2016 Keynotes

Keynote 1 - Special Interests and Universal Designs: Education Accessible to All

~ Craig Smith ~

Using a broad range of learning experiences and case studies that Craig and his colleagues are involved in at the Aspect Hunter School in Newcastle, as well as experiences far beyond the boundaries of the school including road trips to regional schools and adventures to the United Nations in Shanghai, this session will explore how we can best reach all learners though a collation of three key domains: the principles of Universal Design for Learning, of Accessibility, and the utilisation of Special Interests in the classroom.

Participants will come away with a 'Student Instruction Manual' (SIM) designed to attend to the learning needs of students in their class, as well as a framework for implementing iPad in, and out, of their classroom using the three key domains covered in this session. An iTunes U course uniquely designed for this session will be available for participants to access to continue their engagement with the ideas discussed.

Craig Smith

Giving us a personal learning perspective.

Craig is Deputy Principal of the Aspect Hunter School for Children with Autism in Newcastle, New South Wales. His days involve conducting Educational Outreach programs across the Hunter Region, coordinating Research Projects and Positive Behaviour Support pedagogy across the Hunter School, and implementing 'iPad Model Classes'. Craig is a PhD candidate in Special Education at the University of Newcastle and has presented at national and international research conferences such as the Asia Pacific Autism Conference, multiple speaking tours of New Zealand, and a recent accessibility workshop for the United Nations in Shanghai. Craig presents primarily on topics related to autism pedagogy, the utilisation of special interests in the classroom and technology. Craig sits on the University of Newcastle Special Education Advisory Board, was awarded the 2011 Elizabeth Hoyles Research Fellowship, was made an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013, was one of thirty Australian educators selected for the '2015 Hot List' of inspiring teachers as published by The Educator magazine, and is the author is the popular 'iPad Model Classroom' textbook and co-author of the best-selling 'Minecraft In Your Classroom'.

Keynote 2 - Special Interests and Universal Designs: Education Accessible to All

~ Steve Papp & Liz Shenstone ~

Taking students outdoors can have a dramatic impact on learning back in the classroom. The outdoors provides the stimulus to create engaged, creative and self-regulated learners. The key element is student engagement. The world outside can provide a rich context to develop highly engaging authentic and meaningful learning experiences.

This session will explore the benefits of taking students outdoors and how natural experiences can be enhanced with the authentic use of technology. We will focus on natural learning and untethering from the classroom.

Liz Shenstone

Liz Shenstone is a teacher at the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre and was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2015. With a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, Liz uses digital technologies to connect students to nature. A firm believer in hands-on multimodal education, Liz is an author of a number of Multi-Touch books which inspire curiosity, encourage outdoor exploration and promote authentic learning.

Steve Papp

following up his inspiring keynote in 2015.

Principal Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre and Apple Distinguished Educator

Steve Papp has a career that spans two decades in classroom and environmental education settings. As the principal of the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre he has led the innovative use of digital technologies to support fieldwork, environmental and sustainability education. He has pioneered the use of video conferencing to deliver quality authentic    learning and content to thousands of students across NSW. In 2013 he was named an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Keynote 3 - Crafting questions that drive projects

~ Tony Vincent ~

Not only do projects motivate students because they can be an authentic use of technology, they also facilitate active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. Tony Vincent showcases several inspiring projects.

Each project begins with a driving question—an open-ended question that focuses the project by creating interest and curiosity. Writing effective driving questions is surprisingly challenging. You want the question to be irresistible to students, which means it cannot sound like a test question.

Tony Vincent gives strategies for refining driving questions that lead to student-focused inquiry, and that’s when students ask and investigate their own questions.

Tony Vincent

is back with us in 2016 with more great strategies and processes for mobile learning.

The only thing Tony Vincent likes better than teaching is learning. He currently resides in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but he used to teach fifth grade in Nebraska. Since 1998 he’s been a pioneer in digital learning, having a classroom website before many classrooms even had internet access. In 2001 he had a 1:1 classroom full of Palm Pilots, and in 2005 he started one of the first podcasts from an elementary school. Tony experienced how empowering it was for students to be equipped with tools to help them be productive and creative.

Later he became his school’s technology coach and helped his colleagues integrate technology.

Today Tony Vincent works as a self-employed consultant. He has traveled to 40 states, Canada, Australia, England, and the Caribbean to facilitate workshops and to make presentations to K-12 educators and students.

He has authored books, produced videos, developed an iPad app, and blogged about learning and technology. Tony believes that students learn best when they are engaged in authentic tasks—tasks that matter to them. He has many examples to show, advice to give, and technology to demonstrate.

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