Keynote & Featured Speakers
Educational Technology for Social Change: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Justice
Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education, Executive Board Member of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Stetson University
Abstract: Teacher education programs and PreK-12 schools are situated within a rapidly changing, diverse, global society. Our world is filled with pervasive inequalities, including widening socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, and gender gaps. The causes and the effects of social inequalities on teaching and learning merits the immediate attention of all educational stakeholders. Mindfully using instructional technology to increase educational access and impact offers significant opportunities to advance social justice and sustain hope. It is imperative that education preparation programs, including teacher education and educational leadership, support candidates to develop the knowledge and skills to build and sustain equitable learning environments. Multimodal technological platforms, including vodcasting and others which allow collaborative global connections, provide viable pathways to affirm diversity and expand equitable learning opportunities. Innovative utilization of technology platforms in education assists in providing promising solutions to many complex issues, including efforts to tackle classism, racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of systemic injustice. Pervasive inequalities, shifting demographics, and an ever-changing global economy require us to rethink how we address systems of oppression in PreK-12 schools, higher education, local communities, and our world. This keynote address will illuminate social inequalities and discuss how educational technology can be used to promote social change.
Bio: Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is the Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education, recipient of the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a recipient of the Hand Award for Distinguished Faculty Achievement at Stetson University. She serves on Executive Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless and is the Co-Chair of the Equity and Justice SIG for the International Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. She is also the Founder and Director for the Poverty and Homelessness Conference, Hatters University Scholars, and the Acts of Kindness and Justice Movement, as well as the Faculty Advisor for the Student Homeless Coalition. She began her career as a public school teacher and has worked with schools PreK-12 in urban, rural, and suburban communities in a variety of leadership roles including serving as a literacy and technology coach.
As a civically engaged educational leader who is deeply committed to advancing intersectional equity, Dr. Shankar-Brown actively works to confront systemic oppression, build inclusive learning spaces, and advance educational excellence for diverse communities. She has presented and facilitated professional learning workshops around the globe, as well as published in leading peer-reviewed journals and books. Her current series with Information Age Publishing includes two edited books, Bending the Arc Towards Justice: Equity-Focused Practices for Educational Leaders and Re-Envisioning Education: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Social Justice. In addition, her recently published collection of poetry Tuluminous has been praised as “a marvelous and meaningful testimony of the power of language to heal and transform” by the Presidential Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco, and she is described as the “Poet Laureate of the just society” by NYU’s Moral Courage Project Founder, Irshad Manji.
Dr. Shankar-Brown has received international, national, state, and local recognition for her scholarly and creative activities and transformative leadership including being selected as a Faculty-Scholar-in-Residence by the National Humanities Center, the Florida PDK International Educator of the Year, and a recipient of the Engaged Scholarship Faculty Award by the Florida Campus Compact. In addition to being a passionate teacher-scholar and human rights activist, Dr. Shankar-Brown is a devoted mother and artist. She resides in Central Florida with her family and their two English lop rabbits, Hazel Basil and Maple Sage.
Becoming and Being a Teacher, Post-COVID
Founder and Executive Director, Next Vista for Learning
Abstract: That the world has changed is not news. That our work has changed over the last year is another masterpiece of understatement. The question before us now, though, is what we and our schools will do with what we have learned about our work and our students in the world of the coming year. Where should we devote our time? What technologies will matter for the medium to long term? How can we better prepare teacher candidates for challenges new and ongoing? In this talk, we’ll begin to address these questions and tap our talents to try taking teachers to new levels.
Bio: Rushton Hurley is the founder and executive director of Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of videos by and for teachers and students at NextVista.org.
Rushton has spent decades exploring innovative possibilities for bringing together proven approaches with cutting-edge technologies, from his graduate research at Stanford University (using speech recognition technology with beginning students of Japanese in computer-based role-playing scenarios for developing language skills), to his work with teenagers as both a high school teacher of Japanese language and a principal of an online school, to speaking at conferences and trainings around the world, to 2017’s 5-Day Teacher Challenge, which over 2000 teachers in 40 countries signed up to try.
