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Keynote Speakers

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Karin Hess, Rose Colby, and Daniel Joseph

Rose Colby

Rose Colby is a nationally recognized Competency-Based Learning and Assessment Specialist, assisting schools in designing high quality competency, assessment, and grading reform systems in many states. She is a Talent Cloud Fellow for 2Revolutions, an education design firm. She is a member of the national Advisory Board and contributor to CompetencyWorks, the national clearinghouse and resource for innovative practices in competency education. She has served as Competency Education Consultant for the N.H. Department of Education supporting school districts as they develop their competency education systems and in designing and supporting the new state accountability pilot system, the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (NH PACE). She is an Adjunct Professor at Southern New Hampshire University in the Masters/CAGS program in Competency Education. Rose is the author of two books on Competency Education: Competency-Based Education: A New Architecture for K-12 Schooling (Harvard Education Press, 2017) and Off the Clock: Moving Education from Time to Competency(Corwin, 2012.)

Date/Time:   Tuesday (1/12), 1-2pm

Karin Hess, President, Educational Research in Action

Karin Hess is a former classroom teacher and school administrator with over 40 years of deep experience in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She is the author of the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix (2009) and A Local Assessment Toolkit to Promote Deeper Learning (Corwin, 2018). Dr. Hess is recognized internationally as a leader in developing practical approaches for using cognitive rigor and learning progressions as the foundation for curriculum design and assessments at all levels of assessment systems. Her most recent publications include a chapter in the second edition of Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, Pre-K–6 (Hougen & Smartt, Eds., 2020) and is co-author of Deeper Competency-Based Learning: Making Equitable, Student-Centered, Sustainable Shifts (Corwin, 2020). Dr. Hess contributed to Maine’s early thinking about how to design graduation exhibitions, facilitated New Hampshire’s development of model competencies in several content areas, and currently provides in-depth guidance in many states/school districts in development of their competency-based educational systems.

Date/Time:   Thursday (1/14), 10-11am

Daniel Joseph, Founder CBE Solutions

Daniel Joseph is the founder of CBE Solutions, an organization that supports districts in the strategic transformational shift from traditional, time-based education to personalized competency-based systems of teaching and learning. Promoting systems level change, by engaging shareholders, building capacity through continuous improvement and aligned intentional instruction. Daniel strives to provide the knowledge, tools and processes to promote the depth of change needed to realize the vision of learning for all students. Daniel’s practical experience in the arenas of public will, policy, and practice provide direction to schools working towards sustained growth and progress. His involvement with a state level task force in the State of Maine, “Proficiency Based Diploma- Strategic Task Force” provided support for the systemic change in both practice and policy. In addition to state level engagement, Daniel also was the representative and building based leader for his school district which was part of the (ILN) Innovation Lab Network, CCSSO. Prior to founding CBE Solutions, he supported districts across the country in developing personal mastery systems of learning for Marzano Research and Reinventing School Coalition. Daniel teaches graduate level courses as an adjunct faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Date/Time:   Thursday (1/14), 1-2pm

Shifts Happen: New CBE Opportunities with Remote Learning

Designed for educators to explore the opportunities remote learning provides to shift from traditional teaching and learning to more systemic personalized and competency-based approaches, join our keynote panel of competency-based education (CBE) national experts Karin Hess, Rose Colby, and Daniel Joseph. Investigate three major CBE shifts designed to promote deeper learning for all students: 1) organizational shifts (leadership, policy); 2) teaching-learning structures (assessment and grading practices); and 3) student-centered classrooms (supports, feedback, student choice and voice). Our keynote presenters provide a framework with entry points and next steps for pivoting to personalized instructional systems that meet students “where they are” and support them in moving forward as they are ready. Examine potential challenges implementing remote learning and consider how shifting to personalized, competency-based approaches provides a useful framework for this school year and beyond.

Concurrent session offered by keynote speakers:

Presenter: Rose Colby, Consultant, Competency Education Specialist
Title: Design for Equity: Success for Each Learner
Building a culture of equity through instructional design is a challenge! This session is designed for educators to consider strategies to incorporate into learning designs to meet students where they are in their learning progression. The goal is to best engage students in learning activities that bring them to proficiency of their learning goals. Explore strategies that are based on the learning sciences using strategies with high effectiveness (John Hattie's scales).

Presenter: Karin Hess, President, Educational Research in Action
Title: Next Gen CBE Task Design: Integrating Academics with Self-Direction Skills
Self-direction, communication, collaboration, and creativity are essential (personal) skills for success in post-secondary learning and careers. Now more than ever, teachers need practical tools to design performance tasks that integrate rigorous content with self-directed learning, whether it be in-person or remote learning. Karin shares the underlying research for several practical CBE tools and processes for use across all grades.

