SXSW EDU Mentor Sessions



Asha Aravindakshan

Tuesday March 10th 10:30am – 11:30am

Operations Director & Global Talent, Ashoka

Talk to me about:

  • Education technology
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Business development and funding

    Asha Aravindakshan is the Director of Talent Operations at Ashoka. She has over a decade of impact in the private, governmental and philanthropic sectors leading strategic, financial and operational initiatives. Previously, as Chief of Staff to the Chief Technology Officer for Washington, DC, Asha created the award-winning TechStat performance management program and led critical citywide initiatives related to public safety, health and economic development. She is passionate about the potential of applying innovative solutions across sectors and their ability to strengthen governance, improve education, and transform lives. She serves as a Board Member for The George Washington University Alumni Association, Advisor for Blue Tiger Labs, mentor for SXSW V2V and Mentor Capital Network, and member of the Echoing Green Social Investment Council. Asha holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance from The George Washington University.

  • Ball_beverly

    Beverly Ball

    Wednesday March 11th 9:00am – 10:00am

    Art, Welding & Craft-Technology teacher, Denver Academy

    Talk to me about:

  • Craft-Technology in the classroom
  • The value of industrial arts classes in all grades
  • The super powers of different learners

    Beverly Ball teaches art, welding and craft-technology to 1st-12th graders at Denver Academy. She also founded TinkerBelles, the all-girls maker club. Her abiding belief is that academics and the arts are best learned and appreciated when they're in conversation with one another.

  • Bevill_jennifer

    Jennifer Bevill

    Wednesday March 11th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Technology Instructor, LSU Laboratory School

    Talk to me about:

  • Global Connections and Collaborations
  • 21st Century Learning Design
  • Teaching Tech Skills through PBL

    Jennifer Bevill is an Informational Technology instructor at the Louisiana State University Laboratory School. The LSU Lab School is part of the College of Human Sciences and Education of Louisiana State University; it is a K-12 school that exists to provide training opportunities for pre- and in-service teachers and to serve as a demonstration and educational research center.

    Jennifer has a degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, and 14 years of teaching experience at the middle and high school level. She currently teaches ICT courses in grades 10-12. She also works with teachers across all disciplines and levels to integrate technology into the curriculum and create interdisciplinary projects. Jennifer’s passion lies in creating a globally focused generation, culturally mindful, and accepting of differences between individuals. She views herself as a director of the learning environment in which students use technology to collaborate and communicate with the global community to solve problems.

  • Bower_jim

    Jim Bower

    Wednesday March 11th 9:00am – 10:00am

    CEO, Whyville & Numedeon

    Talk to me about:

  • Game-based learning and Virtual World design and management
  • Protecting and monetizing innovation and intellectual property in Ed-tech
  • What Neuroscience does and does not and can and can not tell us about learning

    Dr. James M. Bower Ph.D. is the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Numedeon Inc. which in 1999 launched, the first online gaming virtual learning community. Whyville has been a leading innovator in online digital learning, collaborating in educational game development with governmental agencies (e.g. U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration), Foundations (e.g. The Getty and MacArthur Foundations), Industry (e.g. Toyota and Dell Computer), and nonprofit educational organizations (e.g. ACT and the Educational Development Center, EDC) among many others. currently has more than 8 million registered users. While a professor of Computational Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Bower also founded and co-directed the Caltech Pre-college Science Initiative (CAPSI) which worked with teachers and school districts in California and across the nation to support inquiry-based hands-on science learning. Dr. Bower has recently collaborated in the formation of a new company Virtual Worlds IP Inc, which is innovating new ways to develop the value of patents and intellectual property in the Education-Technology marketplace. Dr. Bower has published more than 150 scientific articles, several books, and served on scientific and educational advisory committees for numerous national organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Bower lives on a ranch outside of Ashland Oregon where he breeds and raises Cleveland Bay horses, and plays polo.