The author of three books about school and teacher improvement (Making Your School Something Special and Making Your Teaching Something Special, both from DBC Books, and Technology, Teamwork, & Excellence, from NCEA), Rushton also has spoken to over 100,000 teachers in the last decade. With the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, he has revised and run the MERIT Program (Making Education Relevant through Innovative Teaching), and is designing new programs to help exceptional teachers share their talents and insights globally.
With experience at a wide variety of schools around the world (elementary, secondary, and college; large and small; urban and rural; traditional public, public charter, private independent, and schools of faith), Rushton regularly works with school leaders on professional development, school improvement, change strategies, staff morale, promotion in the community, online technologies, and getting the best out of students and teachers.
He loves to travel, makes occasionally successful attempts to take a good picture, cleans up after his cats, and considers himself to have married up.
School After COVID: Lessons Learned and Opportunities Gained
Professor & Fulbright Scholar, Boise State University
Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic disrupted education in ways no one could have imagined. Some have suggested that this crisis will change our educational systems in a permanent way. My hope is that it will change for the better. Perhaps it is the forced change that we needed to move away from antiquated systems that rely on ways of teaching and assessment of learning that don’t necessarily serve the needs of the most important stakeholder, the learner. Remote learning forced a shift in mindset and perspective and an understanding that it’s effectiveness depended on student-centered instructional approaches that rely more on mastery and less on time, more on student-needs and less on institutional needs, and a better understanding of how technology is an important tool to support student learning. In addition, the technology access issues that have plagued us for years have come fully to light, prompting some pretty drastic measures and very creative solutions. We no longer have excuses for continued equity disparities in the quality of an educational experience or the access to one. This talk will focus on reflecting on our lessons learned and how we might move forward after the crisis has passed.
Bio: Kerry Rice is a Fulbright Scholar and Professor in the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University. Her research focuses on best practices in K-12 online and blended education and includes policy analysis, Delphi and mixed methods studies, and large-scale program evaluations using both traditional and emerging methods in data mining and deep learning analytics. She is a former middle school teacher and author of Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching: Research-Based Strategies and Practices (Second Edition; 2020).
Talk Title TBA
Chief Learning Officer, Khan Academy
Bio: Dr. Kristen DiCerbo is the Chief Learning Officer at Khan Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a free world class education to anyone, anywhere. In this role, she is responsible for driving and communicating the teaching and learning strategy for Khan Academy’s programs, content, and product in order to improve student and teacher engagement and outcomes. She ensures pedagogical coherence and a research-informed design across Khan Academy’s offerings.
Dr. DiCerbo’s work has consistently been focused on embedding what we know from education research about how people learn into digital learning experiences. Prior to her role at Khan Academy, she was Vice-President of Learning Research and Design at Pearson, where she led a team of researchers and learning designers conducting new research in learning and assessment and translating research insights into the design of learning tools. She also previously served as a research scientist supporting teaching and learning in the Cisco Networking Academies and as a school psychologist in an Arizona school district.
Dr. DiCerbo’s personal research program centers on the use of games and simulations to understand what learners know and can do and she has published extensively in academic journals and books in this area. She speaks to audiences of parents, teachers, school leaders, research scientists, and the educational technology community about learning and learning science. Kristen received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College and Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Arizona State University.
Searching for an Academic Job in the Era of COVID
This panel, addressing different variables shaping the academic job search, focuses on graduate students preparing for and seeking faculty positions in the current COVID environment. Four current faculty members representing a variety of academic backgrounds, experiences and placements will tackle a variety of topics related to the job search process, such as responding to position announcements, preparing for the interview, negotiating for the new job and navigating the first year. Following brief presentations from the panelists, the audience will be invited to join the conversation through an open question-and-answer session.
Panelists: Lee Langub, Kennesaw State; Elizabeth Langran, Marymount Univ; Jonathan Cohen, Georgia State Univ