Keynote & Distinguished Speakers

Travis Allen
Founder of The iSchool Initiative

Travis Allen is a young visionary for digital learning in the classroom. Before graduating high school, Travis created a viral YouTube video on revolutionizing America's education through mobile learning. Today, he is a senior at Kennesaw State University (KSU) where he operates his growing organization, iSchool Initiative. With the support of his team, Travis has presented in over 30 states & 7 countries allowing him to reach an audience of over 200,000 people. He has been featured on CNN, Huffington Post, and Forbes; in addition, he is the winner of the 2012 Google Young Minds competition and was invited to the White House for the Education Datapalooza Event. Travis is quickly becoming one of the top leaders in the emerging digital learning movement.

Becoming a Mobile Learner
Embark upon a journey through the dawn of the information age with college student, Travis Allen. Experience the life of a true digital native who boldly refused to accept the status quo in the classroom.

Steve Anderson
Educator, Speaker, Blogger, #Edchat Co-Creator

Steven W. Anderson is an international speaker, blogger, and education consultant. He is the co-creator of the Bammy Award winning #Edchat movement, was named an ASCD Emerging Leader, and noted as one of the Top 50 Innovators in Education. For the past 2 years, he worked with teachers and students as the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Steven has been a presenter at several educational technology conferences, including ISTE, ASCD and NCTIES, as well as served as a panelist at the #140 Conference in Los Angeles, New York and was a featured speaker at the first ever #140Edu Conference, focusing on the real-time web in education. Steven has also been recognized with the NOW Award, highlighting the Movers And Shakers in the world of social media and the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award. In 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader, recognizing young, talented educational leaders in their field. Steven holds a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grade Mathematics and Science Education from Western Carolina University and a Master of Arts in Education in Instructional Technology from East Carolina University. He blogs at and tweets @Web20Classroom.

Formative Assessment In The Connected Classroom
Understanding where students are in their learning and where a teacher is in their teaching is a cornerstone of impactful instruction. Join Steven W. Anderson as he will look at the role Formative Assessment plays in the modern classroom and how digital and analog tools can shape our understanding of that role.

Jennifer Barnett
Teacher Leader in Residence, Center for Teaching Quality

An English and history teacher for 22 years, Jennifer has recently served as a Digital Learning Specialist and technology leader for her district and state in Talladega County, Alabama. She launched a district-wide, teacher-led technology initiative that laid the foundation for change in her district that would be recognized across the nation. She has served on CTQ’s Teacher Advisory Board and co-authored Teaching 2030 with Barnett Berry and 11 other teacher leaders. She currently serves on the Panel of Experts for the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Project 24 and supports teacher leaders across the nation passionate about initiating change.

Powering Connections in the CTQ Collaboratory
Teachers are working together to transform teaching in the Center for Teaching Quality’s virtual community, the Collaboratory. Forward-thinking educators from across the globe are connecting to incubate bold ideas and innovative solutions on behalf of students and communities. Do you think decision makers should look to teachers for innovative approaches to fixing schools? Do you get a kick out of generating solutions for challenges large and small, in the classroom and beyond? Do you crave opportunities to learn and grow as a teacher leader? If you answered yes, you belong in this session! Jennifer Barnett, CTQ Teacher Leader in Residence will share her virtual collaboration journey and answer your questions about how you can (and why you should) connect to power your teaching.

Barnett Berry
Founder & CEO of Center for Teaching Quality

Barnett Berry is founder, CEO, and partner at the Center for Teaching Quality in Carrboro, NC. He is the lead author of Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave (Jossey-Bass, 2013) and TEACHING 2030: What We Must Do For Our Students and Our Public Schools… Now and in the Future (Teachers College Press, 2010). Barnett (@BarnettCTQ) has been a scholar of and advocate for teachers and the profession for decades. His work focuses on a simple, powerful conviction: our public schools will not realize their promise without drawing on the many excellent teachers we have right now.

