Speakers

We are honored and excited to host an amazing group of diverse speakers from around the world! From our Keynote speaker Manoush Zomorodi to our talented list of featured presenters, this year’s LearnFestATX offers something for everyone. Come join in on the fun!

Keynote Speaker

Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi is co-founder of Stable Genius Productions, a media company with a mission to help people navigate personal and global change. StableG uses podcasts as a lab to test new ways journalists can educate, entertain, and inspire through narrative. Their first project is “ZigZag,” a podcast about changing the course of capitalism, journalism, and women’s lives.

In 2012, Zomorodi created, hosted, and was managing editor of “Note to Self,” a podcast out of WNYC Studios for “anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age.” Each weekly episode examines life’s digital quandaries through experiments and conversations with experts and listeners, exploring the new questions tech has brought into our lives. Topics include information overload, digital clutter, sexting “scandals” and the eavesdropping capabilities of our gadgets. The podcast received wide acclaim, including being named Best Tech Podcast of 2017 by the Academy of Podcasters.

In 2015, Zomorodi led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Her book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering,” she illuminates what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all.

In 2017, Zomorodi and “Note to Self ” launched “The Privacy Paradox” a five-part plan to help people take back control over their digital identity. Tens of thousands of listeners have completed the five-part plan so far, which Fast Company calls Zomorodi’s “challenge to us to stick up for our internet rights.” Through her career, Manoush Zomorodi won numerous awards, including The Gracie in 2014 and 2018 for Best Radio Host. She is especially proud of the Webby her team won in 2018 for The Privacy Paradox. In 2017, she gave a TED Talk about surviving information overload and the “Attention Economy. Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2018. Prior to her work in podcasting, Zomorodi reported and produced around the world for BBC News and Thomson Reuters.

Featured Speakers

Kerry Gallagher

Kerry Gallagher is the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. She’s also the Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely.org – internet safety non-profit in Palo Alto, California – a FutureReady Instructional Coach, ASCD Emerging Leader, Adobe Education Leader, PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, and EdSurge Columnist. She was recognized with accolades for her work by the Family Online Safety Institute in 2015, by MassCUE in 2016, and by SmartBrief and St. Anselm College in 2018. Her website is www.KerryHawk02.com.

Adam Phyall

Mr. Adam Phyall is a former high school science teacher and the current Director of Technology & Media Services for Newton County Schools. Since Adam got his first laptop in college, he has been hooked on the amazing things that technology can add to instruction. Over the years, Mr. Phyall has been a keynote speaker and featured presenter at technology conferences across the country He is known for his fun and engaging presentation style and his humor. His philosophy on teaching is “if you’re having fun teaching it, then your students will have fun learning it.”

Julie Willcott

Julie Willcott is a #STEMadvocate #Educator and #Mainiac. She works with students and teachers across the country to implement virtual reality/augmented reality, coding, and #makerspace learning. She connects the dots between science, literacy, and the arts. Julie works as a #SME (gotta be a better acronym for Subject Matter Subject) developing science content for #EdTech companies. She is devoted to making education sustainable (economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially just) for teachers and learners. You can connect with her at @willcottjulie.

Steve Dembo

Steve Dembo served for ten years as Discovery Education’s Director of Learning Communities and led their Innovation and Strategy team.   He is the co-author of the book Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching. The National School Board Association named him one of 2010’s “Twenty to Watch,” a list honoring individuals finding innovative ways to use technology to increase classroom learning. Steve is a dynamic speaker on the capabilities of social networking, the power of educational technologies and Web 2.0 tools, and the ability of digital content to empower teachers to improve student achievement.

Knikole Taylor

Knikole Taylor serves as the instructional technology coordinator for a school district in Texas. In this role she supports the growth and development of teachers and students through the seamless integration of innovative technology usage. Knikole is a professional development trainer, curriculum developer, author and speaker, who has been privileged to travel the world to speak and work with other educators at conferences, campuses, and district-wide events. She works to assist educators in being their best for the students and teachers they serve each day. Knikole also holds many industry designations including Google Certified Trainer, Google Innovator, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer.

Don Goble

Don Goble is an award-winning Multimedia Instructor at Ladue High School in St. Louis, MO. He has spent countless hours all over the world teaching students and peers how to effectively utilize multimedia creation and appreciate media literacy. The National Journalism Education Association named Don as their Broadcast Adviser of the Year 2015 and he was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2011. Connect with Don at DonGoble.com or on Twitter @dgoble2001.

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a curriculum and educational technology consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and founder of ClassTechTips.com. As a classroom teacher, Monica used one-to-one technology to create engaging, standards-based lessons for students. Monica has presented to teachers, administrators and tech enthusiasts at numerous national and international conferences including SXSWedu, ISTE, and EduTECH. Monica is the author of Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom (ASCD), #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scannable Formative Assessment with Technology (Corwin), Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality (Corwin), and co-author of Taming the Wild Text (Shell).

Kyle Pace

Kyle Pace is a former elementary school teacher, Instructional Technology Coach,  and currently is the Director of Technology for the Grain Valley School District in Grain Valley, Missouri. Kyle champions to support teaching and learning with meaningful technology integration using a multitude of technologies and best practices. As part of his ongoing commitment to professional growth, Kyle became a Google for Education Innovator in 2011.  In 2013, Kyle was named as one of Education Week’s  “Leaders to Learn From” and named an “emerging leader” from ASCD. Kyle became a Google for Education Certified Trainer in March 2016. Kyle’s blog, “Learning is Leading”, can be found at kylepace.com.

Shannon Miller

Shannon McClintock Miller is the K-12 district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School in Van Meter, Iowa. She is also the Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect Spokesperson working with librarians, educators and students around the world every day as an international speaker, consultant and author who has a passion for education, librarianship, advocacy, technology, social media and making a difference in the world and lives of others, especially children. Shannon brings a special expertise and vision to conversations around school libraries, education, technology, creativity and student voice.

Brianna Hodges

Energetic and enthusiastic learner, teacher, coach and change agent, Brianna serves as the Coordinator for Innovative and Digital Learning at Eanes *Innovative* School District (Austin, Texas). Recognized as Education Dive’s 2018 K12 Administrator to Watch and 2017 Texas EdTech of the Year, she serves as the National Advisor and Spokesperson for Future Ready Instructional Coaches (futureready.org). Brianna believes that every learning experience is amplified by innovation, connection and creativity. An experienced advocate, speaker and coach, Brianna seeks to leverage interests, connections and demonstrations as critical instructional design elements to achieve the highest levels of learning.

Andy Leiser

Andy Leiser is a professional educator and technology integrationist from Hastings, Minnesota. He is passionate about sharing the story of education from the point of learning whilst amplifying the voices of our creative and innovative students to audiences beyond the classroom walls. He believes that we all must be  conduits of learning; shining brightly and illuminating the lives of others with new information and ideas. Andy is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Green Bay Packers owner, and solid example of Minnesota Nice – with a slight, but discernible, accent.

Lisa Johnson

Lisa has 17+ years of edu experience. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, & Tech, was featured in the publications “iPads in Education for Dummies” and “The Missing Voices in Ed Tech” and has co-authored the global hit “Hot Apps 4 HOTS.” ADE, PBS Digital Innovator, SmartBrief & Edutopia Blogger, Lisa’s enjoys “cooking up” purposeful, engaging, authentic resources to meet educator’s needs. Her latest recipes are the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom” and “Creatively Productive”. In her spare time, she delights in house sprucing, bullet journaling, filing away productivity hacks, traveling to places near and far, and discovering new Netflix series with her hubby.

 

Carl Hooker

Carl Hooker is the Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD in Austin, TX.  He’s also the founder and “godfather” of the learning festival known as “LearnFestATX”.  His unique humor and background as a teacher and “tech guy” are key in his desire to engage adult learners all over the world. He’s a member of the 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator class, was named Tech & Learning’s Leader of the year in 2014 and was the 2016 Thought Leader of the Year by PR with Panache. He’s a keynote speaker, author, consultant, and full-time father of three girls. Follow his blog at HookedOnInnovation.com

Kristina Ishmael

Kristina Ishmael is an educator, learner, thought leader, advocate, and agent of change. She is the Senior Project Manager of the Learning Technologies Project at New America where she supports states, districts, and educators rethinking the role of instructional materials to create deeper learning opportunities for students. She previously served as the K-12 Open Education Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. Kristina is passionate about changing teaching and learning to provide equitable access and opportunities to all learners.

