Keynote & Invited Speakers
Wednesday, March 28th Keynote: Karen Cator, Digital Promise, USA
Biography: Karen Cator is President and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation, and research. From 2009-2013, Karen was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused the Office’s efforts on teacher and leader support. Prior to joining the department, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students, and administrators. She began her education career in Alaska as a teacher, ultimately leading technology planning and implementation. She also served as Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Governor of Alaska. Cator holds a master’s in school administration from the University of Oregon and received the 2014 College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award. The American Association of Publishers has awarded Cator with the 2014 Visionary Award. She received her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Springfield College and received the 2015 Distinguished Alumna award. She is an Aspen Pahara Fellow, the past chair for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and has served on boards including the Software & Information Industry Association-Education.
Abstract: Over the past several decades, the student population in the United States has grown increasingly more diverse. More recently, research from the learning sciences has advanced our understanding of learner variability and the importance of grounding educational practice in the individual, rather than the fiction of an average student. Additionally, technological innovation has moved closer to realizing the promise of evidence-based personalization. A deep belief in the urgent need to address learning equity gaps drives us to ask: How might we improve the quality and precision of personalization in order to support the full diversity of learners in the new world of technology supported teaching and learning? And, how might we increase research use in the design, development, and improvement of education programs, products, and practices?