Bryan Alexander

I'm a futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. Some of the areas I focus on include social media, digital storytelling, mobile devices, gaming, pedagogy, scholarly communication, forecasting, and the future of academia. In the past I have worked in a used bookstore, been an English professor, and helped build a national nonprofit organization. Currently I run a consulting firm, Bryan Alexander Consulting, and am the senior fellow for the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE).

Mike Wesch

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the impact of new media on society and culture. After two years studying the impact of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over ten languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

Chad Kainz

Chad Kainz is a Principal Strategist within consulting at Blackboard who specializes in online learning, educational technology, digital education, enterprise IT, and mobile strategy. For nearly two decades prior to Blackboard, he was a technology leader at the University of Chicago where his roles included being its Assistant Chief Information Technology Officer, Executive Director for Campus & Academic Services, and Senior Director for Academic Technologies. Chad vice-chaired the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee, co-directed a global Mellon-funded arts and humanities infrastructure planning effort with UC-Berkeley, and participated within the CIC/Big-10, Ivy League, CNI, NITLE, Internet2, CLARIN and EDUCAUSE on efforts related to education, research, and scholarly technology.

Frank Pellkofer

Entrepreneur and technology leader Frank Pellkofer is an energetic and passionate advocate for making technology easy to use. He resides in Sonoma County, California, with his family. He has designed and built some of the largest video conferencing and tele-presence infrastructures in Silicon Valley, having built all of the conference rooms at Google and eBay and thousands of classrooms within the UC, CSU, and California Community College systems. He has developed a keen understanding of how to make several technologies integrate together and simply work. He has founded 3 companies, the latest being a classroom technology platform. He speaks regularly on the notion of pedagogy and technology. He is a member of Vistage International, a trustee at Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he sits on the business advisory committee for MPICT (Mid-Pacific ICT), a community college ICT organization that works to keep IT curriculum relevant for business. Frank plays mandolin and volunteers to keep music in the schools. He has 3 kids and a grandchild.

Schedule of events

    • 10:00 am | JRC 101
    • Chad Kainz: Evolving Technologies, New Inquiries
    • Whether expanding pathways for communication, increasing access to knowledge or enabling interactive modes of discovery, the impact information technology has had on scholarship and education has been substantial since the inception of the World-Wide Web now over a quarter of a century ago. Despite these advances, challenges still exist surrounding the dissemination, sustainability and reuse of digital scholarship and resources that fall outside of traditional channels of libraries, publishers and large-scale efforts often characterized today as having “big data." This presentation and discussion will draw on ideas generated during the planning work of Project Bamboo (2008-2010), and concentrate on exploring contemporary issues, needs, and the potential of “the Cloud" to support scholarship that is central to critical thinking and problem solving in today’s connected society.
    • 11:00 am | JRC 101
    • Frank Pellkofer: Technology and Pedagogy: Leveraging data to improve classroom technology and render it pedagogically friendly
    • Technology in classrooms falls into 3 general buckets: Audio/Visual equipment, Academic Technologies (Lecture Capture, Distance Learning, CMS) and desktop/network (Computer at the podium, wireless network, etc.). It is expensive to purchase, install and maintain, and challenging for faculty to utilize. This presentation discusses strategic and pedagogical considerations Colleges and Universities should evaluate prior to implementation of classroom technology refresh. There is a new era of technology possibilities in classrooms that can positively impact the budget, enable faculty to leverage technologies based on their style of teaching, and that support staff can easily manage. This is important because fiscally austere times require us to do more with less. How can you leverage the technology you already have and ensure that what you do purchase going forward is fully leveraged in a way that faculty embrace? When smart-classrooms are centralized onto a platform, you can produce analytics that tell us the effect a given technology has on student learning outcomes, or the effect certain combinations of technologies had on SLOs. You can tell what works for various styles of teaching and then tailor user interfaces to individual teachers, thus rendering technology easy to use for myriad individual pedagogies and gain insight into smart-classrooms you never had.
    • 12:00 pm | JRC 101
    • Mike Wesch: The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever
    • New media and technology present us with an overwhelming bounty of tools for connection, creativity, collaboration, and knowledge creation - a true "Age of Whatever" where anything seems possible. But any enthusiasm about these remarkable possibilities is immediately tempered by that other "Age of Whatever" - an age in which people feel increasingly disconnected, disempowered, tuned out, and alienated. Such problems are especially prevalent in education, where the Internet (which must be the most remarkable creativity and collaboration machine in the history of the world) often enters our classrooms as a distraction device. It is not enough to merely deliver information in traditional fashion to make our students "knowledgeable." Nor is it enough to give them the skills to learn, making them "knowledge-able." Knowledge and skills are necessary, but not sufficient. What is needed more than ever is to inspire our students to wonder, to nurture their appetite for curiosity, exploration, and contemplation, to help them attain an insatiable appetite to ask and pursue big, authentic, and relevant questions, so that they can harness and leverage the bounty of possibility all around us and rediscover the "end" or purpose of wonder, and stave off the historical end of wonder.
    • 1:00 pm | Forum Upper Level Conference Room
    • Bryan Alexander: An Open Discussion on the 2014 Horizon Report
    • Bryan will be conducting this session for the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education Shared Academics series. Faculty or staff interested in participating should contact Mike Conner (connerms|x4112). See the event description for more details.
    • 4:15 pm | SCI 1023
    • Bryan Alexander, Mike Wesch, Chad Kainz, Frank Pellkofer: Panel Discussion
    • Advances in technology and the practices it enables are creating new opportunities to enrich the process of learning and accentuate and enhance the personal, interactive and transformative experience of a Liberal Arts Education. We invite you to come and participate in a conversation about these new opportunities and the promise and challenges they present.
    • 5:15 pm | SCI Atrium
    • Continue the conversation over hors d'oeuvres.
    • 6:00 pm | SCI 1023
    • Bryan Alexander: Between tsunamis: the small liberal arts college after the digital revolution
    • We explore major trends impacting the liberal arts world, focusing in particular on digital technologies. Several of these trendlines then form the basis for four scenarios, or possible medium-term futures for the liberal arts campus.

Featured faculty

Erik Simpson, English

Elaine Marzluff, Chemistry

Todd Armstrong, Russian

Christopher Ralston, Psychology

Cynthia Hansen, Anthropology

Catherine Rod, Library

Sam Rebelsky, Computer Science