Keynote Speakers

Dr. Deborah Healey, University of Oregon/TESOL International Association

Deborah Healey - Keynote Speaker


Gamification in Education: Hype or Useful Teacher Tool?

Language teachers have long used games, but gamification – the use of game elements in non-game settings – is a recent concept. Businesses use gamification (points and badges) to increase customer loyalty. In education, is gamification "trendy," or could we use the motivating elements of gaming to re-think the classroom? This presentation will describe how I incorporated gamification into courses for pre-service and in-service teachers, and how the teacher-learners responded. I will also offer ways to get started for those who are interested. This Keynote presentation will be a remote presentation and displayed in a large room at the conference on a big screen with amplified sound and a moderator will be present.




About the Presenter:

Dr. Deborah Healey is the 2018-2019 President-Elect of the Board of Directors of TESOL International Association. She teaches online teacher training courses for the American English Institute at the University of Oregon, primarily focusing on technology in education. She has also taught both ESL and EFL at community colleges and language institutes. She has written and presented extensively in the US and internationally, most recently in Indonesia, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia, the West Bank, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Thailand. Her recent areas of research include gamification, language and identity in the Middle East, massive open online courses, and online teaching approaches. Her doctorate is in Computers in Education.

Asmaa Cober, Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre

Asmaa Cober - Keynote Speaker


Learning and Resilience

Learning never happens in a vacuum. People bring all of their experiences with them to the classroom. Newcomers (and refugees in particular) have a life history -- experiences that greatly affect their ability to learn. Drawing on Asmaa’s experience working with refugees from various parts of the world, we’ll discuss the impact of the immigration and refugee experience, including various traumas, on the brain, and the obstacles to learning that ensue. We will also propose a different viewpoint that focuses not just on obstacles, but on hope and resiliency – with the goal of helping students to overcome these obstacles.



About the Presenter:

Asmaa Cober is originally from Iraq where she was raised by two teachers from whom she inherited the value of education and learning. During her refugee journey, Asmaa lived in four different countries and is fluent in 5 languages. For the last 25 years, she has been working with refugees in different roles. 6 of those years were spent in the classroom working with refugee children in Finland.

Asmaa is currently working as a clinical social worker at a refugee health clinic in Waterloo Region while running her own private practice. She has earned the Masters of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a member of EMDRIA international as well as the Canadian Association of Social Workers.

Asmaa has an immense passion for inspiring others reach their best potential, shaped by her own refugee experience. As a refugee woman herself, she has overcome a variety of barriers, and is keenly aware of the issues and obstacles that refugees and immigrants face on their journeys. In her role as a clinical social worker and community educator, Asmaa uses humor, cultural knowledge, education, art, and faith. She uses her skills and experiences as tools to empower people to rebuild their lives and find meaning past their trauma. 

Asmaa’s coworkers describe her as truly inspirational, both professionally and personally.