  • Bullard_jen

    Jennifer Bullard

    Wednesday March 11th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Director of Program Management, Querium Corp

    Talk to me about:

  • Application development, especially focused on customer engagement. Including UI/UX feedback, artistic appeal and building customer profiles. I have worked on some AAA titles with a wide variety of audiences, so the ability to understand a customer's viewpoint over mine is a learned skill. Can't figure out why people are having trouble with your app, or digital product? I'll check usability for you and give some pointers.
  • Clearing obstacles for development to build product faster, get it in the hands of customers and have good feedback loops. Also developing appropriate goals, and narrowing focus to keep developers on track. I have been bridging creative personality types and business personality types for a decade. Having troubles? I can help.
  • Assessment of the dreaded 'gamification' that seems to be running rampant these days. Badges don't solve everything! Also, chocolate-covered broccoli seems to be a horrid outcome of trying to slap games inexpertly over education products. If you have never built a commercial video game and are trying to 'gamify' your product come see me.

    Jennifer has 15+ years of game development experience, shipping over 20 titles and working with such brands as The Sims 2, Call of Duty, Heroes of Might & Magic and others. Currently Jennifer is working at an ed-tech start-up overseeing the development of education tutorial AI. She also advises for several Austin-area game development programs at UT, ACC, DeVry and is on the STEM Council for Skillpoint Alliance. Jennifer operates an annual conference called Captivate Conference focusing on the convergence of digital media from games, film, music & mobile industries.

  • Woodle_gagecass

    Gage Cass Woodle

    Tuesday March 10th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Executive Director & Co-Founder, Mythic Bridge

    Talk to me about:

  • Youth Empowerment
  • Catharsis through Creativity
  • Community Engagement

    Gage is a native New Yorker and the offspring of two predominant psychiatrists. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a communications degree focused on filmmaking. His background is in adolescent crisis counseling but he has also been working in the entertainment business for over 10 years. As a counselor Gage spent years working in institutions guiding people towards better lives. As an actor, writer and producer he spent years on the screens and behind the scenes creating fantasy lives. His dream of creating a community where these two worlds could coexist and strengthen one another led to the development of Mythic Bridge, a place where disadvantaged storytellers can get the support and knowledge to realize their dreams.

  • Chen_jennie

    Jennie Chen

    Tuesday March 10th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Marketing Data Analyst, LiveWorld

    Talk to me about:

  • Develop strategies for navigating these communities and communicate in a fashion that makes your message and contribution better received.
  • Building your own support system and develop effective stress management processes.
  • Learn how to use being an outlier (gender and ethnicity) to your advantage.

    Jennie Chen is an outlier in every way possible. Jennie has navigated many industries and communities in which she is definitely not the norm - on gender, ethnicity, and age. After straddling the line between academia and industry during her graduate tenure, she has learned quite a bit about setting yourself for success despite not being in the norm in whichever path you decide to blaze.

    Currently, Jennie is the Marketing Data Analyst at LiveWorld with 13 years experience in online communities and content management. These communities ranged from niche sports to culinary arts to automotive. She utilizes her experience in psychology and group research to help social data tell its story.

  • Cheng_jean

    Jean Cheng

    Tuesday March 10th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Director, Digital Learning, Exploratorium

    Talk to me about:

  • Media production
  • Designing rich content experiences
  • Online learning / teacher PD

    Jean Cheng is Director of Digital Learning, Institute for Research and Learning at the Exploratorium, where she leads the museum's online efforts to serve educators. She has 20 years of experience producing award-winning documentary films, web projects and apps. She specializes in tackling complex topics and presenting rich content in compelling and accessible ways. She holds a BA in Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in Film Theory and Production from San Francisco State University.

  • Crean_klara

    Klara Crean

    Wednesday March 11th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Director of School Programs & Education, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley

    Talk to me about:

  • K - 8 Program & Curriculum Development: I have expertise in designing engaging, experiential K - 8 programs focused on STEM, literacy, coding, making / tinkering and fostering creative thinking.
  • After school programs & summer camps: I have experience in designing and executing after school programs and summer camps for children 5 - 14 years of age. The emphasis is on fun, engaging and meaningful learning experiences.
  • Educational Technology and Opportunity Gap: Integrating educational technology into after school curriculum to support personalized learning, mastery and promoting engagement during academic support time in after school programs.