How Teacherpreneurs Can Reinvent the Classroom
Conditions are ripe for a bold new brand of teacher leadership. According to a recent MetLife survey, 75% of principals report that their job is too complex and nearly one in four teachers report being very or extremely interested in a hybrid role that blends teaching and leading. Join Barnett Berry as he explores how our schools can better tap, spread, and reward the expertise of accomplished teachers. How can teachers' roles be reconfigured to enable them to innovate and have broader impact, while still regularly teaching kids? It's happening. Let's figure out how to make it happen more. Session based on the book Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don't Leave (Jossey-Bass, 2013) but no biggie if you haven’t read it. Bring your questions!

Vicki Davis
Teacher, IT Director

Vicki Davis is a full time classroom teacher and IT Director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia. Vicki was named one of “Twitter’s Top 10 Rockstar teachers” by Mashable and included in Thomas Friedman’s book, the World is Flat. Vicki’s classroom and blog have won many awards including the ISTE Online Learning Award and more. She is author of the upcoming book Reinventing Writing and coauthor of Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds and writes the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, consistently named one of the top 50 blogs in education worldwide. She hosts the online show “Every Classroom Matters” and has keynoted more than 30 education technology conferences around the world. Vicki writes for Edutopia and on her blog at She lives in Camilla Georgia with her three children and husband, Kip.

Reinventing Writing
Nine tools have changed writing, learning, and living forever. Learn about these tools and the teaching strategies that you need to know to improve writing in your classroom now. You can't reinvent your classroom without reinventing how you write. This keynote is based upon the upcoming book, Reinventing Writing on June 5, 2014.

Howie DiBlasi
CEO of Digital Journey

Dr. Howie DiBlasi has extensive career experience, including; a classroom teacher for twenty years, a retail business owner for ten years and a CIO for fourteen years. For the past six years he has been an educational technology consultant, providing services to thousands of educational leaders, administrators and teachers from Boston to Bangkok. He was recently recognized by the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration with the Pinnacle Award for outstanding Professional Development Programs and is a past award recipient of the Arizona Teacher of the Year. His emphasis is on Digital Technology, Innovation, and 21st Century Learning. Howie is a past member of the I.S.T.E Board of Directors, serves on the TxDLA Board, is Communications Director of the I.S.T.E. Special Interest Group for Interactive Video Conferencing and a past member of the Alan November Consulting Team.

Give Kids The World: Tools & Projects For Global Collaborations
Discover communication, collaborations, global activities and engaging projects with an authentic audience. Explore real-world applications that provide an authentic audience to promote global learning. Learn new methods to connect students from different parts of the world so that they can learn together, share knowledge and develop cultural understanding and relationships. Projects will promote cultural understanding, creativity, motivate students, and assist in making content meaningful. Understand how to connect students so that they can learn together, share knowledge and develop relationships.

Julie Evans
CEO of Project Tomorrow

Julie Evans has been CEO of Project Tomorrow (, one of the nation’s leading education nonprofit organizations, since 1999. She developed the Speak Up National Research Project in 2003 and has served as the chief researcher on this project and other digital learning national research projects. Previously, Ms. Evans enjoyed a 17-year career in national and regional sales and marketing management with Unisys and two education technology startups. She is a graduate of Brown University and serves on the Board of Directors of Project Tomorrow, the Reaching At-Promise Students Association Advisory Board, and the TechSETS Advisory Board. She is a frequent speaker, writer and commentator on K-12 and higher education issues around digital learning. Ms. Evans was named in April 2008 as one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Education Technology over the past 10 years by eSchool News.

