives on their own, can read by themselves. Finally, the most startling of them all: Groups of children with access to the Internet can learn anything by themselves.

From the slums of India, to the villages of India and Cambodia, to poor schools in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, the USA and Italy, to the schools of Gateshead and the rich international schools of Washington and Hong Kong, Sugata's experimental results show a strange new future for learning.

Using the TED Prize, he has now built seven "Schools in the Cloud", of which some glimpses will be provided in the talk.

Mike Sharples

Chair in Educational Technology
Institute of Educational Technology
The Open University, the UK

Talk title: "Effective Pedagogy at Scale, Social Learning and Citizen Inquiry"

For the past four years The Open University has published annual Innovating Pedagogy reports. Our aim has been to shift the focus of horizon scanning for education away from novel technologies towards new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. In the most recent report, from over thirty pedagogies, ranging from bricolage to stealth assessment, we have identified six overarching themes, of scale, connectivity, reflection, extension, embodiment, and personalisation [8]. Delivering education at massive scale has been the headline innovation of the past four years. This success begs the question of "which pedagogies can work successfully at scale?".

Sports coaching is an example of teaching that does not scale. It involves monitoring and diagnosis of an individualÕs performance, based on holistic observation of body movements, followed by personal tutoring and posture adjustments. Any of these elements might be deployed at scale (for example, diagnostic learning analytics [10], or AI-based personal tutoring [4] but in combination they require the physical presence of a human coach.

The major xMOOC platforms were initially based on an instructivist pedagogy of a repeated cycle of inform and test. This has the benefit of being relatively impervious to scale. A lecture can be presented to 200 students in a theatre or to 20,000 viewers online with similar impact. Delivered on personal computers, instructivist pedagogy offers elements of personalisation, by providing adaptive feedback on quiz answers and alternative routes through the content.

Ken Koedinger

Professor of Human Computer Interaction and Psychology
Director, Pittsburgh Science of Learning Centre
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Talk title: "Practical Learning Research at Scale"

Massive scale education has emerged through online tools such as Wikipedia, Khan Academy, and MOOCs. The number of students being reached is high, but what about the quality of the educational experience? As we scale learning, we need to scale research to address this question. Such learning research should not just determine whether high quality has been achieved, but it should provide a process for how to reliably produce high quality learning. Scaling practical learning research is as much an opportunity as a problem. The opportunity comes from the fact that online courses are not only good for widespread delivery, but are natural vehicles for data collection and experimental instrumentation. I will provide examples of research done in the context of widely used educational technologies that both contribute interesting scientific findings and have practical implications for increasing the quality of learning at scale.