Professor Sugata Mitra, Newcastle University

The ‘Hole in the Wall’ project has established itself as one of the most talked-about projects for many years, with Professor Sugata’s work cited as the inspiration behind ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. We’re extremely lucky to get one of the best speakers in the business who, using examples from his own projects in India and, now, in England, will ask the conference searching questions about the impact of technology on learning and what it holds for the future.

Dr Ross Mackenzie, Strategic Development Manager, The Open University

Ross has been at the Open University since 1995, and has been involved in and led the development of a wide-range of web-based learning systems.  He currently leads the teams that develop and support the Open University’s Virtual Learning Environment and also the platform used for OpenLearn, the OU’s open education resources platform.  Before joining the OU Ross was a research fellow at University of Oxford and at Cornell University.

Philip Badmann, Vice Principal Funding & Planning, Newham College

Philip has thirty-two years experience of management in youth work, recreation, adult education, and further education, have followed  a first degree in teaching and youth work,  postgraduate study in community education, and a Masters degree in education management.  Philip held various appointments in Oxfordshire and Essex, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Newham College was accorded Grade 1 Outstanding in its Ofsted inspection last year and is an LSIS Beacon College. Philip’s responsibilities at the College  include funding and the £55m budget ; estates and facilities; information, learning, and communication technologies, and learner registrations and data.  Currently, Philip is steering a £8.7m three-year ILCT development strategy at the College, aiming to boost both pedagogical and business support benefits from the investment, and encompassing enhanced staff development and responsive support to lecturers.  Alongside this, Philip is leading procurement of a very large managed support service contract which aims to forge a strong private sector partnership in e-learning.

Martin Dougiamas

Martin Dougiamas is best known as the founder of Moodle, the popular free course management system used by millions of teachers around the world.  As the executive director of Moodle Pty Ltd in Perth, Western Australia, he leads the team of software developers at the heart of the Moodle project and the global network of 54 Moodle Partner service companies that help provide funding for this independent open source software project.

Martin has a mixed academic background with post-graduate degrees in Computer Science and Education, and continues to focus on researching how educators approach internet-based education. His major goal for the future is to improve the quality of education by encouraging social constructionist and collaborative practices within online learning communities.

Philip Butler & James Ballard, ULCC

Philip Butler works as the Senior e-Learning Adviser at ULCC, and has been in post-16 education sector as a teacher and manager for nearly 30 years.  Over the course of his career he developed a strong interest in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), and from 2000 became one of the founding members of the JISC Regional Support Centre for London.  In his subsequent capacity as a regional advisor he helped establish a strong reputation for high quality strategic advice and guidance on e-Learning and organisational transformation.  He has supported innovative development in the education sector whilst working as a consultant on several national projects for JISC, NIACE, BECTA, NLN, DTi, and others.  He has presented papers on effective use of e-Learning, Virtual Learning Environments, the Personalisation of Learning and many other subjects to conferences in the UK, USA and India.

James Ballard formerly worked with Barking college as a learning technologist, before joining ULCC in June 2007 where he has established a strong reputation as being one of the leading practitioners and architects behind the Personalisation of Learning Framework.

His work and expertise means he is in frequent demand to work with colleagues nationwide and has been involved in the DfES ICT Test Bed Project and a range of JISC and BECTA funded projects. He has produced research papers and reports assessing the impact of ICT in the classroom and is currently leading on the development of a framework for personalised learning tools.

Geoff Rebbeck, Thanet College

Geoff has been in Further Education for 12 years starting out as a lecturer in Health and Social Care. He has a BSc hons. Degree in e-learning from Greenwich University. He holds QTLS and is a Fellow of the Institute for Learning, having worked with them previously on the introduction of an e-portfolio.

He has been a course leader for numerous health and social care courses, as well as assessing and verifying on NVQs across the care spectrum. He also taught on the DETTLS. and has worked as a sessional tutor for the University of Greenwich on an innovative e-learning short course. His job as e-learning co-ordinator was brought into the College quality portfolio and now forms a major strand of Improvement and Innovation Section in the College.

The College was a National finalist in AOC/NILTA Beacon College awards in 2006 in the ‘creating an e-enabling organisation’ category and a finalist last year in the Staff development category. He was also the National Star Award winner in the Innovation category in 2009.

The College is a member of BECTA’s Technology Exemplar Network.

He has previously worked for 6 months with the LSN. He is a member of the JISC e-portfolio, and the teaching and learning Expert Groups. He is currently seconded to BECTA part time working on the design of a common Workforce Development Plan.

The college has shared its trials and tribulations in how the introduction of Moodle and latterly personal learning spaces has changed the behaviour of staff and students at many conferences as far as (or as near as Thanet is) Maastricht at a European Conference and subsequently with a wide range of FE colleges, universities and other educational agencies in London, Northern Ireland, South East, Midlands and East Anglia. It includes webinars and training sessions, and through several JISC ‘Effective Practice’ publications and on the LSIS Gateway. He is also working as an advisor to the South East JISC-RSC.