    At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, Klara is responsible for overseeing after school programs at five locations throughout Sonoma, serving over 500 elementary and middle school children every day. In addition, she leads program development of K-8 programs and acts as a liaison to the local school district. Her emphasis is on designing engaging and innovative programs supporting students in literacy, STEM, social and emotional learning and creative confidence.

    Prior to joining BGCSV, Klara has been working on leadership coaching and educational design projects focused on motivation and personalized learning. Earlier in her career, she has worked in an advertising agency, early childhood research lab and lead outdoor summer camps. Klara was also a member of the BGCSV Executive Board and chaired its Programs Committee, promoting innovative learning experiences to narrow the opportunity gap for youth.

    Klara holds BA and MA in Psychology from Stanford University.

  • Cunningham_brittney

    Brittney Cunningham

    Wednesday March 11th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Director of Online Learning, Girls in Tech

    Talk to me about:

  • Online education
  • Global education
  • Social Media

    Brit­tney Cun­ning­ham is the Direc­tor of Online Edu­ca­tion for Girls in Tech (GIT), where she spear­heads the cre­ation and deliv­ery of online edu­ca­tional con­tent for Girls in Tech Global Class­room to girls and women across the world. Brittney’s pas­sion is to edu­cate and encour­age girls and women in STEM fields, par­tic­u­larly within under­served and minor­ity pop­u­la­tions. As Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the Girls in Tech Phoenix Chap­ter, Brit­tney actively pro­motes entre­pre­neur­ship through events such as Startup Week­end and facil­i­tates men­tor­ship and edu­ca­tion of girls in the tech space through events such as Hackathons, STEM based work­shops, part­ner­ships with tech busi­nesses in the val­ley, higher ed and local governments.

  • Dewitt_tyler

    Tyler DeWitt

    Tuesday March 10th 9:00am – 10:00am

    Educational Consultant

    Talk to me about:

  • How to Create Videos Students Can Learn From. We'll can talk about everything from scripts, assessments and curriculum, to cameras, microphones, editing, and YouTube.
  • Making STEM Education Authentic and Engaging. Science and math are seen by far too many students as dry, boring, confusing, and hopelessly irrelevant. How can STEM education shift away from traditional memorization approaches to include more of the critical thinking, puzzle solving, and experimentation that real-life research scientists practice every day?
  • Flipped Classrooms. Classroom flipping should be about so much more than students sitting in front of video screens as passive consumers. Let's talk about ways that flipped classrooms can help educators teach metacognition, introduce 21st century skills, and redefine their roles as instructors.

    Dr. Tyler DeWitt is a research scientist, high school teacher, and digital content creator. His expansive collection of self-authored Chemistry tutorial videos is one of the most popular instructional channels on YouTube.

    Tyler’s goal is to replace the often-stale state of science, technology and math textbook teaching with systems for learning that promote critical thinking and "360 degree" understanding. His TED Talk on how to make science accessible, engaging, and entertaining for young learners has been watched over one million times.

    Tyler has taught high school Chemistry, Biology, and English at schools in both the United States and South Korea, and he worked as a project manager to develop new K12 science curricula for the state of Florida. Tyler holds a Ph.D. in Biology from MIT, where he served as student coordinator for the new MIT+K12 video outreach project. At MIT, he was a National Science Foundation Fellow and a Graduate Resident Tutor.

  • Diracles_alexandra

    Alexandra Diracles

    Wednesday March 11th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Co-Founder, Vidcode

    Talk to me about:

  • Digital learning
  • Teaching teen girls computer science
  • Startup advice

    I'm a social entrepreneur and creative technologist who specializes in strategy, user experience design, and art + computer science EDU. I started my career in photography and didn't learn to code until my late twenties. In graduate school, I discovered computer science as an art form and made it my mission that teenage girls get the message today that computer programming is creative, human-centered and collaborative. Vidcode is an online platform that teaches teen girls programming by enabling them to hack their social media videos with code.

  • Duffy_sean

    Sean Duffy

    Wednesday March 11th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Founder, EdTech Austin & EdTech Action

    Talk to me about:

  • Building communities in edtech
  • Starting an edtech company
  • Reaching end-users and potential customers in education

    Sean Duffy is an educator and edtech leader who is passionate about helping to make meaningful change in education through technology. Sean is the founder of EdTech Austin and the lead Organizer for Startup Weekend and Startup Weekend Education for Austin, TX. Currently, Sean is an Assessment Specialist with Pearson Education and Startup Mentor/Advisor for Pearson Catalyst for Education.

  • Edwards_lakita

    Lakita Edwards

    Tuesday March 10th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Arts Education Specialist, National Endowment for the Arts

    Talk to me about:

  • National Trends in Arts Education
  • Arts Education Funding

    Lakita Edwards serves as a program specialist with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent federal agency supporting artists and arts organizations and bringing the arts to all Americans. As a program specialist in the Arts Education division, she manages the grants portfolio for both visual arts and media arts projects serving PreK-12. Prior to her work with the NEA, Lakita was an education specialist for the National Park Service. Lakita received her bachelor’s degree in art history and psychology from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and her master’s degree in arts education from Harvard University. Selected in the inaugural cohort of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program while a senior in her undergraduate year, Lakita brings to her work a personal testimony to grantmaking's role in equity and access in education.

  • Fuller_khalil

    Khalil Fuller

    Tuesday March 10th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    CEO, Learn Fresh & NBA Math Hoops

    Talk to me about:

  • Forming partnerships with educators, schools, and school districts
  • Iterative curricular innovations
  • Getting pro-bono services and in-kind resources

    Khalil is a young social entrepreneur with a passion for driving positive change in education. His organization, Learn Fresh, makes math fun for kids and keeps them engaged in school, and they have reached over 40,000 students nationwide. Khalil attended Brown University, where he studied Education and Social Innovation, was a member of the Varsity Rugby Team and the Captain of the Club Hockey team.

    Khalil is an African American National Merit Scholar, an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow - the youngest Echoing Green fellow in the organization’s 25 year history, and a winner of MassChallenge - the world's largest startup competition. Khalil has been honored by Ebony for "Manifesting Youth Leadership Now", he is on the Under30CEO list for the Greater Boston Area, The Washington Post's The Root named Khalil one of the nation's 25 “Young Futurists”, in 2013 he was chosen by Forbes for the 30 Under 30 List for Social Entrepreneurship, and in 2014 he won the Westly Prize.

  • Goyal_nikhil

    Nikhil Goyal

    Tuesday March 10th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Author & Activist

    Talk to me about:

  • Alternative and democratic education
  • Innovative programs in higher education
  • Unschooling, homeschooling

    Nikhil Goyal is an activist and author of a book on alternative education, forthcoming from Doubleday/Random House. In 2013, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He lives in New York.

  • Handrik_jessica

    Jessica Handrik

    Wednesday March 11th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Director, pre-K-12 & Higher Education, Lincoln Center Education

    Talk to me about:

  • Promising Practices in School/Cultural Organization Partnerships
  • The Role of the Arts in Middle School Reform
  • Teacher Education & The Arts

    Jessica Handrik oversees all aspects of Lincoln Center Education’s pre-K-12 and Higher Education partnerships, including LCE’s new middle school initiative, Arts in the Middle. She has been a member of Lincoln Center’s education staff since 1998, a highlight of which is being a member of a research team investigating the efficacy of LCE’s Capacities for Imaginative Thinking in seven partnering schools. Jessica is a member of the Newark, New Jersey Arts in Education Roundtable Advocacy Committee and serves on the board of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable. She holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing, and earned an MA in Liberal Studies from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2001, upon completion of her thesis titled Policy in the Making: the Role of the Arts in Education.

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    Michael Hawes

    Wednesday March 11th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Statistical Privacy Advisor, U.S. Department of Education

    Talk to me about:

  • Student Privacy
  • Data Governance
  • Federal Government

    Michael Hawes is the Statistical Privacy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Education.

    He advises the Department of Education's Chief Privacy Officer and senior leadership on issues relating to data release, data management, and disclosure avoidance, and oversees the Department's Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which provides technical assistance on privacy and data security issues to state and local education agencies and to institutions of higher education.

