Friday, April 5, 2019 – 8:30am – 9:30am | Adams Ballroom

Friday’s closing keynote session at OLC Innovate 2019 (#OLCInnovate) highlights a speaker series we call Campfire Stories. Our featured speakers will each tell a personal story that answers the question, “How have you successfully moved or scaled mountains in your professional life?” Our #OLCInnovate Campfire Stories strive to introduce you to the concepts of innovation as well as to inspire you to think further about the conference experience. The theme of the conference is Education Reimagined, and the Campfire Stories build on that, as moving mountains gets reimagined through these deeply personal testimonies. 


Talking Fish

Alexa, why is my 70’s Billy Bass fish talking to me in your voice? Hear the backstory about how and why an Alexa talking fish was made as part of a class curriculum, why it went viral, and the design thinking behind its creation.  Artificial Intelligence is an exciting new technology – we’ll explore how to create new experiences for people using design and AI.

Brian Kane

Brian Kane, General Design LLC

Brian Kane is an artist, designer and educator living in Petaluma, CA. He received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1987, where he taught Industrial Design, Apparel, and Film/Video from 2011 through 2019.  For 30 years, his interactive works have shown internationally in museums and galleries, and Kane’s pioneering real time video sampling techniques have influenced a generation of media artists. He’s been a creative director in the gaming industry and a UX consultant for the financial and e-commerce industries.  Previously, Brian worked as designer and researcher for the holography and entertainment industries. In 2016, Brian started the first AI Design course at RISD.  One of his class prototypes caught the attention of the internet, and was featured internationally on the Discovery Channel as well as the Science Channel.



Sisyphus & Squad Goals: Perpetual Becoming, With a Lot of Help From My Friends

Lifelong learning seems like a fine concept for what we should prepare others to do, but recognizing its ubiquity in one’s own life like can make educational work feel like an exercise in interminable futility. In this campfire talk, doctoral student and design strategist Ben Scragg will highlight the pearls and people from his journey – from the folk wisdom that has gathered on him like moss over the years, to the occasionally painful lessons learned through experience and idiocy – that have shaped his contribution to the collective mountains we’re climbing in education.

Ben Scragg

Ben Scragg, Arizona State University

It turns out a bunch of nomadic-yet-related experiences and some determination to overcome imposter syndrome and some bourbon with friends make for an interesting life and career path. Ben is the Lead Design Strategist in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, where he and his team are partnering with local community schools and organizations to reimagine and redesign K12 education. A veteran K12 educator and higher ed instructional designer, Ben is fascinated with what happens when smart and curious people get in a room and work really hard at thinking about and taking the next step toward what could be – and trying to make that happen more.



Anger Is an Energy

Years ago, John Lyndon (then Johnny Rotten) sang that “anger is an energy.” And he was right, of course. Anger isn’t an emotion, like happiness or sadness. It’s a reaction, a swelling up of a confused urge. I’m a person profoundly uncomfortable with anger, but yet I’ve found in my professional career that often my most impactful work begins in a place of anger: anger against injustice, inequality, lies, or corruption. And often it is that anger that gives me the energy and endurance to make a difference, to move the mountains that need to be moved. In this talk I want to think through our uneasy relationship with anger; how it can be helpful, and how it can destroy us if we’re not careful.

Michael Caulfield

Michael Caulfield, Washington State University

Mike Caulfield is currently the director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver, and head of the Digital Polarization Initiative of the American Democracy Project, a multi-school pilot to change the way that online information literacy is taught.


Partners in the Climb: Scaling the Mountain with Collaboration

It can be a difficult climb if we go it alone, especially if we do not have the right equipment or training for the journey to the summit. Serving in different roles and having varied experiences helps us identify who needs to be part of a team and how to create a successful team. In this Campfire Story, Angela will discuss her reasons to find, create, and develop connections and partnerships with individuals and teams from within and between institutions to best serve learners.

Angela Gibson

Angela Gibson, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Dr. Angela M. Gibson serves as faculty for the Online Learning Consortium Institute for Professional Development and as Lecturer in the Higher Education Administration Leadership doctoral certificate and masters of Adult Education program at Texas A&M University – Kingsville. Previously, she achieved the rank of Professor and has taught first-year, senior, and graduate students, designed and developed curriculum, and created initiatives for student engagement, strategic learning, and innovation. Angela presents at national and international conferences, has published in various peer reviewed journals, and serves as a reviewer for journals in the field. She served as the Chair of the Technology Test Kitchen for the 2017 OLC Accelerate Conference. Dr. Gibson is a NASA Solar System Ambassador and a recipient of the OLC 2014 Effective Practice Award.



Rocky Mountains of Data

Education continues to become metricized, and technology tools grant us more metrics, seemingly at an exponential clip. Internal and external pressures drive us to assess, quantify and measure facts as a means to justify our efforts and initiatives. What does it all mean? We have all been faced with data that we know is not reflective of the whole story. How can our community support each other in evaluating and telling our stories of impact?

Joshua Steele

Joshua Steele, University of Arizona

Joshua Steele is the Senior Director of Arizona Online, striving to increase educational opportunities for fully-online students at the university through student-focused processes, operational excellence, and an expansive support strategy. He considers himself a “history nerd” with a seafood obsession (tragic, as a desert dweller).


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