Conference Speakers

We are very excited to announce our engaging and innovative speakers for LAK15!  Please see the program schedule for details on each keynote and don't forget we will be streaming these live for those who cannot attend.


Danielle S. McNamara is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Arizona State University. She focuses on educational technologies and discovering new methods to improve students' ability to understand challenging text, learn new information, and convey their thoughts and ideas in writing. Her work integrates various approaches and methodologies including the development of game-based, intelligent tutoring systems (e.g., iSTART, Writing Pal), the development of natural language processing tools (e.g., iSTART, Writing Pal, Coh-Metrix, the Writing Assessment Tool), basic research to better understand cognitive and motivational processes involved in comprehension and writing, and the use of learning analytics across multiple contexts. More information about her research and access to her publications are available at


Dr. Charles R Severance is a Clinical Associate Professor and teaches in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He also works with the IMS Global Learning Consortium promoting and developing standards for teaching and learning technology. He also works for Longsight as Sakai Chief Strategist. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and the Chief Architect of the Sakai Project. Charles teaches two popular MOOCs to students worldwide on the Coursera platform: Internet History, Technology, and Security and Programming for Everybody and is a long-time advocate of open educational resources to empower teachers.


Charles is the editor of the Computing Conversations column in IEEE Computer magazine that features a monthly article and video interview of a computing pioneer. Charles is the author of the book, "Sakai: Building an Open Source Community" that describes the early days of the open source Sakai project. Charles is also the author of the book, "Using Google App Engine" from O'Reilly and Associates and the book "Python for Informatics: Exploring Information". He also wrote the O'Reilly book titled, "High Performance Computing". Charles has a background in standards including serving as the vice-chair for the IEEE Posix P1003 standards effort and edited the Standards Column in IEEE Computer Magazine from 1995-1999.

Charles is active in media as a hobby, he has co-hosted several television shows including "Nothin but Net" produced by MediaOne and a nationally televised program about the Internet called "Internet:TCI". Charles appeared for over 10 years as an expert on Internet and Technology as a co-host of a live call-in radio program on the local Public Radio affiliate ( Charles has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Michigan State University.

Professor Belinda Tynan joined the Open University (OU) in April 2013 as Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching. She has a doctorate in education in the field of distance education from the University of Western Australia and is an active researcher, invited speaker and is passionate about online, open and distance education.  She has more than twenty years of experience as a teacher, lecturer and senior administrator in the education sector in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK. Her research includes numerous refereed publications on the learner experience, faculty development, workload and innovation in the use of technologies.

In her current role she has a specific focus in learning and teaching and is chair of several of the University main governance committees associated with policy and innovation for learning and teaching. She is responsible for ensuring OU students' distance and online materials are of the highest quality. She leads the development of informal to formal learning experiences via the Open Media Unit including iTunesU, BBC, OpenLearn, YouTube, Amazon, Audio Boo amongst others; and,  the University library, the later having 24/7 access and a comprehensive digital collection for staff and students. A range of strategic University projects are lead from the PVC portfolio including Assessment, Tuition, Undergraduate and Postgraduate Frameworks, StageGate and Learning Analytics which is a University wide coordinated approach to supporting learners to reach their study goals.

Professor Tynan is also on the Board of FutureLearn, the Steering Committee of the Open data Programme in partnership with the Open Data Institute, UUK & JISC; on the Advisory Board of Research and Education Space (RES) (BBC);  and the Student Experience Strategic Advisory Committee of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE).