ASLA 2011 speakers

Keynote title: Global Learners = Global Leaders

Jeff Piontek

Abstract: Today’s world is constantly on the move and changing at such a profound speed that it’s hard to believe that what the eyes see as reality is already history. This keynote will introduce and closely examine the significance of several global exponential trends and challenge your assumptions about the world we live in and its future. Current technology trends are affecting our personal and professional lives, our youth and elderly, our learning institutions, the nature of teaching and learning and our definition of intelligence itself. This keynote will be a compelling glimpse into the bold, exciting and dynamic future that awaits us all!

Jeff Piontek is an author, keynote speaker and teacher (most importantly). He has worked with many at-risk school districts nationally as a consultant on affecting educational change and reform. Jeff started out as a Science teacher in the South Bronx, NYC and worked his way up to the Director of Instructional and Informational Technology in NYC.

Jeff's book; "Blogs Wikis and Podcasts, Oh My! Electronic Media in the Classroom" has been well received by the education community and is in its second printing.

He has received many accolades including the latest from Governor Linda Lingle for Innovation in the economy for his STEM education work nationally. Jeff sits on the National Governor's Association STEM committee as well as the State of Hawaii Economic Development Workforce Committee, which he was appointed to by the Governor.

Jeff has embarked on a new venture at Hawaii Technology Academy and the school has performed at the top of the public schools in Hawaii in its first year and doubled to 500 students in its second year. The school now has 1,000 students and over 2,000 applicants this past year.

The school was just designated as one of the 40 more innovative schools in the US in a recent study published by Innosight Institute (Michael Horn, author of Disrupting Class --

Jeff's most recent presentations can be found on slideshare at

Keynote title: A profession at the tipping point: time to change the game plan

Karen Bonanno

Abstract: The nationalisation of K-12 education in Australia has the potential to have a Jupiter Effect (prediction that an alignment of the planets would create a number of catastrophes) on school libraries and the profession. Government-driven initiatives and projects herald an education 'two-speed economy' for teacher librarians - boom or bust. The report, School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia, and data from 386 submissions and 13 public hearings provide sufficient evidence that school libraries and teacher librarianship are at a tipping point.  This address will present a view on the impact of the nationalisation of K-12 education and explore strategic directions for the profession and school libraries. What will be the future if you do not take charge of your own siesmic shift?

Since January 2002 Karen has been the contracted Executive Officer for the Australian School Library Association (ASLA). She has worked as a secondary teacher, teacher librarian, head of department, acting deputy principal, regional adviser and education officer in the public education sector. Karen co-authored the ASLA submission for the House of Representatives Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools, attended all the public hearings and appeared three times before the Committee as a witness in her capacity as Executive Officer. In 2001, she was awarded the Australian School Library Association Citation in recognition of her contribution to teacher librarianship in Australia. Her ongoing contribution to the profession demonstrates a high level of dedication and professionalism.

Karen contributes to the professional learning of colleagues through the website

Keynote title: Future (academic) libraries & social innovation

Mal Booth

Abstract: Librarians must engage with those who use their services and must not be afraid of being told sometimes challenging things about what is needed or what they are not delivering. In many cases, libraries are locked into doing what they have always done and it is no longer completely relevant to their communities. Like Steve Jobs, I do not believe it is the customer’s role to know what they want: we need to be ahead of that if we can be, delivering services they don’t even know they need yet. It isn’t just about improving the spaces, building new buildings or implementing new technologies for libraries. The secret or answer  is to develop and align the services to be delivered in those new spaces and with those new technologies in advance of the opening of the facility. That is where a lot of libraries fail. I think the we should be approaching this more like a social innovation project and I’ll discuss why and how.

Mal Booth is the Director, Education & Research Services Unit, at UTS Library and helps manage the Library of the Future and Library Retrieval System projects. He also provides strategic guidance to the RFID project. Mal was formerly Head of the Research Centre at the Australian War Memorial and responsible for its library, archive and the Memorial's web strategy, specifically with regard to the use of Web 2.0 initiatives. Since 2001 he has been an advocate for digital convergence in the delivery of web services and resources via the cultural institutions websites. From 2006 to 2008 Mal curated the Lawrence of Arabia & the Light Horse exhibition and in late 2008 made the first curatorial visit to a war zone by one of the Memorial's librarian/archivists to identify, record and collect records of war from Australian forces before they withdrew from Iraq.

Mal writes online at and his Slideshare presentations can be found at

Keynote title: Online collections and online engagement

Sebastian Chan

Abstract: At the heart of museums are collections and over the past decade, new technologies have been enabling citizens to engage with these collections in new ways. With the drive towards greater access have come many challenges for museums. This presentation will cover some of the initiatives that the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has been developing for opening up broad scale access to collections online and across multiple platforms, and look at how this has begun to change the organisational DNA.