    Michael also chairs the Department of Education's Disclosure Review Board, the Department-wide board responsible for reviewing the disclosure avoidance methodologies used to protect privacy in the Department's public data releases.

    Prior to joining the Department of Education, Michael served as a statistician and policy analyst for the U.S. Census Bureau, focusing on data stewardship and data management. Michael is a statistician, a Project Management Institute-certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and an International Association of Privacy Professionals Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government (CIPP/G).

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    Josh Klein

    Tuesday March 10th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Chief Information Officer, Portland Public Schools

    Talk to me about:

  • Project/Program Management
  • Software/Application Development and Integration
  • IT Strategy/Leadership

    First generation digital native - Gaming at age 6. Programming at 9. Building computers at 19. Founded a technology consulting company at 22. Serving public education at 27. Chief Information Officer at 34.

  • Landolt_karen

    Karen Landolt

    Tuesday March 10th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin

    Talk to me about:

  • Career Transformation
  • Gallup StrengthsFinder
  • Entrepreneurship - Founding your own company

    I am an enthusiastic connector committed to empowering clients to choose engaging careers. During 20 years in organizational programming, teaching, and advising in nonprofit, legal, and academic settings, I have helped professionals and students from almost every academic discipline achieve success on their terms. My clients have included undergraduate, graduate, professional (MBA, J.D., MPA, etc.), PhD and post-doctoral students.

    My experience in career services is vast. I have been Director of two University of Texas campus career services offices: the HireTexas Interview Center in the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Career Design Center for the College of Natural Sciences, and Senior Associate Director of MBA Career Management at the McCombs School of Business. In these roles, I managed multiple teams and provided the strategic vision to enact positive organizational change.

    Passionate about teaching and experiential learning, I have initiated and developed two required strategic career planning courses, one for MBA students and one for undergraduate Natural Sciences students. I have been an invited speaker on career services topics at several national and statewide conferences. I currently teach Entrepreneurship, Business Law and Business Ethics at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Lin_angela

    Angela Lin

    Tuesday March 10th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Strategic Partnerships, YouTube

    Talk to me about:

  • Educational video

    Angela Y. Lin leads YouTube's Kids and Learning team in North America, focusing on content strategy, partnerships and original programming. Her work reaches across the learning spectrum from K12 to higher ed to lifelong learning, featuring educational content that ranges from purely academic to wildly inspirational. Prior to joining YouTube, Angela was a strategy consultant specializing in digital media and entertainment and served as a film programmer at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Angela began her career as a Page at NBC where she worked on SNL, the Today Show, and the Olympics. She has also worked on productions for the Travel Channel in Peru, TVB in Hong Kong, and the Shanghai Grand Theatre in China. Angela graduated with honors in economics from Harvard College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Mack_elizabeth

    Elizabeth Mack

    Tuesday March 10th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Owner & Prof. de français, Freestyle Language Center

    Talk to me about:

  • Foreign Language Education - specifically the innovative, the new, 21st C. language learning
  • Entrepreneurship - bootstrapping, from zero - to year 3
  • Fundraising - profit or non-profit

    An incurable Francophile, Elizabeth is uncommonly passionate about language learning - especially the ability of languages to connect people.

    With a Diplôme Supérieur in French business, she worked in Marketing for L’Oreal, Paris before doing a 180 degree career switch to earn an MA in 18c. Fr. Lit. from UT Austin. She subsequently served for nearly 5 yrs as a French Lecturer at Texas State Univ.

    In 2012 Elizabeth formed Freestyle Language Center to create a language learning community with a fun stress-free model & effective methodology. What they're saying:

    Regarding the growth of a new business from 4 students to over 100 in less than 18 months, she recently participated in an exciting crowdfunding campaign via Local Lift to generate capital for a necessary curriculum building project.

    As for sharing ideas and collaborating with others in Education during SXSWedu 2015, c'est magnifique!