Beyond the Digital Conversion: Engaging, Enabling and Empowering Innovation in the Classroom
The dynamic profusion of emerging technologies, both in school and out of school, is propelling today’s K-12 students to make new demands on their schools for a dramatically different kind of educational experience. Enabled, empowered and engaged, our students have a unique vision for 21st century education that reflects their desires for social-based learning experiences that are un-tethered to the traditional classroom and rich in digital media and content. The annual Speak Up National Research Project provides an exclusive window into the views of students on 21st century learning and technology. In this session we will share the latest Speak Up national findings from over 403,000 K-12 students, parents and educators with a special emphasis on the how today’s students want to be engaged with mobile learning, online and blended learning, and e-textbooks and digital content. The session will provide new insights into the digital disconnect between students and educators and stimulate conversations about how to effectively leverage emerging technologies to drive both increased student achievement and teacher productivity by re-inventing the classroom.

Chris Haskell
Boise State University

Serving as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University, Chris is actively piloting and developing groundbreaking alternative approaches to delivering and tracking learning. With co-inventor Dr. Lisa Dawley, Chris created 3D GameLab, a game-based/quest-based learning management system. His classroom serves as a unique game-based technology and pedagogy lab where this new and innovative practice is producing exciting results.
At the university, Chris specializes in preparing pre-service teachers in methods and applications of technology integration in the classroom. In addition to instilling fundamental skills, Chris focuses on the use, adaptation, and implementation of emerging technologies in teacher education including gaming, mobile communication devices, portable media players, social networking tools, and virtual worlds.

The Game-Based Curriculum: Playing though Class with Quests, Badges, & Student Choice
What would school look like if it played like a video game? To find out, researchers and faculty at Boise State created an experimental game-based learning management system. For two years they have been conducting a hand researching classes built on the principles of quest-based learning which leverages experiences points, badges, achievements, leveling, and student choice. The presentation will demonstrate the tool, pedagogy, and share the results of a more than two years of Design-Based Research into student success and satisfaction in quest-based learning.

Troy Hicks
Associate Professor of English at Central Michigan University

Troy Hicks is an associate professor of English at Central Michigan University. He serves as the Director of the Chippewa River Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project at CMU. He teaches pre-service writing methods classes and facilitates professional development on the teaching of writing, writing across the curriculum, and writing with technology. In his research, he collaborates with K-16 teachers and explores how they implement newer literacies in their classrooms and he recently published The Digital Writing Workshop (Heinemann, 2009) and Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

Mixing Sources, Amplifying Voices: Crafting Writing in an Information Age
As the inputs continue to multiply, how can we help students find, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources? More importantly, how can we help them craft digital writing in effective ways, utilizing the information that they have found to develop multimedia texts? Bring your favorite device, because in this interactive keynote we will explore a variety of web-based tools and mobile applications to help students mix together a variety of sources and amplify their digital voices.

Rushton Hurley
First Steps toward Reinvention

Rushton Hurley is an educator who believes this is a great time to teach. In his work, he has taught Japanese language, been principal of an online school, directed a professional development program, and succeeded as a social benefit entrepreneur. He loves creativity, collaborative innovation, and laughing at himself. Rushton founded and is executive director of the educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of hundreds of short videos by and for teachers and students at Additionally, he is the Global Project Lead for the Krause Center for Innovation. His graduate research at Stanford University included using speech recognition technology with beginning students of Japanese in computer-based role-playing scenarios for developing language skills. In the 1990's his work with teenagers at a high school in California led him to begin using internet and video technologies to make learning more active, helping him reach students who had struggled under more traditional approaches. Rushton has trained teachers around the world, and regularly presents at national and international conferences. His fun and thoughtful talks center on the connection between engaging learning and useful, affordable technology, as well as professional perspectives of teachers.

First Steps Toward Reinvention
While it is easy to see what technology can enable students to do when used well, technology's greatest contribution to a school may be how it can be used to to help teachers see themselves, their professional potential, and their students' possibilities in new ways. In this talk, we will explore what steps schools can take to make sure a staff is ready to embrace this especially powerful potential.

Bill Kist
Teacher, writer, piano player, filmmaker.

William Kist has been researching classroom uses of new media across disciplines and grade levels for over 15 years. His profiles of teachers who are broadening our conception of literacy were included in his books, New Literacies in Action and The Socially Networked Classroom. Building upon this work, Dr. Kist’s just-published book, The Global School describes teachers who are using new media to collaborate with students and teachers across the world. A former middle school and high school language arts teacher, Dr. Kist has also served as a language arts and social studies curriculum coordinator, and as a consultant and trainer for school districts across the United States, specializing in technology integration and curriculum mapping. Currently, an associate professor at Kent State University, Bill has presented nationally and internationally with over 50 articles and book chapters to his credit. While serving as Director of the Commission on Media for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), he also had the opportunity to be Lead Co-Editor for NCTE’s Pathways for 21st Century Literacies, an online professional development curriculum focusing on new literacies. Dr. Kist continues to be sought out for interviews in the press regarding new literacies, including such publications as U.S. News and World Report and Education Week. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he reviews books for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and remains active as a filmmaker and musician himself having earned a regional Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition. Throughout his career as an educator, Bill has remained active as a professional musician. His original music has been compiled on his album, Movie Music.

Differentiating in a Community: A Key to Reinvention
This session will demonstrate simple, yet effective ways that new media tools can aid differentiating instruction in your classroom. From constructing online portfolios to electronic literature circles, Web 2.0 allows for students at any level to engage you’re your curriculum. Building on over 15 years of research in classrooms, Dr. Kist will demonstrate a variety of strategies for transforming your classroom to one in which each student is met with engaging literacies, whether via virtual role-playing or simulations to research projects constructed on a wiki. Collected from classrooms across the world, these strategies can be implemented in a wide range of classrooms, K-12, from the technologically barren to the technologically advanced, and that organizing your classroom using these new platforms do not take time away from “important” classroom activities, but can rather be integral to teaching each student in a meaningful way.

Gary Lopez
CEO of The NROC Project

Gary Lopez is the founder and CEO of Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. He has also served as the President and CEO of NETg, a technology-based corporate training company with facilities in 30 countries, and was the Founder and President of Archipelago, a developer of media products for many of the largest U.S. educational publishers. Gary began his career as a lecturer in the Biology Department at University of California, San Diego and a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Personalized Learning for College Math Readiness
For decades students without the math skills needed to enter college have faced “remediation,” an often long, but seldom successful series of courses aimed at making them college ready. For nearly all that face it, remediation seems like a waste of time and money, a detour in progress toward their future. Remediation has often been a “one-size-fits-all arbitrary bar that everyone needs to jump over. Rarely has college math remediation recognize the specific learning needs of each student, or the different knowledge requirements of programs or degrees they are seeking. This presentation will explore the value of personalized learning as a tool for addressing college math readiness. The EdReady system will be described as an exemplar and earlier pilot use results will be presented.

Anne Mirtschin
ICT and Accounting teacher at Hawkesdale P12 College

Anne Mirtschin is an award winning teacher from Victoria, Australia whose most recent major awards include ICT in Education Victoria Educator of the Year and Australian Computer Educator of the Year 2012. She is passionate about rural and global education, immersing technology in the classroom, eLearning and loves collaborating, teaching and learning online. She teaches ICT from grade 3 through to year 12 at Hawkesdale P12 College, a small rural prep to year 12 school. Anne is host of Tech Talk Tuesdays, a weekly online webinar, is a web conference coach for Digital Learning, Victorian Education Department, the Australasian Co-ordinator for the Global Education Conference, an active member of the Flat Classroom Projects and is a lead teacher for the Global Classroom projects. A recent and exciting challenge was as co-organiser of the virtual participants for the 2013 Flat Classroom Conference in Yokohama, Japan. She has presented locally, nationally and globally. Find her on twitter - @murcha

Amazing eClassrooms
Technology breaks down all physical barriers and enables students to take learning beyond their classroom walls. Interactive experiences engage them in their education. Hawkesdale P12 College is a small, rural school, where innovative teachers have reached out to connect, communicate, collaborate and learn collectively, both locally and across the globe. Learning extends beyond the textbook and brings to life different cultures, religions, geography, ideas and ways of thinking. This presentation will share classroom stories and personal experiences and illustrate how technology is changing the very pedagogy of teaching and learning. They are stories of learning which is becoming increasingly organic, collaborative, networked and beyond classroom walls.

