This July we’ll be hosting thousands of education’s leading names for three days of discussion at BbWorld 2016 on some of the biggest trends in education—analytics, competency-based education, student planning, and how technology can empower educators. Every year at BbWorld (and this is my 9th one) my expectations about what I’ll learn are blown away as I soak in lessons in every interaction. These are invaluable tidbits that I reflect on throughout the year and truly take to heart as we bring the Blackboard mission and vision to life through our work in partnership with you. From ad-hoc conversations in the halls to our main stage sessions, my ears are always open. In fact, I should probably apologize to all those people I have peppered with questions on the elevator.

Captain Mark Kelly headshot

Captain Mark Kelly will be the BbWorld 2016 keynote speaker.

This year, highly-decorated NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly will deliver the BbWorld closing keynote. His name will likely ring a bell for you— he is securing his place in history by partnering with his identical twin brother, Scott, in a historic yearlong expedition and unprecedented NASA study on how space affects the human body. You may also recognize him because he and his wife, former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, appallingly became the center of media attention in 2011 after an assassination attempt on his wife.

Captain Kelly has an inspirational legacy in both his career as an astronaut and his personal journey. He has led teams through the most dynamic environments imaginable—outer space—and brought to life the power of perseverance. They don’t teach that in space camp.

As a pioneer dedicated to furthering our knowledge as a collective human kind, he’s witnessed technology exponentially expand what’s possible in space exploration. He embodies what it means to be a life-long learner. Captain Kelly will lead us on a journey, narrating how he applies analytics to everyday life, while driving advancement through an insatiable curiosity that has carved new paths.

Mark Kelly’s main stage keynote will be flanked by hundreds of powerful sessions led by education’s leading names. The below are just a handful of speakers that I’m looking forward to hearing from:

  • Colonel Steven L. Delvaux, PhD; Vice Provost, Academic Affairs at Army University
  • Admiral James Stavridis, US Navy (Ret.), NATO’s 16th Supreme Allied Commander Europe and 15th Commander of the U.S. European Command (2009-2013)
  • Jerri Kemble and Dr. Angelique Nedved, Assistant Superintendents at Lawrence Public Schools
  • Carla Casilli, badging and new credentials expert
  • Serge Goldstein, Associate CIO for Academic Technology Services at Princeton University
  • Charles Bullock, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Brandman University
  • Phil Doolittle, Executive Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration & CFO at Brandman University
  • Mark Porcaro, Executive Director of Online Learning at Wichita State University
  • Norman Duncan, Deputy Vice Chancellor at University of Pretoria
  • Kimberly Shaver, Director of Educational Technology at Troy University
  • Tahnja Wilson, Senior Manager, Strategic Design Initiatives at Arizona State University
  • Kris Luopa, Manager of Curriculum & Course Development at Capella University
  • Martin Carroll, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic at Charles Darwin University

Click here to check out the full program. Our program and sessions are, to me, the most inspiring part of BbWorld. I can’t wait to hear every story and collaborate to create new ideas with you.

Let me know what you think of our BbWorld program. You can find me on Twitter @kcblot now and during BbWorld.

Join us at BbWorld to learn, connect, and advance the future of education

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