  • Madigan_bill

    Bill Madigan

    Wednesday March 11th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Educational Consultant, AVID

    Talk to me about:

  • Social emotional education
  • Cultural hot topics
  • Neuroscience of learning and leading

    Bill Madigan has a Masters degree in Humanities (M.A.L.A.) from San Diego State University and has been a high school teacher for 29 years. He also spent a year as an assistant principal at an inner city school in San Diego Ca. He has been an AVID consultant for over 15 years and is knowledgable about how neuroscience and psychology can inform teaching and learning. He has also taught college courses on educational theory. As a high school teacher, he has taught English, ESL and AVID. He also has taught all grade levels from ninth through twelfth grade as well as varied student populations from the emotionally disturbed and at-risk students to Advanced Placement and honors.

  • Mcquiggan_scot

    Scott McQuiggan

    Tuesday March 10th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Director, SAS Curriculum Pathways, SAS Institute

    Talk to me about:

  • Mobile Learning. Including app development, developers working with educators, app smashing, etc.
  • iBeacons & indoor positioning for informal learning venues and mobile apps.
  • Research, data, and analytics with online, blended, and mobile learning.

    Scott McQuiggan leads SAS Curriculum Pathways, an interdisciplinary team focused on the development of no-cost educational software in the core disciplines at SAS Institute Inc. Curriculum Pathways includes more than 1,250 resources, tools, and apps for K-12 education used in all 50 states and 90 countries around the world. Scott received his PhD in computer science from North Carolina State University, where his research focused on affective reasoning in intelligent game-based learning environments. He also holds an MS in computer science from North Carolina State University and a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Susquehanna University. Scott is co-author of the book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners.

  • Wang_mike

    Z. Mike Wang

    Tuesday March 10th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Director, Student Experience & Community Engagement, Minerva

    Talk to me about:

  • Intrapreneurship
  • Co-curricular design
  • Social Innovation

    Mike is at Minerva, helping to rethink higher ed and build an accredited four-year undergraduate liberal arts degree from the ground up. He is a slam poet turned investment banker turned university administrator turned community builder + designer of learning experiences. Before Minerva, Mike spent five years at Georgetown University working in the Offices of the CFO, COO, CIO, and Provost.

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    Brooke Miller

    Wednesday March 11th 9:00am – 10:00am

    Khan Academy Health & Medicine Content Creator, Khan Academy / PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin

    Talk to me about:

  • Flipping the classroom (higher education)
  • Online content creation (KSV- Khan Style Videos)
  • Integrating psychology research in schools and classrooms

    Brooke Miller is a PhD Student in Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin where she studies the role that authenticity plays in informal science education. Brooke has taught at the college level using the "flipped classroom" model, replacing standard lectures with custom online content and in-classroom activities. Brooke also works as a Health and Medicine content creator at Khan Academy where she creates video content related to the social sciences.

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    Jessica Millstone

    Wednesday March 11th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Director of Engagement, BrainPOP

    Talk to me about:

  • Identifying new trends and emerging technologies that will benefit teaching and learning at all ages and levels
  • Blending a background of research & teaching with working in technology product development
  • Identifying the talent needs of a project or organization and helping connect the right people to the right project

    Jessica Millstone, Ed.M., M.P.S., is currently the Director of Engagement at BrainPOP, leading the creation of a new experiential and games-based learning initiative. Prior to joining BrainPOP, Jessica was the inaugural Education Fellow on the Games & Learning Publishing Council at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a research and innovation lab at Sesame Workshop. Her fellowship research, supported by BrainPOP and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, documented the use of digital and video games in the elementary and middle school classroom to promote deeper learning. She holds a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University, and an Ed.M. from Bank Street College of Education, where she was until recently an adjunct instructor of instructional technology.

  • Ming_vivienne

    Vivienne Ming

    Wednesday March 11th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Managing Partner, Socos

    Talk to me about:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • EdTech
  • Human Potential

    Dr. Vivienne Ming, named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech by Inc. Magazine, is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Socos, a cutting-edge EdTech company which applies cognitive modeling to align education with life outcomes. Previously, Dr. Ming was Chief Scientist at Gild, an innovative startup that builds better companies by unleashing human potential in their workforce using machine learning. She is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience pursuing her research in cognitive prosthetics. In her free time, Dr. Ming also explores augmented cognition using technology like Google Glass and has been developing predictive models of diabetes and bipolar disorder. She sits on the boards of StartOut and Our Family Coalition, and speaks on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology, recently receiving the Start Farm Good Neighbor Award from Equality California. She lives in Berkeley with her wife and their two children. Her work and research has received extensive media attention including the New York Times, NPR, Nature, O Magazine, Forbes, and The Atlantic.

