Currently there are two invited speakers confirmed for the 2009 conference. There are no plans to add more, as the programme makes room for the expected number of proposals. The speakers are
- Mark Nichols has a BMS (Management Studies, Hons) and an MA in Open and Distance Education (Distinction) from the Open University, UK. He has worked as an e-learning specialist in New Zealand's polytechnic and university sectors, and is currently working on a doctorate through the University of Otago. In 2005 Mark was recognised as a flexible learning leader in New Zealand, and he proposed and chaired the eCDF project that resulted in Mahara (an open source ePortfolio platform) during 2006-7. Mark is currently employed as e-learning specialist at Laidlaw College, Auckland.
- Peter Mellow (AUT University) - Peter was awarded a NZ National Tertiary Teaching Excellence award in 2007 and is well known around NZ for his informed, passionate and energetic presentations on the use of technology in learning
Invited Interactive Speakers:
For the last 18 years, Rick has been part of the School of Design Studies at the College of Fine Arts (COFA), University of New South Wales, while more recently he is also Visiting Professor at De La Salle University in Manila.
In 1998, Rick founded The Omnium Research Group, an ongoing research initiative that explores online collaborative creativity (OCC) for educational and professional settings in the visual arts and design. Five years later, he was also appointed head of COFA Online: a newly formed academic unit established to design, produce and host fully-online education courses across a range of art and design disciplines.
Over the last decade Rick's work through Omnium has evolved from directing numerous global online projects, to a recent series of online outreach projects to help communities in less fortunate parts of the world.
Such projects have included designing visual public awareness campaigns of critical health issues for villagers in Kenya and Uganda, as well as producing contemporary designs for urban installations and home-ware products made by embroiderers and woodworkers in remote, rural regions of the Philippines.
Rick has presented his work widely, both nationally and internationally, and received numerous commendations and research grants for his work in online learning and teaching, and design studies.
Rick was the recipient of the Ascilite President's Award in 2005.