Bakersfield College

2015 BC Conference on Learning Technologies

Feb. 5, 2015

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Learning Technologies Conference

Learning -- it isn't just textbooks and slide rules anymore.  Heck, even calculators are old news.  The nation's premier educators are utilizing cutting-edge technology to engage their students like never before.  They're turning the classroom into a 21st century multimedia exploration of knowledge that not only grips generations raised on iPads and smartphones, but empowers and expands their students' creative freedom within the learning environment.

The Learning Technologies Conference is proud to bring the industry's foremost trailblazing instructors and education professionals to Bakersfield, offering area educators and learners alike invaluable next-generation tools to change how you see a classroom forever.

Please select from the following:


Conference Program

Time Activity
8:00 - 8:40 a.m. Check-In and Breakfast
8:45 - 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks: Dr. Sonya Christian and Todd Coston
9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Keynote Address: Dr. Michael Wesch, Digital Ethnology - Kansas State University; "Nurturing Wonder in the Age of Whatever"
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break - Release to Breakouts
10:30 - 11:20 a.m.

Track 1 - Band Room 2

Making Sense of Maker Ed

Debby Kurti - Table Top Inventing, Victory Valley College
3D printing? Physical computing? Artificial intelligence? 3D design? "Maker Education" is a hot topic right now, but what does the term mean for your classroom? How does it impact your students? How can it influence your teaching practice? Can teachers truly implement maker projects in meaningful ways that hit core standards and inspire genuine learning?
With all the media hype about 3D printing and personalized electronic solutions, it is important to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction when considering tools and pedagogical approaches. Educators curious about the maker movement, looking to incorporate more active learning in their curriculum, or interested in starting an academic makerspace will find this seminar both philosophically grounded and filled with practical ideas.

10:30 - 11:50 a.m.

Track 2 - Indoor Theater

Own It! - Technology to Engage and Retain Learners

Dana Van Deinse, Grand Key Education
Participants will explore the Own It! student onboarding and retention technologies.  Own It! is an innovative multi-media rich training program designed to prepare teens and young adults with the mental attitudinal and behavioral skills to be successful in academics and life.  Throught interactive videos and engaging real-life scenarios, students are finding success as they complete this course.  Own It! also provides an assessment portfolio to assist the teachers, counselors and parents in supporting their students' efforts.  The session will focus on strategies for helping students take ownership for their learning, and how to implement a plan to increase student accountability that will increase student outcomes.

11:20 - 11:30 a.m. Short Break - 10 min. (Track 1)
11:30 - 11:50 a.m.

Track 1 - Band Room 2

Teaching is Storytelling - 20 Min.

Bill Moseley, Bakersfield College
A short session, addressing the idea of student engagement through the mechanism of storytelling.

Noon - 12:50 p.m. Lunch and Networking - Performing Arts Center Band Room 2 (Track 1 and Track 2)
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Track 1 and Track 2 - Indoor Theater

Afternoon Keynote - "2015: The Year Competency-Based Education Displaced Traditional College Degrees

Dean Florez, 20 Million Minds Foundation
Let’s begin the New Year with two, salient 2014 facts destined to drive educational policy and technological innovation in higher education throughout 2015: (1) Today, skills matter more than how or where they were acquired; and (2) ed-tech innovators are creating Internet-driven online educational programs aimed at solving a growing skills-gap deficit.
These felicitous facts have created unanticipated competition for universities, now threatened in their traditional role as the necessary mobility portal for our society.
In 2015, look for higher education’s disruptive creators to innovate upon the moral high-ground assertion that providing a more affordable and measurable path to competencies will bring value to employers and to students looking to justify their costly diplomas. These efforts will be planted on fertile ground, given that average tuition costs have risen 440 percent over the past quarter-century and have created $1.1 tillion dollars in student-loan debt today.

2:10-3:00 p.m.

Track 1 - Band Room 2

Igniting a Revolution - High Tech Citizen Science

Steve Kurti - Table Top Inventing
With the rise of 3D printing and open micro-processing platforms, we now have the basic tools to create high-tech science tools. The internet and easily accessible databases allow multiple sites and individuals to collaborate on a project. Motivated high school or community college students can now collect a part of the data, upload it to a central database and participate in the analysis.
As teachers of science, we need to prepare a new generation to embrace and access the available tools.  3D printing opens the possibility of creating custom parts for complex machines, open microprocessor platforms enable complex data collection, and with a little time, digital signal processing may even find its way into the hands of commoners due to the price and availability of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGAs).
With this knowledge, students no longer need to sit on the sidelines waiting for the professionals. Come listen in to discover the power and perils of the new science revolution.

2:10-3:00 p.m.

Track 2 - Indoor Theater

NextGen Educators: A Competency-Based Approach for the Whole Educator - 50 Min.

Amy Kaufman - UC San Diego
True NextGen educators need to possess a complex set of classroom competencies; curriculum and instruction, educational technology, data and evaluation, whole-child approach to social and emotional well-being, nutrition, substance abuse and mental health, and college and career readiness. This session will introduce you to an innovative, online professional development program through UC San Diego.  This program takes a competency-based approach to developing true NextGen educators.