  • Moctezuma_mark

    Roberto Moctezuma

    Wednesday March 11th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    CEO, Fractal River, LLC

    Talk to me about:

  • Technology - Mobile, Cloud, Internet of Things, Hardware
  • Strategy - Value proposition, go-to-market
  • Overall business design & general management

    Roberto Moctezuma is an entrepreneur, board member and angel investor with over 20 years of senior executive experience in the high-tech industry. Roberto is the CEO of Fractal River, a business design studio that provides advisory services for emerging growth companies.

    He serves as an Executive Advisor for several technology companies including Voxofon, a software communications solutions provider and ChaiOne, an enterprise mobility agency. He is active in the startup ecosystem in Texas working with seed accelerators, angel investor networks, universities and private capital groups.

    Previously, Roberto was the VP and GM of the Desktop Solutions Global Business Unit at Hewlett-Packard, a $450M business that created products for the worldwide Education, Virtualization, and Retail markets. Prior to this, Roberto was the VP of Volume Direct Operations for HP in the Americas, supporting over $8,000M USD in revenue. His early background includes software development and telecommunications.

    Roberto lives in Houston with his wife and three children.

  • Nilsson_peter

    Peter Nilsson

    Wednesday March 11th 9:00am – 10:00am

    English Teacher & Assistant Dean of Faculty, Deerfield Academy

    Talk to me about:

  • Applying cognitive science to lesson planning
  • First years of teaching - training and practice
  • Teaching students to write in meter

    Peter has taught English at Deerfield since 2000, excepting a four year hiatus as a musician in New York City. He has taught courses on Paradise Lost, intersections of literature and science, the evolution of literary form, New England Poetry, British literature, and American literature. A fan of Anglo-Saxon and Renaissance poetry, Peter often uses verse as a tool for teaching writing skills.

    As Assistant Dean of Faculty, Peter directs the Teaching Fellow Program and New Faculty Orientation, and he assists the Dean of Faculty in various projects.

    Peter maintains The Educator's Notebook, a newsletter that promotes innovation in education by collecting education-related news from around the web. He writes occasionally at Sense and Sensation, a blog about intersections between creativity, cognitive science, and education. He is a member of the Advisory Board for SXSWedu and the Center for Curriculum Redesign.

  • O'clair_audrey

    Audrey O'Clair

    Tuesday March 10th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Special Education Teacher, Brewer High School

    Talk to me about:

  • Bringing literacy opportunities to low income families in very rural areas.
  • Working with many age levels, subject levels and ability levels and loving it!
  • Working with families using technology to build experiences rich in literacy.

    Audrey O'Clair is currently teaching ninth-grade special-education at Brewer High School. For 10 years (2004-2014) she created a learning environment for young children in her home allowing her to care for her two children as well as countless others. Having a passion for, and training in the areas of early childhood, ed tech, literacy intervention, and special-education, has allowed Audrey to leverage her skills to support young children, teachers, and families. She continues to develop family engagement opportunities for RSU#3 in Waldo County as a Family Literacy Liaison. In 2013, she co-authored an article for NAEYC's- Teaching Young Children titled Touch and Grow- Learning and Exploring Using Touch Tablets. Audrey is also the co-founder of the early literacy intervention program called Kindergarten Jumpstart (KJS) which is currently being implemented in more than 20 school districts across the State of Maine.

  • Poulson_shauntel

    Shauntel Poulson

    Tuesday March 10th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Principal, NewSchools Venture Fund

    Talk to me about:

  • Current trends in K-12 edtech
  • Raising capital for K-12 edtech ventures
  • Investing in K-12 edtech

    Shauntel Poulson is a Principal at the NewSchools Venture Fund where she focuses on investment strategy, due diligence, and management assistance for the Seed Fund. The Seed Fund makes investments in early-stage education technology companies that have the potential to transform K-12 teaching and learning. Shauntel was previously a Senior Engineer at Procter and Gamble and an Education Pioneers Fellow at Wireless Generation. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. and her MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University.

