Keynote Speakers Prof. Elliot Soloway and Prof. Cathleen Norris

Professor Elliot Soloway1and Professor Cathleen Norris2

1University of Michigan, USA // 2University of North Texas, USA

"Social Learning: Where Technology Can REALLY Make a Difference"

Back to basics: what is it that we need children/youth to know? The world into which they will go is more uncertain than ever: 65% of the kids in primary school today will have jobs that do not yet exist, according to a U.S. Labor Department survey.  Mastery learning, the pedagogical method of the moment in the U.S., focuses on the goal of knowledge accumulation. But, Google has already mastered all that stuff and will provide it instantaneously upon request. Developing inquiry skills –learning how to learn – will prepare our children to be nimble and effective. Integral to inquiry is social learning: children learning with each other, talking with each other while co-creating an artifact to solve a problem. Personal computing devices (e.g., smartphones) provide invaluable support for social learning and finally those devices are increasingly ubiquitous, even among the younger set or the less-financially advantaged children. In our presentation, then, we will talk about the Co.llaboration Suite of free, collabrified educational productivity apps that support social learning and how that technology is particularly important for the low-performing students.
Professor Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Dept of CSE, College of Engineering, School of Education and School of Information, University of Michigan. In 2001, the UMich undergraduates selected him to receive the “Golden Apple Award” as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year. In 2004 and again in 2011, the students of the EECS College of Engineering HKN Honor Society awarded Elliot the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.” Elliot is a co-founder and CEO of Collabrify.IT, Inc.
Professor Cathleen Norris, Regents Professor, College of Information, Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas.  Dallas Public Schools awarded Cathie its Golden Apple Outstanding Educator Award; she taught for 14 years in K-12. She has been President of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and President of the National Educational Computing Association (NECA).  Cathie is also a co-founder of Collabrify.IT, Inc.