Keynote and invited Speakers

Keynote speakers

steve wheelerAssociate Professor Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth

Steve Wheeler is Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at Plymouth University, in South West England. Originally trained as a psychologist, he has spent his entire career working in media, technology and learning, predominantly in nurse education (NHS 1981-1995) and teacher education (1976-1981 and 1995-present). He is now in the Plymouth Institute of Education, at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Steve is a global educator, teaching online, and on a number of undergraduate and post-graduate teacher education programmes in the UK and overseas. He researches into technology supported learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on the pedagogy underlying the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, and he also has research interests in mobile learning and cyber-cultures. Steve is regularlyinvited to speak about his work and has given keynotes and invited lectures to audiences in more than 30 countries across 5 continents. He is currently involved in several research programmes related to technology supported learning, digital praxis, social media and handheld technologies. More.


Laura CzerniewiczAssociate Professor Laura Czerniewicz @czernie

Laura Czerniewicz is the Director of the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CILT) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Previously the leader of UCT’s OpenUCT Initiative engaging with open scholarship from a southern perspective, she was also the founding Director of the university’ Centre for Educational Technology. She has worked in education for several decades as an educator, academic and strategist. A rated researcher, Laura ‘s interests include academics’ and students’ digitally-mediated practices, issues of inequality, and the changing nature of higher education. Find out more and .


JWorthJonathan Worth NTF FRSA @Jonathan_Worth

Jonathan Worth is Senior Research Associate at Newcastle University Open Lab. He has worked out of New York and London as a professional photographer since 1998. His work features in a wide range of international editorial publications and is on permanent collection at the UK’s National Portrait Gallery. His work developing new business models for photographers was described in the European Parliament as “Breaking new ground for photographers” and in recognition he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce. In 2009 Jonathan authored and delivered the world’s first open undergraduate photography class at Coventry University which saw over 35,000 people visit in just one term and was described by WIRED as “shaking up photo-­education. In the same year he worked with Peter Woodbridge to deliver he world’s first “Undergraduate Photography Class in an App”.

His work leveraging the social web for photographers was featured in Creative Commons’ The Power Of Open in 2011 and as case study for the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee in 2012, when he was invited to speak at the Houses of Parliament. Most recently Jonathan was invited out to MIT’s Media Lab to hack Post­MOOC models for Open Education and then to speak at the British Academy with the UK Minister for Universities David Willetts who describes his work as “thought leading”. In 2013 Jonathan was made an HEA National Teaching Fellow and his work designing Open and Connected courses was awarded UC Irvine and MIT’s prestigious Reclaim Open Learning Prize. In 2014 he designed and delivered the largest Open Photography class in history for over 250,000 at risk youth in seven US cites, In the same year he worked with the Word Press Photo Award to open their academy from an annual intake of 8 to an open global networked class of 11,000,000. Find out more .


Virtual keynote speaker

PDL_CroppedProfessor Phillip D. Long

Phil is the Associate Vice Provost for Learning Sciences and Deputy Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Clinical Professor in Educational Psychology and in the School of Information, at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Long provides leadership to the university’s strategy for technology enhanced learning. Phil contributes leadership to UTx, the local implementation of the edX MOOCs, the UT learning analytics initiative & design of learning environments

Phil’s current research interests focus on active & blended learning pedagogies, remote laboratories, emerging technologies and the analytics that can be captured by instrumenting interactions in both virtual and environments with the goal of informing learner decision-making.

Prof. Long’s professional collaborations are eclectic and international, including leadership roles in the acronym soup of SoLAR, edX, the NMC, and AAEEBL.

He is a lapsed biologist now learning scientist focused on emerging technologies, the cognitive interactions with them, & the spaces, physical. and virtual wherein they occur.


Invited speakers

Rebecca FergusonDr Rebecca Ferguson

Dr Rebecca Ferguson is a lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University iand a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her primary research interests are educational futures, and how people learn together online. She is currently a pedagogic adviser to the FutureLearn MOOC platform, evaluation lead on The Open University’s FutureLearn MOOCs and a member of the FutureLearn Academic Network. She is an active member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, and has co-chaired many learning analytics events, included several associated with the Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE), European Project.

Rebecca’s most recent book, Augmented Education, was published by Palgrave last year. For more details, see her blog at


 Di Roberts - red jacket close up (1) Di Roberts CBE, Principal, Brockenhurst College

Di has been Principal and Chief Executive of Brockenhurst College since September 2006, having been Deputy Principal at the College from January 2004.  Brockenhurst College, situated in the heart of the New Forest, is a Beacon College, providing education and training to over 3,200 full-time 16-18 year olds, 8,000 mainly part-time adults, 1,000 apprentices and over 350 local and regional businesses.  Di has taught across the ability levels and spent time as an Ofsted Inspector.  She also has significant experience in business and training over a number of years.  In 2011, Di was awarded the CBE in recognition of her services to further education.  She is Deputy Chair of the national Association of Colleges and also chairs the Association of Colleges Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LLDD) Portfolio Group.


Ellie RussellEllie Russell, The Student Engagement Partnership @TSEPartnership

Ellie Russell is the Student Engagement & Partnership Manager for The Student Engagement Partnership, which supports, develops and promotes student engagement knowledge and practice in the higher education sector in England. TSEP is housed by NUS and funded by HEFCE, Guild HE and AoC. Ellie joined NUS in 2011 after graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Politics and Parliamentary Studies. During her studies Ellie completed placements in MP’s offices in Westminster and the Canadian Parliament and was a trustee of Leeds University Union from 2007- 2011. Prior to starting university, she held the elected position of Vice President (Further Education) of NUS from 2005- 2007. Find out more.

Liam Liam Sammon, Director of Education and Commercial Services, OCR

The known knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns – a perspective on eLearning

Liam is Director of Education & Commercial Services at OCR, a leading awarding organisation in the UK and part of Cambridge Assessment, a non-teaching department of the University of Cambridge.  Liam is responsible for all the support to the 7,000 education centres and 1.5 million candidates taking OCR qualifications every year.  He leads on education technology for OCR, currently leading on two eLearning projects, Cambridge GCSE Computing Online and TiME.  Cambridge GCSE Computing Online is believed to be the first GCSE curriculum based MOOC and was developed in partnership with Raspberry Pi and Cambridge University Press.  Since its launch in September 2012, the site has had over 1.6 million page views, with 40,000 users visiting the site each month to access its resources (including over 300 videos), and over 35,000 learners have registered for the course, including nearly 7,000 teachers.  TiME (Training in Maths & English) is a blended learning service built for tutors of 16+ learners without a good grade in maths or English GCSE, and it uses a novel, story based approach to video content.  Liam has worked in the education sector for over 17 years, holding a variety of posts mainly in the FE sector, including Senior Account Director for the Skills Funding Agency in the East of England, Director of Funding, Planning and Performance LSC, East of England, and Area Director for LSC Hertfordshire, where he was chair of the 14-19 Area Partnership.


More speakers coming soon.