Keynote Speakers


Opening Keynote: Dr. Milton Chen. Senior Fellow at the George Lucas Educational Foundation

Providing Every Child with Digital Tools for Modern Learning

Powerful digital devices are now affordable tools for all learners. Providing them to every student, as well as teachers who know how to harness their power for learning, could lead to a new Learning Renaissance in the U. S. and globally. Improving educational outcomes is the key to future careers, crime reduction, health care, and community-building.   

Dr. Milton Chen will present projects that enable students to learn more, faster, and earlier than previous generations, enabled by hardware, software, rich Internet resources, and networks of mentors. Many of these innovative practices come from Edutopia.org, the Lucas Foundation’s multimedia Web site and its archive of documentaries, available for free download and embedding.  

Dr. Milton Chen is senior fellow at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) in the Bay Area, which produces the award-winning Edutopia.org website on innovative K-12 learning. He served as executive director of GLEF from 1998 to 2010. Dr. Chen has been the founding director of the KQED Center for Education (PBS) in San Francisco; director of research at Sesame Workshop in New York, helping develop Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact; and an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During 2007-08, he was one of 35 Fulbright New Century Scholars.  

Dr. Chen serves as chairman of the Panasonic Foundation, which supports STEM learning in Newark, NJ, and is a member of the board of trustees for Sesame Workshop. He chaired the education committee for the National Park System Advisory Board, advancing youth learning in STEM and U. S. history.   Dr. Chen’s career has been honored by the Fred Rogers Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Congressional Black Caucus. He has received the NHK-Japan President’s Award for contributions to educational media and was named an Honorary Ranger by the National Park Service. His 2010 book, Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools, was named as one of the year’s best education books by the American School Board Journal.

Closing Keynote: George Couros, Innovative  Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant

Leading Innovative Teaching and Learning

Although schools are moving forward, change is always something that many struggle with. Focusing on an innovator’s mindset and our “why”, this workshop is meant for classroom, school and district leaders to help others within their organization not only accept change, but embrace it, to create better powerful learning opportunities for our learners. It is not focused on the “how to” of technology, but is more focused on the conversations that will help staff move forward in a way that they will be excited yet feel supported in their journey.

George Couros is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked with all levels of school, from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school and district administrator, and is the author of the book, The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools and organizations around the globe. George is also the creator of Connected Principals.com, an initiative that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students.    

George is a leader in the area of innovation, yet his focus is always on the development of leadership and people and what is best for learners. His belief that meaningful change happens when you first connect to people’s hearts, is modeled in his writing and speaking.