VRT Track 1: Transforming your institution into an agile, scalable and on-demand infrastructure

Venue: C.3.08

Hear more about Blackboard Cloud Services, a SaaS deployment model which provides an elastic, single-instance multi-tenant implementation of Blackboard Learn on top of the leading public cloud service infrastructure that can easily support heavy usage. It allows for quicker delivery of new features, automatic updates with no service interruptions or downtime, and requires less change management for users. Institutions will find this model a more comprehensive cloud strategy which makes it easier for institutions to integrate workflows and features across its teaching and learning products and deliver a more streamlined and unified user experience. This will also help provide a view into learner behavior and activity that can be analyzed by schools for continuous improvement to programs and educational approaches.

Being an International company, Blackboard is aware of the different environments, legislations and governance around security and data privacy of some International institutions. Blackboard is very mindful about those concerns and will also share how we balance these concerns and leverage the power of cloud-based applications to extend the teaching and learning environment beyond the course and institutional boundaries traditionally imposed by the LMS. We will share how are we working with International clients to address these concerns.

Blackboard is now the only company to offer clients three different ways to host their system. Clients can host locally on-site, through Blackboard's Managed Hosting offering, or with our new SaaS/public cloud option.

Speakers: Glenn PHILPOTT, Director of Education Services, APAC, Blackboard and Chris Ross, Director of Industry Management, APAC, Blackboard

Glenn PHILPOTT is the Director of the Cloud Services Group at Blackboard, responsible for the Asia Pacific Region. The team is responsible for a variety of Cloud and Managed Hosting offerings operated by Blackboard within the region. Glenn has over 20 years of experience working in the IT and Communications industry across APAC, spanning across industries including Development, Enterprise Consulting, Education and Telecommunications. Glenn is passionate about transforming the education experience through the use of the latest Cloud Technologies.

VRT Track 2: Growing Communities of Innovation through an Open Learning Platform

Venue: C.3.09

What does Innovation really mean when we're talking about learning management systems? And, why is it important? Find out how easily Canvas lends itself to innovative thinking, empowering students and lecturers to make the most out of the Canvas LMS.

Troy Martin

Speakers: Troy Martin, Director, Asia Pacific and Travis Cornes, Solutions Engineer, Canvas by Instructure

Troy Martin is someone who likes to build things – and disrupt things. After building a career as a business-builder, in 2014 he jumped at the chance to disrupt the LMS status quo and help facilitate the best educational experience possible by joining Canvas.

An accomplished entrepreneur, Troy is a cross-functional business leader in disruptive, emerging technology businesses. His passion for Canvas lies in his belief that it’s the perfect blend of purpose and technology – and his desire to make teaching and learning easier.

He loves business and has founded multiple start-ups within the digital media, publishing and eCommerce spaces - including Reddo, one of Australia’s most highly regarded and multiple-award wining* developers of content-rich apps for tablet and mobile devices.

Troy brings this extensive skillset to the LMS world and now specialises in helping institutions build their LMS systems to suit their individual needs and make their lives easier.

VRT Track 3: The Next Big Thing in Education is Data

Venue: C.3.10

In meteorology a great deal of expense goes into collecting reliable measures of the atmosphere, but what people really want is the ability to reliably forecast the weekend's weather. Likewise in education a great deal of energy is spent delivering new instruments that enable and measure student participation, but what people really want is the ability to reliably forecast student outcomes. The next significant advance in education will come from those who can collect, assimilate and present actionable data for educational stakeholders. Students will be able to select courses based on career objectives and previous student experience. Instructors will know which students are at risk of failure far earlier in the semester or term. The administration will have tools to identify students likely to leave the institution and will have real data to offer as part of their accreditation process. This round table discusses the possibilities and limitations of learning analytics to produce reliable predictive tools for education and the value of data assimilation on campus to meet this goal.

Join us together with representatives from City University of Hong Kong, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College of Malaysia, and University of Michigan of the United States to experience how students’ participation (beyond attendance) could be analysed using the Echo360 Active Learning Platform to create the best possible schemes for predicting student success.


Speaker: Abhijit MADHUGIRI, Vice President, International Business Development for Echo360 Inc.

Abhijit MADHUGIRI manages the international business, revenues, and operations for Asia, Middle East, and Latin America for Echo 360 Inc., an education company that partners with over 500 University clients in more than 30 countries. He leads business strategy development for emerging markets, worldwide partner management, and is the brand ambassador for Echo360 at education events across the globe.

Previously, Mr. Madhugiri worked as Vice President at DB Consulting Group, Inc., a Top 25 Federal consulting firm where he developed new business for opportunities totalling over $1 billion. He has served on the NYLC board for the past two years and became Board Chair in January of 2015.

VRT Track 4: Fostering Self-Directed Improvement with Teachers & Learners: Purposeful Social Feedback with Bluepulse

Venue: C.3.11

Institutions and instructors have a vested interest in the success of their students. With technology in the classroom, engaging students in the learning process has even easier with Bluepulse®.

