Keynote Speaker


“Twenty-First Century Skills, Technology and Open Learning: Re-designing Teaching for the Digital Age”

By Professor Tony Bates, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada


High-earning jobs require the development of a wide range of intellectual skills in students which go far beyond understanding content. New technological developments now allow for the redesign of teaching to support the development of such skills. This presentation provides guidelines and examples of how to do this.



Tony Bates is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University and is also a Research Associate at Contact North|Contact Nord. He has almost 50 years experience in using technology for teaching, starting in 1969, when he began researching the effectiveness of the BBC-Open University television and radio programs, as a founding staff member of the British Open University, where he became a full professor in educational media research.

In 1989, he emigrated to Canada, to take the position of Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Information Technology at the Open Learning Agency, Vancouver. In 1995 he moved to the University of British Columbia, to become Director of Distance Education and Technology. On retirement from UBC in 2003, he started his own consultancy company, specializing in the planning and management of learning technologies in post-secondary education. He has worked as a consultant in over 40 countries.  He has received honorary degrees from six universities for his research in distance education.

He is the author of twelve books on learning technology, online learning and distance education, including his latest online, open textbook for faculty and instructors, Teaching in a Digital Age. The book, first published in April, 2015, is being translated into six languages.