Sebastian Chan leads the Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies department at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. His teams include the museum's web unit, audio visual and photography, rights and permission and the photo library, the research library and Thinkspace, the Powerhouse's digital media teaching laboratories. He helps other organisations internationally strategise and implement cutting edge technologies in the cultural sector. Seb was also a member of the Australian Government's Government 2.0 Taskforce examining ways of improving citizen engagement with government and opening access to public sector information. Seb writes the popular Fresh & New(er) blog in the museum world, and leads a parallel life in electronic music and art as editor-in-chief of Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Adam ElliotAcademy Award ® winner Adam Elliot, is one of the worlds most celebrated and critically acclaimed independent filmmakers. His five animated films have been viewed by millions of people and have participated in over five-hundred film festivals.

In 2009 'Mary and Max' was invited to open Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival - the first Australian and first Animated film to ever do so. His films have received over one hundred awards, including five AFI Awards and an Oscar ® in 2004 for 'Harvie Krumpet'. In 1999 he was made Young Victorian of the Year and to every ones surprise Adam was recently announced as an Australia National Treasure! He is the official patron of 'The Other Film Festival', new cinema by, with and about people with a disability and is a voting member for the Annual Academy Awards. In 2003 the Annecy International Animation Festival included 'Harvie Krumpet' as one of the top 100 animated films of all time. His production company,Adam Elliot Pictures, create unique and bittersweet animations, or as Adam calls them 'Clayographies' - clay animated biographies.

Written and directed solely by Adam, his highly skilled team of animators and model makers spend thousands of painstaking hours bringing his comic and poignant cinematic stories to life. Costing millions of dollars and taking years to complete, his team use traditional 'in-camera' techniques, which means every prop set and character is a 'real' miniature handcrafted object. Based on the people around him, his universal stories are personal and unique biographies that deal with themes from the achingly funny to the darkly melancholic. Viewed by people of all ages, his stories have entertained and nourished people in nearly every country on earth. His scripts attract and are voiced by some of the worlds finest actors including, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Geoffrey Rush, Eric Bana and Barry Humphries.

A naturally gifted, engaging and entertaining communicator, Adam Elliot shares his life story of hard work, persistence, patience and determination to finally win an Academy Award, eclipsing the work of Hollywood giants, Disney, Pixar and the Fox Studios. His universal and very funny story is not only thoroughly entertaining but incredibly inspiring and motivating.

Dean GroomKeynote title: Massively Productive: Learning with the gamer generation.

Dean Groom

Abstract: This decade has seen the advent of massive multiplayer online games. Researchers have published dozens of essays, articles and mainstream books on the power of games. How is this motivating teachers to use video games in the classroom? What games are they using? How are they aligning commercial video games with the curriculum? These are just some examples of the practical questions educators are asking.

This presentation explores games as lessons, and how schools can take on aspects and archetypes of massive multiplayer games in the design of learning strategies through the patterns and routines of game-mechanics and gamer theory. The systematic nature of games, their inherent heuristic demands of discover and exploration, with immediate feedback, performance metrics and massive productivity provide essential insights and opportunities for empowering 21st century learning. Furthermore gaming aligns with many of the progressive aspirations made familiar by the Web 2.0 discourse, revealing how they might be better suited to critical thinking, information fluency and enquiry than many teachers realize.

What are the imperatives for new digital pedagogies? Can games allow students to develop and use schemata and socio-cognitive skills positively inside discipline based education - through game based learning?

Dean Groom is the Head of Educational Development and Design at Macquarie University, Sydney.

He has a career history in advertising and design, working in digital communications and media for over 20 years. He has developed educational projects in Second Life, Open Simulator and World of Warcraft.

Dean is an international presenter at conferences and symposia and provides professional development for teachers and leadership teams. He is married with three children and lives on the NSW Central Coast of Australia. He has contributed to two books in the Learning in a Changing World series on Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds.

Dean writes online at

Judy O'Connell Keynote title: Learning without Frontiers: School libraries and meta-literacy in action.

Judy O'Connell

Since their establishment school libraries have been instrumental in language and writing, showcasing and empowering the best in good reading and research immersion for their students. Now the best minds on our planet are suggesting that the Internet and the technology tools it has spawned will continue to be arguably the most influential invention of our time. With the maturation of the web we now use and interpret multiple kinds of literacy which are embedded in multimodal texts. Because of it we have found ourselves in the midst of highly dynamic and dramatically changing literacy learning landscapes – new frontiers populated by a plethora of mind matters as diverse as Alice in Wonderland, Angry Birds, Audioboo and Augmented Reality.

So you think you can curate resources, nurture literacy and teach in this new information ecology? Don your dark glasses and be prepared for the ride of your (professional) life in Learning without frontiers. This presentation will explore how teacher librarians can bind together teaching, emerging technologies, and the growing number of literacies to promote information-rich meta-literacy media environments suitable for 21st century school libraries.

Judy O'Connell, Charles Sturt University

Judy's professional leadership experience spans primary, secondary and tertiary education, at school and system level, with a focus on pedagogy, curriculum, libraries and professional development in a technology-enriched learning environment.

Judy is passionate about global participation and collaboration. Her ongoing commitment to global projects, including the Horizon Report: K-12 edition, and international journal School Libraries Worldwide, ensures that she remains at the forefront of 21st century learning innovation in schools. Her publications include major contributions to the Learning in a Changing World series on Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds.

Judy writes online at

Last updated: 2/3/2014 10:33:58 PM