Centering a Critical Curriculum of Care During Crises

This keynote calls for reimagining online education (and indeed education as a whole) in ways that move away from outcomes-based design approaches, and towards more critical curriculum design approaches that center care, empathy, equity and social justice. Away from single pathway pedagogies in for-credit education, and towards more open, connectivist, agentic, and culturally responsive pedagogies. None of these alone is new, but the COVID-19 crisis has forced us to question our priorities, and I suggest there has been a shift in the literacies required by teachers, students, and administrators to navigate these unprecedented circumstances. This keynote builds on the work of Virtually Connecting‘s Intentionally Equitable Hospitality, Equity Unbound, and previous work on critical digital pedagogy and social justice-oriented open educational practices. 

     NOTE: This keynote was streamed live on YouTube Monday, June 15th, 10:00am – 11:00am US EDT

Turning Points Leading Up to My OLC Innovate Keynote

The OLC Innovate Conference (previously named et4online) is embedded in two stories that were turning points in my career, both of them virtual experiences. And so it seemed serendipitous that the year OLC Innovate goes fully online, that I would be invited to keynote the conference.  Read more of Maha Bali’s blog post…

Maha Bali is a passionate critical, open and connected educator, writeaholic and learnaholic. She is Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo, where she has worked since 2003. She has a PhD in Education from the University of Sheffield, UK. She is co-founder of and co-facilitator of Equity Unbound ( Her research interests include higher education, faculty development, critical pedagogy and critical thinking, open and online education, intercultural learning, and citizenship education. She teaches digital literacies in an intercultural context, and has taught educational game design, and educational technology for teachers. She is an editorial board member of 6 journals of educational technology and higher education, including Hybrid Pedagogy and OLC’s Online Learning Journal. She was featured in the Uncommon Women Coloring Book 2018 alongside 15 others for her “unparalleled dedication to connecting researchers, activists and practitioners around the globe and was interviewed in the Leaders and Legends of Online Learning Podcast  She blogs at and tweets @bali_maha