Dr. Joy Kutaka-Kennedy has served in the Department of Special Education at Sanford College of Education since 2003, almost 15 years. She earned her doctorate from the University of San Francisco in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Mild/Moderate Special Education, completing her dissertation titled “Inclusion in secondary general education classes: What do students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders think?” Prior to becoming an academic, she honed her teaching skills and K-12 expertise through 18 years of teaching in grades pre-K to 12 in general, special, gifted and at-risk education. She began in self-contained general education multiple subjects classrooms and single subject classrooms in English/Language Arts, World History, Biology, and Physics. She also taught a weekly pull-out of gifted students for a semester and a self-contained 4/5 class for students identified as highly gifted for a year, plus at-risk students in a court/community school setting. She entered special education and taught high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders and early childhood special education students at the county office level. She presents at numerous national and international conferences, often as a keynote speaker, on topics such as the impact of augmented and virtual reality on learning, online instruction for the 21st century, generational differences in educational technology preferences, online supervision of online K-12 teaching, online mentoring, and online course design to enhance creativity and collaboration. Her current responsibilities include course design and oversight, field work supervision, and mentoring new faculty in higher education. She serves as the Treasurer of the California Association of Professors of Special Education, completes program reviews for national accreditation, and performs editorial reviews for professional journals.
Dr. Piet Kommers is an early pioneer in media for cognitive- and social support. His doctoral research explored methods for hypertext and concept mapping in learning. Since 1982 he developed educational technology for teacher training. His main thesis is that technology is catalytic for human ambition and awareness. His main function is associate professor in the University in Twente, The Netherlands and adjunct/visiting professor in various countries. He taught more than fifteen bachelor-, master- and PhD courses and supervised more than 30 PhD students. He instigated and coordinated the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Cognitive Technologies in 1990 and a large series of Joint European Research Projects in: authoring multimedia, web-based learning, teacher education, virtual 3d worlds, constructivist learning, social media, web-based communities and international student exchange. UNESCO awarded his work in ICT for Education in Eastern Europe with the title of Honorary Professor. The Capital Normal University in Beijing awarded his work with the title of Honorary Doctor. He is member of advisory boards in ministries of education and academia of sciences in Singapore, Finland and Russia. Piet Kommers is the initiator of the international journal for web-based communities and overall chair of the IADIS conferences on societal applications of ICT. Since the late nineties he gave more than 40 invited and keynote lectures at main conferences in the fields of education, media and communication. His books and journal articles address the social and intellectual transformations at each transition from “traditional” into the “new” media. Instead of regarding media as extrapolating, supplanting, vicarious or even disruptive, Piet’s view is that new media elicit and seduce both individuals and organizations to reconsider human nature and challenge existential awareness at that very moment. His workshop templates and experiences have been implemented into the UNESCO IITE reports, policy briefings and Master Course. The books and journal articles of Piet Kommers reach the level of 5012 citations and the h-index of 30. He was recently nominated by seventeen countries for the prestigious 2017 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education.
Betsy Bannier is a tenured Professor of Chemistry at Lake Region State College in North Dakota, USA. She holds a PhD in Adult & Continuing Education with an emphasis in online science education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as an MS in analytical chemistry from the University of North Dakota. She has over twenty years of experience teaching in higher education, serves on several national and international review boards, and is widely published in the fields of distance education and student motivation. She serves as a Solar System Ambassador volunteer through a program coordinated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her current speaking engagements and research interests include teaching at the intersection of space science and chemistry, and transnational education trends.
Speech Title: Using the cosmos to cultivate curiosity among college students
Abstract: Research shows that creating a culture of curiosity is an effective way of helping students strengthen and persist in their higher education experience. The Universe offers literally infinite opportunities to build exciting, creative connections to and between a wide variety of education disciplines. From stars and chemistry to moons and physics, from satellites and the humanities to deep space telescopes, black holes, and the arts, we’ll explore how the cosmos might inspire us to become more creative educators and also how the cosmos might inspire our students to become more engaged learners.