Bluepulse is a unique social feedback platform that helps educators achieve teaching and learning excellence. By soliciting candid student feedback, instructors and students can start improving teaching and learning on day one. All communication with Bluepulse is anonymous and private-students identities are kept confidential and all the feedback collected in exclusively available to faculty and 100% faculty controlled.

The newest version of Bluepulse has a marquee feature that allows instructors to identify at-risk students and learning gaps in course concepts. Through a two-way anonymous communication feature, instructors can offer private and personalized tutoring to any student who needs it.

Join us for this special presentation, discussing how institutions are leveraging the power of anonymous social feedback to make meaningful improvements to the learning experience and services offered to students.

Speaker: Samer JAFFAR, Executive VP, Global Operations, eXplorance

Samer JAFFAR is responsible for the global operations at eXplorance. He has spent over eight years at the company; initially leading the sales, loyalty and professional services organizations before moving to focus on international expansions. Samer has been part of the team that helped the company become a leading provider for course evaluation, social feedback, text analytics, and learning experience management (LEM) solutions for higher education. eXplorance has recently been recognized by the Great Place to Work® Institute as one of the "Best Workplaces in Canada" for creating a culture of continuous improvement. Gartner has also named eXplorance as part of the prestigious "Cool Vendors in Education" report for providing cutting-edge technologies that assist leaders in identifying new digitization trends in the industry.

VRT Track 5: Trends and Innovation in Higher Education - How can technology support better learning outcomes?

Venue: C.3.12

In this overview, Udi will outline recent trends in the Higher Ed market, student survey results and recent partnerships. He will discuss the Hybrid education strategy in bringing together the best of print and the online world for adaptive and personalized learning. We will discuss the pros and cons of Print in Education and using only Electronic devices in education. The session will also cover the latest collaboration that Knewton, a leader in adaptive learning, has with HP to deliver Personalised Print Learning Solutions comprising tailor-made printed materials for students and publishers. With this new solution, teachers and professors can assign print materials tagged by HP Link Technology. When a student completes the worksheet he scans it with a smartphone app based on HP mobile scanning technology and sends it to Knewton. At Knewton, the anonymised work is evaluated, compared to the student’s previous work and that of similar students. Based on that data, new content is assembled and sent for local output on HP presses or web-connected HP printers, and delivered to schools or the student's doorstep.


Speaker: Ehud CHATOW, Worldwide Strategy & Business Development Manager-Education, Graphics Solutions Business, Hewlett-Packard Company

Udi CHATOW leads the strategy and worldwide business development team for Education Solutions and part of HP’s Graphic Solutions Business.

Udi has over 26 years of business and technology innovation and R&D management experience. He has led teams and programs across multiple geographies and technical areas from software and mobile development to digital printing, color, material science and cloud solutions. Udi is an inventor of more than 50 patents. He is currently leading the innovation, partnership and strategy for the HP Graphic Business Solutions group in Education.

VRT Track 6: The Flipped Classroom powered by Big Data Analytics

Venue: C.3.13

In the education industry today, the flipped classroom pedagogy is gaining popularity. Together with the recent big data trend, big data analytics could give teachers more insights into their students learning abilities and challenges. This presentation will talk about what big data one can collect from their user communities online and its analysis can help them understand their users better. Insights for this presentation are drawn from education and other industries like online gaming.

Speaker: Salmon SIM, Regional Manager, APAC, Pentaho

VRT Track 7: Driving systemic change with technology and outcomes

Venue: C.4.16

"Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools. Our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years." -- Thomas Edison (1913)

Over the last decade, technology usage in education has increased tremendously. More educators are adopting some form of digital learning to tap into the greater accessibility and flexibility offered by technology. Institutions are also using technology to lower costs and offer students more choices.

While the cost- and time-saving benefits brought by technology can be quite easily measured, it is a challenge to determine whether technology has positively improved learning due to the many factors that impact learning outcomes. This has led to a lively discussion among educators, learners, educational institutions and technology companies as everyone strives to measure the impact that education technology has on learning. In this session, we will discuss the drivers that enable technology to be harnessed to improve learning outcomes.

Rachel Brujis

Speaker: Rachel BRUJIS, Director, Efficacy and Research, Pearson

Rachel BRUJIS is the Director of Efficacy and Research for Pearson’s partner markets where she leads an international effort to define and measure the educational outcomes of all Pearson’s products and services. As part of her work, Rachel is contributing to the evidence base on what works in education today, provoking debate about the future of education, and helping to develop the next generation of education delivery models. Rachel is the author of Education, Innovation and Israel (2013) and contributor to Oceans of Innovation (2012). Previously, Rachel was Chief of Staff to Sir Michael Barber and a consultant at McKinsey & Company where she advised local, national and private education providers on strategy and innovation. Rachel wrote her thesis at Columbia University on the impact of pay for performance for New York City public school teachers.