Jeff Piontek
Technology advocate and social entrepreneur

Jeff Piontek is an author, keynote speaker and teacher (most importantly). He has worked with U.S. school districts nationally on affecting educational change and reform. Jeff is a former Director of Instructional and Informational Technology for the NYC Department of Education and State Science Specialist for the Hawaii Department of Education. Jeff is an educational innovator and has been the keynote for many conferences nationally and internationally, working in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and China. His expertise in educational technology includes design thinking, digital storytelling, mobile learning, the common core and the design of innovative spaces for learning. He has received many accolades including an award for “Innovation in the Economy by an Individual” from the Governor of the State of Hawaii for his STEM education work.

STEM to STEAM to STREAM using Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Classroom
Come learn about great ways to engage students in scientific thinking, problem solving and computer modeling. You’ll see how an innovative approach using 3D animations, simulations, virtual worlds and examples of collaboration between students and scientific experts and other creative projects that combine science, technology, reading, engineering, the arts and mathematics with a multi-faceted educational experience. I have worked collaboratively to develop programs nationally and internationally that focus on developing these skills with students (and teachers) and how this can effectively prepare our students for the 21st century and beyond.

Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Teacher Trainer

Shelly Sanchez Terrell has supported teachers and learners in 100+ countries as an author, teacher trainer, professor, and instructional designer. The ELTons, The New York Times, the Bammy Awards, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education have recognized her innovation in social media and elearning with her internationally acclaimed projects #Edchat, the Reform Symposium E-Conference, and The 30 Goals Challenge. In 2014, get your copy of her books, Learning To Go, Byte-Sized Potential, and The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators published by Routledge. She is the host of AmTESOL’s Friday Webinars and shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and

Byte-Sized Potential in a Digital World of Possibilities
Can we make compassion go viral? All around the world, millions share the narratives of their lives in bite-sized language through SMS, status updates on Facebook, 140 character tweets, six second-videos, or memed images. These are our learning rituals in our digital society. Our students create, produce, direct, summarize, translate, and share stories outside of learning institutions daily and these messages go viral. We will explore these learning trends and discover ways to integrate them in our classes to support digital publishers in crafting messages with positive impact. We will also explore the potential and test the possibility of supporting our students in making compassion go viral.

Nicole Tucker-Smith
CEO of Lessoncast Learning

Nicole Tucker-Smith (@MsTuckerSmith) is founder and CEO of Lessoncast Learning, which helps learning communities customize professional development to meet the specific needs of their teachers and their students. She consults with schools, districts, and teacher preparation programs to design professional learning resources that focus on changing instructional practice and measuring what works to improve student learning. She has also served as an elementary and middle school teacher, supervisor of parent support services, district-level administrator, professional developer, and assistant principal. In founding Lessoncast, she believes the future of student learning depends on our ability to merge innovative best practices with classroom realities. She publishes via her blog,, where she’s written extensively about applying lean thinking to improving instruction.

Spreading Innovation in Education: Misconceptions and MVPs
There are lots of examples of schools and communities that are trailblazing paths and doing amazing work to enhance student learning opportunities. The challenge is how do we get effective, innovative ideas to spread so that any learning community anywhere can find and apply new practices in a way that works for their students. This session focuses on several common misconceptions that hinder the spread of innovative ideas in education and offers a few examples of education MVPs (acronym to be defined in the session) that were used to share and spread new practices. Content will include sharing resources and ideas related to personalized learning, literacy, and Common Core.

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