Plenary Speakers

The Learning Conference will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

David Barton
Katerine Bielaczyc
Kathy Chan
Yasmin B. Kafai
Kerry Kennedy
Carmen K.M. Lee
Alice Y. L. Lee
Samuel Leong
Angel Lin
Bob Lingard

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

David Barton
David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Linguistics at Lancaster University and Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre. He is also Visiting Professor II at the University of Stavanger, Norway.

His main publications, with others, have been concerned with: rethinking the nature of literacy (e.g. Literacy, Blackwell, 2nd edn. 2007; The anthropology of writing, Continuum, 2010); carrying out detailed studies of everyday literacies (Local literacies, Routledge, 1998; Situated literacies, Routledge, 2000; Letter writing as a social practice, John Benjamins, 2000); and the relations of literacy and learning (Beyond Communities of Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2005; Literacy, Lives and Learning, Routledge, 2007; Improving learning in college, Routledge 2009). He is also editor of the Routledge Literacies book series.

His current interests include: the changing nature of literacy in contemporary society; literacy and social justice; research methodologies; reading and writing online, especially with respect to the photo-sharing site Flickr; and how academics’ writing practices are changing. (http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/profiles/50/)


Katerine Bielaczyc
Dr. Bielaczyc is currently an Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Kate was formerly an Assistant Professor at Harvard University in Technology in Education and Teacher Education; a Senior Scientist at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman; and Director of the Learning Communities Research Group at Boston College. Kate has worked as a cognitive researcher and systems designer at the Learning Research and Development Center in Pittsburgh and at universities in France and Italy. She has been a visiting scholar at the Open University, UK, and at the Ecole Normale Superior in Lyon, France. Kate was the Director of Research on a large-scale school reform effort through the NSF Vanguard for Learning project, and also worked with colleagues at the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Secretary of Education in Bogota, Colombia, on the evaluation of an ICT project in the Bogota School District. Kate’s research centers on individual and collective metacognition, teacher and student learning and epistemic change within contexts of classroom innovation, and exploring new methodologies for classroom assessment.

Kathy Chan
Ms. Chan So Kuen was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Bossini in January 2007. Ms. Chan graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Oklahoma City University, United States, with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is also a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Ms. Chan joined this Group in August 2003 as the Director of Finance. She has more than 26 years’ experience in auditing, financial management, corporate finance and general management in audit firm, travel, property development, hotel investment and management, household appliances trading and manufacturing, semiconductor and retail industries. Ms. Chan is responsible for the overall management and strategic planning of Bossini.

陳素娟女士於 二零零七年一月獲委任為本集團之行政總裁。陳女士畢業於香港理工大學及美國奧克拉荷馬城大學,持有工商管理碩士銜。彼亦為英國特許公認會計師公會及香港會 計師公會之資深會員。陳女士於二零零三年八月加盟本集團出任財務董事,於審計師樓、旅遊業、物業發展、酒店投資及管理、家電貿易及製造業、半導體及零售行 業等之審計、財務管理、企業財務及企業管理方面,已積累逾二十六年經驗。目前,陳女士負責本集團之整體管理及策略規劃工作。


Yasmin B. Kafai
Born in Germany, Dr. Kafai undertook her studies on learning theories and technologies in France, Germany, and the United States. She received her doctorate from Harvard University while working with Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Laboratory. From 1994 to 2008, she was on the faculty of the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

Her research on children’s learning as designers of games, simulations, and virtual worlds has received generous funding from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. She was one of the first educators to receive an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation in addition to a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Education.

As part of her policy work, she wrote Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Interventions in the Sciences (2004) and worked on Tech-Savvy Girls: Educating Girls in the Computer Age (2000), a report for the American Association of University Women. She briefed the Telecommunication and Computer Science Board for Being Fluent with Information Technology (National Academy of Sciences, 1999) and helped define national research agendas on children’s learning with digital media.

A past president of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS), she is now the executive editor of the Journal of the Learning Sciences together with Cindy Hmelo-Silver.


Kerry Kennedy
Professor Kerry Kennedy joined the Hong Kong Institute of Education in 2001. He came from the University of Canberra in Australia where he had been Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic). He has an MA and PhD from Stanford University, both in Education. He has an MEd degree from the University of New South Wales in Australia and a Master of Letters degree in History from the University of New England.

Prior to joining the Institute, Professor Kennedy had successively been Dean of Education at the University of Southern Queensland and the University of Canberra. He had also been Director of the Centre for Continuing Education at The Australian National University. While he has been at the Institute, he has been Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Dean of the Faculty of Professional and Early Childhood Education. He has won two Public Policy Research Grants, one Competitive Earmarked Research Grant and one Quality Education Fund Grant during his time at the Institute.