Matt Joseph

Dr. Matthew X. Joseph has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education over his 25 years in the field. Experiences such as the Director of Digital Learning and Innovation in Milford Public Schools (MA), elementary school principal in Natick, MA and Attleboro, MA, classroom teacher,  and district professional development specialist have provided Matt incredible insights on how to best support teaching and learning. He is the author of Power of Us: Creating Collaborative Schools and co-author of Modern Mentoring, Reimagining Teacher Mentorship (Due out, fall 2019).

 

Andrew Wallace

Andrew Wallace has been a technology director for South Portland Schools in Maine for the past fifteen years. He is President of the Maine Educational Technology Directors Association (METDA), is a member of the National Center for Educational Statistics Forum, and serves on the board of the ISTE Librarians Network PLN. In 2012, he reportedly sold Instagram to Facebook. A former librarian, Wallace is interested in spreading the Learning Commons model, exploring new professional development approaches, and helping to imagine and create effective learning spaces.

Holly Moore

Holly Carrell Moore currently serves as an Educational Technologist at Valley View Elementary in Eanes ISD.  Before coming to Eanes, she worked in both elementary schools and higher education, supporting learning through teaching music, fourth grade, kindergarten, Head Start, library/instructional technology, as well as undergraduate and graduate education and family science majors.  Her research interests center around multiple aspects of play, technology, and literacy.

Fred Benitez

Fred Benitez is an Educational Technologist for Eanes ISD in Austin, TX. His 13 years of experience in education involve teaching graphic design, writing curricula, facilitating professional development, and collaborating with teachers to integrate technology effectively. Fred has been recognized by Adobe as a featured educator and is an active member in the Adobe Education Leader program. He was also selected to be a part of the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2017. Fred has a passion for fostering creativity and supporting students and teachers to be content creators. Website: bit.do/fredb

Rich Lombardo

Richard Lombardo is an Educational Technologist serving the Eanes Independent School District and an Adjunct Mathematics Professor at Austin Community College. A former graphic artist, Richard began his career in education teaching mathematics and computer science in Las Vegas, Nevada. A graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education and a Masters in Mathematical Sciences, Richard leverages his experience with technology integration and professional development to help teachers enhance their learning environments. With over 18 years of educational experience, he utilizes his creativity, relational capacity and passion to grow with those around him.

Audrey O’Clair

Audrey O’Clair is, first and foremost, a community builder. As a former special education teacher, she knows that using every available resource—from edtech to social media to professional learning networks—is the trick to helping individuals succeed. She’s an Education Specialist for Soundtrap at Spotify who knows that authentic learning is most engaging regardless of the learner’s age. She uses audio recording software to help everyone find their voice. Whether delivering workshops and seminars on accessibility and inclusion, or serving as Social Media Manager, her work builds educator capacity and grows teacher dialogue around the world.

Mike Washburn

Mike is co-host of the US iTunes chart-topping Education podcast OnEducation (https://goo.gl/kRGNMm), Head of Curriculum & Training for Canadian EdTech company Logics Academy and writer for EdSurge and Innovation and Tech Today Magazine. In his prior role as a Computer Science teacher, he created a custom-made curriculum, using elements of game design and game-based learning, to captivate and engage his students. Mike challenges all educators to never stop learning and always be reaching for what’s next.  

 

Phil Hintz

Phil Hintz is the Director of Technology for Gurnee School District 56 in Gurnee, Illinois where he has been for the past 14 years. Currently, Phil’s district is in their 7th year of a district- wide, 1:1 iPad initiative for all 2400 students and teachers in grades Pre-K through 8. Phil has presented conferences all over the world and was named ISTE’s Outstanding Leader of the Year in 2015 as well as being named “20 to Watch” from the National School Boards Association.

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