Presenter: Daniel Joseph, Founder, CBE Solutions LLC
Title: Shifting to CBE: Policy, Practice, & Public Will Considerations
Explore the three areas of impact that support the depth, speed and direction of a systemic shift to CBE. These three areas are; organizational, teaching and learning, and student-centered classroom culture. Develop a deeper understanding of how policies, practices and the forces of culture become drivers toward equity, sustainability, and continuous improvement in any or all of the identified impact areas. This session addresses all levels of stakeholders and utilizes a changed readiness scale to support professional inquiry.

Raymond J. McNulty

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National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) & Successful Practices Network (SPN) President

Ray McNulty croppedRay is also a Senior Fellow to the International Center for Leadership in Education. Prior to that, he was Dean for the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University which Fast Company magazine named the 12th most innovative organization in its World's 50 Most Innovative Companies. Ray has served as Chair of the National Dropout Prevention Network and was the Chief Learning Officer for Penn Foster, a global leader in online education. He was also a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working with leading educators on improving our nation's high schools. Ray is a past president of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and author of It’s Not Us Against Them — Creating the Schools We Need, published in 2009 by the International Center. An educator since 1973, Ray has been a teacher, vice principal, principal, and superintendent. From 2001-03, he served as Vermont's education commissioner. Ray is a presenter at the state, national, and international levels on the need for school systems to accept the challenges that lie ahead. He is committed to raising performance standards for both teachers and students and to building solid connections between schools and their communities. Ray believes strongly that education systems cannot wait for the children and challenges to arrive at school; rather, schools need to reach out and help forge solutions.

Education in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, & Ambiguous World

To borrow a phrase from the military, we live in a VUCA, or volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. Such a world requires agility to quickly respond to opportunities and challenges. Rigid and siloed organizations do not do well in a VUCA world and there are few organizations more rigid than our schools. Alan Kay once said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." In this session, Ray McNulty describes the internal barriers we need to overcome and the types of performance and strategic systems needed to survive in a VUCA world.

Concurrent session offered by keynote speaker:

Presenter: Raymond McNulty, President, Successful Practices Network
Title: Creating Trauma-Skilled Schools
Over the last 15 years and especially since March 2020 (COVID-19) there has been a steady and at times overwhelming shift in the challenges that are presented to our schools. These challenges are different from the continued focus on content mastery and student performance levels. They are deeper and outside the general scope of traditional educator training. High numbers of students (67% by data) are negatively impacted by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) these traumas and stressors can alter the beliefs and mindsets of our children, producing negative school behaviors, performance and doubling down on content is not a solution. Researchers at the National Dropout Prevention Center designed a process by which educators can move beyond being trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive to become truly TRAUMA SKILLED SCHOOLS. In this session, learn about the process and the research to address the trauma strategy gap, and what you can begin to do to meet this challenge straight on.

Date/Time: Thursday (1/14), 10-11am

Presenter: Ginger Lewman, Consultant & Coach, ESSDACK
Title: Asking Powerful Questions In Hard Times
We have been thrust into a river of change and many are struggling to survive against the raging current. We are finding ourselves flailing in the waters, trying to grasp at lifelines that were constructed from the rules of long ago. Still others are looking for lifelines they suppose are just hidden out of sight, not knowing for sure what's really there. And some are busy rewriting the rules and constructing their own lifelines while still managing to stay afloat. We are all in a tough spot to be in, no matter what. Let us come together, through guided provocative questions, to just talk & share our thoughts, concerns, successful strategies for shifting forward, and challenges yet to be handled. This session is about dialog, reflection, networking, and sharing. Together, we CAN forge our way to new shores.

Date/Time: Tuesday (1/12), 4-5pm

Presenter: Steve Dembo, CSAI Teacher, Quest Academy
Title: Gone Game Crazy! Creative Coding through Game Creation
Discover how to foster passionate coding, rather than just moving blocks around. The worst thing a student can say about homework is that it's too hard. The worst thing a student can say about a game is that it's too easy! Students WANT to be challenged, and by combining short lessons with open ended challenges, it's amazing how quickly students can go from Hour of Code to creating sophisticated original programs. We know students love games, both physical and video. Ironically, many of the most popular games are relatively simple in nature! In this fast paced presentation, explore a variety of platforms that can be used to take advantage of student enthusiasm, and help them shift from just following templates, to creating their own games. The presenter touches on a variety of grade levels and demonstrates what this looks like when integrated throughout the entire curriculum.

Date/Time: Wednesday (1/13), 4-5pm

Presenter: Adam Bellow, Co-Founder, BreakoutEDU
Title: Thinking Outside the Box - Breakout EDU Digital Games
Learn about the Breakout EDU Platform and how they can play games with their students to foster collaboration in a virtual space and unlock the fun in learning.