Professor Kennedy works in the area of curriculum policy and theory with a special interest in citizenship education. He has published Changing Schools for Changing Times – New Directions for the School Curriculum in Hong Kong (Chinese University Press, 2005) and Changing Schools in Asia: Schools for the Knowledge Society (with Prof Lee Chi Kin from Chinese University) (Routledge, 2008)


Carmen K. M. Lee
Carmen K. M. Lee is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received an M.Phil. from the University of Hong Kong and a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University in England. Prior to her current position at the CUHK, Dr. Lee taught linguistics and academic writing at various tertiary institutions in Hong Kong including The University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Open University of Hong Kong. Her main research interests include social aspects of language and literacy, linguistic practices on the Internet, and multilingual identities. Over the past few years, she has published book chapters and journal articles on the language and literacy practices of various digital media, including electronic mail, instant messaging, mobile phone texting, and more recently, Flickr.com. Her work is also concerned with the educational implications of new media and the nature of informal learning on the web. Currently, she is carrying out a project funded by the Hong Kong Research Grant Council which examines how students construct identities through writing in Web 2.0 spaces such as weblogs and Facebook. (Web page:
http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/eng/staff/clee/index.html)

Alice Y. L. Lee
Alice Y. L. Lee is an Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). She worked for various media organizations before she received her doctorate in Sociology of Education from the University of British Columbia. She is serving as the Acting Director of the MA in Communication Program at HKBU. She is also a member of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation at the Education Bureau, Hong Kong SAR Government. Her major research interests include media education, new communication technology, and news websites. She is actively involved in promoting media education in Hong Kong and is now the vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Association of Media Education.

Samuel Leong
Professor Samuel Leong joined the Hong Kong Institute of Education in early 2006 after completing the National Review of School Music Education (2004-5) for the Australian government as the project co-director. Over the past 30 years, he has had a multifarious career working in range of positions including at the Singapore Ministry of Education, Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, Centre for Life Enrichment, University of Michigan, Edith Cowan University and the University of Western Australia. He has authored and edited a number of publications including Using Music Technology in Music Education, Music in Schools and Teacher Education: a Global Perspective, and Musicianship in the 21st century and has given invited presentations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

He has worked collaboratively with researchers from Human Movement, Engineering, Computer Science and Neuro-psychiatry, and has 15 years of experience supervising and examining masters and doctoral research projects. He was recently awarded competitive grants from the Research Grants Council and Arts Development Council of Hong Kong, and serves on the boards of six refereed journals.


Angel Lin

Dr Angel Lin is currently an Associate Professor, and Program Leader of the MATESL Program, in the Department of English. She received her Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada in 1996. Since then her research and teaching has focused on such cutting-edge areas as critical discourse analysis, cultural and feminist media studies, new media literacy’s, language policies in postcolonial contexts, and sociocultural theories of language learning. With a background in cultural studies, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, urban and school ethnography, as well as literacy and second language acquisition, she has been a pioneer of innovative inter-disciplinary approaches to second and foreign language education and language teaching methodologies, aimed particularly at students and other young people. Dr Lin is the first Asia-based scholar elected as Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) (2007-2010), and the first Hong Kong-based scholar invited to serve as a Guest Editor for a Special Issue in TESOL Quarterly. Her international impact is also reflected in her membership of the editorial boards of several leading research journals, including Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, International Multilingual Research Journal, Language and Education, Linguistics and Education (as Associate Editor), and Pedagogies.

Bob Lingard
Professor Bob Lingard has been Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Education at The University of Queensland since June, 2008. He has also been Professor at the University of Edinburgh (2006-2008), where he held the Andrew Bell Chair of Education, and the University of Sheffield (2003-2006) in the UK. From 1989-2003, he worked in the School of Education at The University of Queensland, where he was professor and for a period, Head of School. Bob has an international research reputation in the areas of sociology of education and education policy. He is the author/editor of 15 books and about 100 journal articles and book chapters. His most recent book is Educating Boys: beyond structural reform (Palgrave, 2009), co-authored with Wayne Martino and Martin Mills. He has an in-press book co-authored with Fazal Rizvi, Globalizing Education Policy (Routledge, 2009). He is editor of the journal Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education and editor of two books series, Studies in Education (Allen & Unwin, Australia) and Keys Ideas and Education with Greg Dimitriadis (Routledge, New York). He is also on the editorial boards of six international journals. Bob was the first two year President of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), 1999 and 2000 and was also a long term Executive member. He was also the inaugural Chair of the Queensland Studies Authority, appointed by the Minister for Education. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Student Equity in Higher education at The University of South Australia. He co-directed the large ($1.3 million) Queensland Government commissioned research project, the Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study (QSRLS) (1998-2001), which developed the influential concept of productive pedagogies. He also co-directed the research study, Addressing the Educational Needs of Boys (2002) for the federal government. Bob was on the management committee of the Disadvantaged Schools Programme in Queensland and worked with the State government as a consultant on equity and social justice policies. Bob has extensive experience working with disadvantaged schools. Bob is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Student Equity in Higher education at the University of South Australia. He has been external examiner for Masters degrees in Education at both the Institute of Education, The University of London and Queens University, Belfast. He is currently external examiner for Med and EdD degrees at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. He has been invited to deliver a number of significant Keynote Addresses, including at British Educational Research Association (2006) and European Educational Research Association annual conferences (1999). He is Keynote speaker at the national teacher education conference in Malaysia in June, 2009. He has won a number of Australian Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and European Science Foundation competitive research grants and is an Academician of the British Academy of Social Sciences and was nominated to the Academy by the British Educational Research Association.