3:00 p.m. End

Download the Conference Agenda (PDF)

Map to BC's Performing Arts CenterPAC map


Speakers include:

Dr. Michael Wesch

"Nurturing Wonder in the Age of Whatever"

Dubbed “the prophet of an education revolution” by the Kansas City Star and “the explainer” by Wired Magazine, Wesch is a recipient of the highly coveted “US Professor of the Year” Award from the Carnegie Foundation. After two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society and education. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed over 20 million times, translated in over 20 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide.

Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. After years of experimenting with social media and assessing the learning potential of these tools, Wesch argues that they don’t automatically foster significant learning or establish genuine empathy or meaningful bonds between professors and students. Using social media is but one of the many possible ways to connect, but the message that Wesch’s experimentation brings is that only genuine connections may restore the sense of joy and curiosity that we hope to instill in our students.


Dean Florez

"2015: The Year Competency-Based Education Displaced Traditional College Degrees"

Dean Florez is leading The Twenty Million Minds Foundation after 20 years of legislative policy making in the higher education field. As a past state Assemblyman and Senator, Dean Florez was elevated to the position of California Senate Majority Leader in November 2008, the Senate’s second most powerful position.

During his tenure in the State Legislature, Dean Florez was an outspoken leader in the areas of clean air, higher education, policy, food safety, animal rights, government accountability and infrastructure financing and development. His emphasis during his tenure in the Legislature was overseeing high technology implementation and educational reform. Specifically, Dean Florez chaired the Senate Select Committee on Wireless Technology and Consumer Driven Programming and the Senate Governmental Organization Committee that oversaw major technology purchases and implementation.

Prior to his election to the Legislature in 1998, Dean Florez worked in higher education policy as the Senate’s Chief consultant to the Senate Committee on University of California Admissions and staffed the California Joint Master Plan of Higher Education Review.

Dean Florez is a past investment banker, having received his MBA from Harvard in 1993. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA where he also served as Student Body President.

Dean Florez is dedicated to bringing higher education into the digital age through his work at 20MM.


Debby Kurti

Debby Kurti is the Disruptive Learning Strategist for Table Top Inventing and an adjunct Computer Information Systems professor at Victor Valley College. Debby’s teaching style is an eclectic blend of constructivist pedagogy fused with social learning theory that allows her to facilitate interesting experiences that excite her students’ curiosity and fire up their desire to know more. She has been teaching technology to teachers, administrators, students, and lifelong learners at all levels of education from K-12 through graduate university courses for almost twenty years, including fourteen of those years as a CIS faculty member in the Kern Community College District at Porterville and Cerro Coso Community Colleges. Debby served as a campus mentor for California Virtual Campus and has taught classes for both CVC and @ONE. Her current academic pursuits include maker education as a tool to engage students and deepen learning, 3D printing, open source electronics, social media, & online learning. Debby earned her MA in educational technology from Pepperdine University.

Steve Kurti

Steve Kurti is the Chief Maker at Table Top Inventing. For as long as he can remember, Steve has been making things. In his quest to spark creative thinking and problem solving through practical and exciting projects, Steve draws on his background in biomedical research, high energy fiber laser development, and 15 years of building laboratory devices. As an experimental physicist with a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, Steve has seen research and development from many angles and is now bringing that experience to middle school, high school, and college students who want to make everything from catapults to cybernetic augmentations. Through the medium of Making and Inventing, students are transformed from passive observers of education to active learners. This powerful shift fosters deep insights, creative expression, collaborative thinking and a host of other skills that are difficult to learn in traditional settings. Steve holds three patents and is a columnist for the TeacherLibrarian Journal. His latest contributions include a three part series titled “Making an Educational Makerspace: The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces; The Environment and Tools of Great Educational Makerspaces; and Practical Implementation of an Educational Makerspace.”


Dana Van Deise

Ms. Dana Van Deinse is a digital learning expert with proven results in virtual and blended school operations, the development of eLearning programs, and school accreditation. Having actively participated in traditional, blended and online learning environments serving in the role of teacher, principal, head of school, board member, community partner, and parent, she believes that all students can learn and accomplish success with personalized support.  Ms. Van Deinse is an accomplished speaker and trainer having collaborated with numerous education organizations, to include the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), AdvancED and the YMCA. Most recently, she launched a company to help schools increase student retention by teaching students ownership and accountability skills.  She has also developed the accreditation protocol which included the establishment of quality benchmarks for digital learning schools around the world.  Ms. Van Deinse earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, a Post-Bac teaching certificate from Arizona State University, and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.


Amy Kaufman

Amy Kaufman is an experienced professional development facilitator and trainer, education consultant and curriculum designer. Currently, she designs, develops and delivers online/blended courses for educators, industry professionals, and the DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) through the University of California at San Diego. She is also a program facilitator for CTE and educational technology for the Orange County Department of Education. Previously, she was a CTE instructional programs administrator serving 27 high schools within five comprehensive high school districts. Amy has been an instructor at the high school, adult school and community college level. Her latest projects include development and implementation of online/blended career pathways courses for alternative education students and co-development of new online/blended teacher training curriculum for the Electrical Training Alliance and the IBEW.



Amber Chiang
Todd Coston
Patt Davis
Bill Moseley
Emmanuel Mourtzanos
Mary Jo Pasek
Kristin Rabe


Michael Wesch "Nurturing Wonder in the Age of Whatever"; Feb. 5, 2015

Dean Florez "2015: The Year Competency-Based Education Displaced Traditional College Degrees"; Feb. 5, 2015

President Christian Introduces Michael Wesch; Feb. 5, 2015

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