Date/Time: Tuesday (1/12), 10-11am

Presenter: Rushton Hurley, Executive Director,
Title: What Leaders at Great Schools Do Better: Tech & Inspiring One's Team
Digital media apps and collaboration tools can allow crafting staff planning and interaction that inspire teachers to work together in new ways, see new possibilities for school improvement, launch new initiatives, communicate successes to the community, and navigate the waters of online and hybrid learning. Join in as we look at how to use current technologies to revamp how campus, department, and grade-level leaders can work with teams to strengthen morale and professional satisfaction, whether our schools are in-person, online, or both.

Date/Time:  Thursday (1/14), 1-2pm

Presenter: Paul Reynolds, CEO/Co-Founder & Andrea Calvin VP, FableVision & Reynolds Center
Title: Story-Powered STEM for a K-J Journey
The world's future in many ways relies on early educators' comfort level around teaching STEM. Their efforts will help determine if we are going to have the future scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians needed to tackle the existential problems facing our planet. The urgency is compounded by research that shows that students' STEM self-identity (or lack thereof) is forming as early as 10 to 12 years of age. To that end, we need to support our early/elementary educators in more effective ways so they can start meaningful STEM learning earlier on a student's learning pathway. If successful, these educators will play a critical role in cultivating larger, more engaged cohorts of students interested in STEM studies and careers. FableVision/Reynolds Center's Paul A. Reynolds and Andrea Calvin look forward to connecting with educators exploring STEM/STEAM, and supporting them with their research, tools and supporting programs, including FabMaker Studio, a web-based design & fabrication platform, and FableVision Learning's Engineering CTE program.) The duo shares a wealth of practical examples and strategies to help very young learners embrace engineering design thinking & practices in meaningful ways. Along the way, they will also highlight their unique use of storytelling that can catalyze mindset growth development, which is so critical in realizing the kind of sustained engagement required to pursue STEM studies and enter into the STEM workforce.

Date/Time:  Tuesday (1/12), 1-2pm

Presenter: Sylvia Martinez, Speaker & Author of Invent to Learn
Title: Making the Future: The Future of Making
Making in education connects educators around the world in a quest to make education more authentic and relevant. The current disruptions in society are creating an opportunity to question the status quo and accelerate these ideals. STEAM learning and making in education can support a vision of an educational future that is equitable and student-centered, even through disruption. Together, let's explore the promise of hands-on, minds-on STEAM education so that we can equip children with the tools and mindset to solve the challenges of the future, and make the world a better place for all.

Date/Time:   Wednesday (1/13), 1-2pm

Presenter: Kathy Schrock, Educational Technologist, Wilkes University
Title: Old Skool Tech Skills Revisited
With the advent of emerging tech tools, some of the older, pedagogically-sound technology skills have been left behind. Explore how to create a podcast and allow others to subscribe, how to aggregate blogs into one easy place to read them, how to search online effectively, the basics of taking photos with mobile devices, and other tips and tricks. These skills are applicable whether you are teaching face-to-face, virtual, or blended. If you have missed learning these skills along the way or just need a refresher, you will gain some great new strategies for your tool box and student assessments!

Date/Time:  Tuesday (1/12), 10-11am

Keynote Speakers 2019

Olivia Van Ledtje
What Matters? The Future, It’s Me!

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Pernille Ripp
Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students

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Keynote Speakers 2018

Ginger Lewman
Today’s Modern Learning Environment: More than a New Coat of Paint

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Thomas C. Murray
Creating Future Ready Schools & Classrooms

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Jennie Magiera
Our Untold Stories

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Keynote Speakers 2017

Steve Dembo

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Adam Bellow

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Steve Dembo & Adam Bellow

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Keynote Speakers 2016

George Couros
The Innovator’s Mindset

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Jenifer Fox
Why K-12 Education Must Change

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Paul Reynolds
Library 2.0: How Do We Craft & Share the Story of the Modern Library’s Critical Role in the 21st Century?

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Keynote Speakers 2015

Sameer Hinduja
Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying & Make Kindness Go Viral

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Sara DeWitt
The Changing Landscape of Digital Learning

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Travis Allen
Becoming a Lifelong Learner

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Keynote Speakers 2014

Sylvia Libow Martinez
A Global Revolution Goes to School: The Maker Movement


Ken Shelton
The Art of Iteration: Embracing Failure for Learning


Rushton Hurley
Creativity, Inspiration, and Excellence


Keynote Speakers 2013

Kevin Honeycutt
Trends, Tools, and Tactics for 21st Century Learning

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Jaime Casap
Unleashing the Power of Technology in Education

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Heidi Hayes Jacobs
Leading the New Literacies: Digital, Media, & Global Project Based Learning


Keynote Speakers 2012

Angela Maiers
Habitudes of a 21st Century Learner

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Richard Byrne
Everything Is Free, Now What?

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Scott Kinney
Moving Learning...Beyond the Information Age

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