Keynote Speakers

Monica Burns PhotoOpening Keynote: Monica Burns

Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom 

Room: Africa Ballroom

When we place tasks before apps we value the importance of identifying goals for students and elevating traditional experiences with digital tools. The purposeful design of tech-rich learning experiences can enhance classroom collaboration and honor curiosity in the context of creation experiences for students. Dr. Monica Burns will introduce strategies for examining technology integration to empower students as creators and collaborators. With thoughtful planning and purposeful connection to learning objectives, students can become creators in your classroom as they explore content in any subject area.

Dr. Monica Burns is a Curriculum and EdTech Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of As a classroom teacher in New York City, Monica used digital tools to create an engaging, differentiated learning experience to meet the unique needs of her students. Monica started her blog in 2012 to help make EdTech easier for fellow educators, and launched the Easy EdTech Podcast and her membership site the Easy EdTech Club to support educators who want to simplify and streamline technology integration. 

Since starting, Monica has led workshops and webinars, and provided keynote presentations to teachers, instructional coaches, administrators and tech-enthusiasts at numerous national and international conferences including SXSWedu, ISTE, FETC and EduTECH. Monica is the author of Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom (ASCD), two quick reference guides for ASCD on Distance Learning Essentials and Classroom Technology Tips, as well as several other publications.

Learn More About Monica Burns

General Keynote: Myron Dueck

From Passenger to Co-Pilot: Practical Ways to Assess WITH Our Students

Sponsored by WDLC

Room: Africa Ballroom

For far too long, assessment is what we have done to students, not with them. Perhaps we could take a page from tactical teams and first responders. Navy SEALs practice ‘Decentralized Command’ – that every team member must understand not just what to do, but why they are doing it. Firefighters around the world are familiar with ‘Span of Control’, that in a complex and changing environment, a single leader cannot effectively manage more than about 7 people at one time. If these principles are true for emergency situations, they likely spill over into learning environments. In fact, research suggests the extent to which students understand the process of learning is likely linked to how much they care and feel empowered in the pursuit of it. Join ASCD author, administrator and teacher, Myron Dueck for a session featuring his new book, ‘Giving Students a Say – Smarter Assessment Practices to Empower and Engage.’ This interactive presentation will focus on practical ways that we can invite students into the assessment realm as co-pilots rather than disinterested passengers. Key topics will include:

  • Sharing and co-creating learning targets based on standards.
  • Helping students understand and use performance assessments (rubrics).
  • Considering the right scale: proficiency levels vs 100 categories
  • Student self-reporting – on academics, behaviors & personal insights

Over the past 22 years, Myron has worked as an educator in both Canada and New Zealand in subjects ranging from grades 4 to 12. In 2006 Myron began to develop a number of grading, assessment, and reporting systems which gave students a greater opportunity to show what they understand and play a significant role in the reporting of their learning. Myron has also been a part of district groups, school committees, and governmental bodies that have further broadened his access to innovative ideas. Through sharing his stories, tools, and first-hand experiences with public, charter, and international school educators around the world, Myron’s presentations have diverged to include global education trends and broader socio-economic realities that impact learning. Myron has twice been published in EL Magazine. His best-selling book, Grading Smarter, Not Harder– Assessment Strategies that Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn was released by ASCD in July 2014 and in 2015 ASCD released a video project based in his own school district entitled ‘Smarter Assessment in the Secondary Classroom’. His most recent project, ‘Ask Them’, is a three-part streaming series available at Myron and his family currently live in British Columbia where he is SD67 District Vice-Principal for Communicating Student Learning.

Learn More About Myron Dueck

Closing Keynote: Alan November

Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning

Room: Africa Ballroom

Access to timely information and communication tools can empower educators to focus on the individual learning needs of their students. These same tools can lead to a wealth of benefits, such as greater collegiality, stronger relationships, self-directed students, curriculum-aligned technology, authentic work, rigorous and motivating assignments, and the development of a strong learning community. Learn all about this potent new culture of empowered teaching and fearless learning.

Alan November is an international leader in education technology. He began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. While Alan was a computer science teacher in Lexington, MA, he was probably the first teacher in the world to have a student project on line in 1984, a database for the handicapped. He has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant and university lecturer. He has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology.

Audiences enjoy Alan’s humor and wit as he pushes the boundaries of how to improve teaching and learning. His areas of expertise include planning across curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development. He has delivered keynotes and workshops in all fifty states, across Canada and throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central America.

Alan was named one of the nation’s fifteen most influential thinkers of the decade by Technology and Learning Magazine. He was listed as one of eight educators to provide leadership into the future by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse. He was selected to speak at the Cisco Public Services Summit during the Nobel Prize Festivities in Stockholm, Sweden. His writing includes numerous articles and two best-selling books, Empowering Students with Technology and Web Literacy for Educators. Alan was co-founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology and is most proud of being selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe Educators.

Learn More About Alan November

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