June 21, 2022

Plenary and Keynotes for the Connected Learning Summit 2022 Will Challenge and Inspire

Categories: Connected Learning, Critical Perspectives, Educational Practice, Equity, Featured, Research

The Connected Learning Alliance is looking forward to our community of progressive educators, researchers, and technologists gathering to exchange learnings and ideas in the upcoming Connected Learning Summit.  It is an annual gathering of innovators harnessing emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning. This year’s summit will be held from July 27-29 as a fully online event in order to welcome attendees worldwide.

The keynote and plenary sessions will feature internationally-regarded experts sharing pandemic era learnings and inspiring examples of media-infused pedagogy with opening plenaries and closing keynotes in two separate time zone blocks – keyed to Asia/Australia, and US/Europe.

Click here to register for the summit and here to see the full schedule.


July 27: Opening Plenary (Asia/Australia)

The Summit will open with a discussion of a very hot topic among educators over the past two years: The Pandemic and Young People’s Media Use and Learning. Hear from leading researchers and educators on how they saw young people engaging with media and technology during the pandemic and what the implications are for supporting learning and literacy.

The moderator is Michael Dezuanni, Professor, Digital Media Research Centre, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, Queensland University of Technology. Panelists include:

Dr. Stephanie Smith, Manager of Learning, Museum of Australian Democracy, whose research explores inquiry learning, professional development and play-based learning in primary settings. She is passionate about incorporating authentic student voice into classrooms, community and our democracy.

Rebekah Willett, Professor, Information School at University of Wisconsin-Madison, who conducts research on children’s media cultures, focusing on issues of play, literacy, identity, and learning. Her publications include work on makerspaces, playground games, amateur camcorder cultures, online gaming and family media practices.

Annabel Astbury, Head of Education, Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Chair, Australian Media Literacy Alliance. Annabel leads an innovative and dedicated team to create, curate and deliver media content for use in the classroom and at home. An advocate for media literacy, Annabel was the Executive producer on ABC Education’s media literacy content and strategy.


July 28: Opening Plenary (US/Europe)

This full day of the Summit launches with an examination of Staying Connected, Fueling Innovation, Affirming Core Values: Three Learning Organizations Carrying Lessons Forward from the Twin Pandemics. The twin pandemics of covid and a global racial reckoning resulted in unprecedented and unequal challenges for learning organizations. These crises also offered opportunities to double down on commitments to justice, foster new forms of online learning, expand service to the local community, and affirm the importance of caring relationships and the holistic health and wellbeing of learners and their families. While the pandemic pushed their organizations towards new practices and innovations, these experiences infuse their work even as the pandemic recedes.

The discussion will be moderated by Jal Mehta, Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who has conducted extensive research on how learning institutions responded to and fared during the pandemic. Panelists include:

Jessica R. Chaney, who leads the CLOUD901 Teen Learning Lab at the Memphis Public Library. The Lab is a state-of-the-art social, creative, production, research, and performance technology lab where teens ages 13-18 can develop 21st-century skills.

Bill Izábal, President and Founder of Clubhouse ListoAmerica, which focuses on increasing the number of STEM-ready LatinX youth. ListoAmerica provides youth from underserved communities with high-quality and accessible afterschool programs that ignite, engage, and empower. The ListoAmerica Clubhouse program combines pedagogies from the MIT Media Lab, youth development approaches, and informal learning experiences.

Adam Kulaas, Director of Innovative Learning & Career and Technical Education, Tacoma School District, designed and launched Tacoma Online, a 5,000+ student online program that transitioned to a full-time online school that serves nearly 2,000 Tacoma learners. As Kulaas designs and delivers future-leaning learning experiences, he continues to actively lead a variety of initiatives that support personalized learning that amplifies each whole learner.


July 28 Closing Keynote (Asia/Australia): Yeran Kim

A day of in-depth learning and panel discussions wraps up with a stimulating keynote from Yeran Kim: Towards Digital Modus Vivendi: Living Together Through Connections. Digital media and social networking is one of the crucial factors to bring the younger generation together, in the midst of struggles, frustration, and often hope, in experiencing and imagining their lives.

Yeran will explore how to not simply use digital media for connected living, but more importantly, how to live together in digital ecology by creating new forms of collectivity, coexistence and conviviality. Yeran argues that the major part of current social conflicts (and perhaps development too) is generated from the differences and hostilities which are formed and conducted through digital media activities and social network relations. Therefore, it is crucial that younger generations learn not only digital media as an instrument for practical reasons or entertaining, but more significantly, co-making a way of life.

Don’t miss this stimulating presentation by Yeran Kim, Professor in the School of Communications, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, South Korea, who has published a number of papers and books. Her current research focuses on the cultural intersection of affect, communication and society in the contemporary social media ecology.


July 29 Closing Keynote (US / Europe): Marisa Morán Jahn

The three-day Connected Learning Summit concludes as Marisa Morán Jahn shares about Literacy and Legend-Making: Bibliobandido (“Story-Eater”) and the Hunger for Stories Across Media.

“Bibliobandido, Story Eater” originated in rural Honduras in 2010, when artist Marisa Morán Jahn and a group of youth from a low-literacy community invented the idea of a roving bandit who eats stories. To appease Bibliobandido’s insatiable appetite and avert general calamity, youth nourished him with stories they’ve written. This legend has captivated and engaged youth from Honduras to North America informal learning spaces including Brooklyn and New York Public Library, Seattle Public Library, Mozilla-supported afterschool programs, Queens Museum, Pérez Art Museum, and more. All told, the Bibliobandido cosmology has transformed over 15,000 young believers, strengthening literacy across media and platforms from paper-based storycrafting, digital journalism, paper circuitry, and more.

Marisa Morán Jahn is a 2021-2022 Sundance Fellow, Associate Director of Integrated Design at Parsons/The New School and Artist/Writer in Residence at the Brooklyn Public Library. Her work seeks to redistribute power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (ArtForum), and has engaged millions through strategic partners.

In addition to these compelling keynotes and plenary sessions, the Connected Learning Summit will feature two dozen workshops and roundtables. Register today for the Summit! There are three registration tiers: $50 for students, $100 for educational practitioners, and $250 for academic and industry participants. In addition, by registering for CLS2022, you will gain access to a year of relevant workshops and webinars designed for the Connected Learning Alliance community.