  • Rogers_mark

    Mark Rogers

    Wednesday March 11th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Teacher, Action Meridian School

    Talk to me about:

  • Using pedagogical music to teach across all disciplines
  • Devising instructional strategies to improve content mastery and student engagement
  • Building a modified flipped classroom

    Mark Rogers is a Secondary math teacher with Meridian School in Round Rock, TX for 140 students and an online instructor of Finance and Algebra at the online school Acellus for several thousand other students. He embraces music and technology when teaching -- please see his YouTube channel for examples. He also authored a data manipulation course for teachers and is an early adopter of technological classroom management and content delivery applications. He started his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley and enjoys incorporating financial literacy into lessons for the benefit of his students.

  • Sagebiel_micah

    Micah Sagebiel

    Tuesday March 10th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Program Officer, US Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

    Talk to me about:

  • U.S. Urban Education
  • PRI Investors in Ed Tech
  • Teacher Preparation Reform

    Micah Sagebiel works as a United States Program Officer for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. In this role he makes and manages investments focused on strengthening the public K-12 education system for children living in urban poverty. His work supports organizations across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He currently sits on the advisory board of the New Schools Seed Fund, an education technology venture fund headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

    Micah began his career as a public school teacher in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Micah earned a B.A. in international relations from Colgate University and holds two graduate degrees: an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and an MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Stark_liza

    Liza Stark

    Tuesday March 10th 9:00am – 10:00am

    Game Designer, Institute of Play

    Talk to me about:

  • Games vs. Game-like vs. Game-based vs. Gamified: Not really sure what the difference is between these four approaches? Or how to evaluate which one is best for your learning goal(s)? Come to talk me about methodologies for determining how to integrate meaningful spaces of play into your classroom.
  • Exploding the Game: What are strategies for making a game really meaningful in your classroom? By building in learning experiences around a game before, during, and after play, you increase context and relevance for students. Come talk to me about designing structures to support game-based learning in your classroom.
  • Creative Circuits and E-Textiles: Interested in learning more about the intersection of basic electronics, art, and computational thinking? Want to brainstorm ways of integrating them into your curriculum? Come talk to me about the wonders of conductive fabric and LEDs. No background knowledge necessary!

    Liza Stark is a designer, artist, and educator based in New York. During the day, she designs games with teachers and facilitates professional development workshops around game-like learning at Institute of Play. At night, she combines electronics with paper and textiles to produce computationally infused or inspired objects, usually with an unapologetically DIY aesthetic.

    Stark has extensive experience collaborating with K-12 educators and students to integrate the design process into their practice. She was a founding member of gagdITERATION, a series of student-centered hands-on workshops focused on creative engagement with electronics; facilitator at EDesign Labs, a teacher-designer residency incubator; and recently finished hosting an upcoming series on DIY electronics project aimed at moms and kids. She has blinked at Maker Faire and the Open Hardware Summit and teaches in the MFA Design and Technology program at Parsons.

  • Stupka_kylie

    Kylie Stupka

    Tuesday March 10th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Executive Director, Youth Entrepreneurs

    Talk to me about:

  • Developing and entrepreneurial mindset
  • Gamification
  • Women and risk taking

    Kylie Stupka is the Executive Director of Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas and Missouri chapters. Prior to joining Youth Entrepreneurs in 2007, she worked as a manager at a CPA and advisory services firm. Kylie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Kansas State University. Currently she is working to develop national educational programming that will engender self-reliance among youth by introducing, through entrepreneurship, the values and skills necessary for them to lead successful, fulfilling lives as contributing members of society.

  • Vander_ark_caroline

    Caroline Vander Ark

    Wednesday March 11th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    COO, Getting Smart

    Talk to me about:

  • Strategic communication
  • Leadership & professional learning
  • Small business management

    Caroline oversees the day-to-day operations of Getting Smart, an education advocacy firm. She specializes in business development, strategic communications and professional learning. She holds a degree in Communications from Washington State University, serves on the Board of Directors for Advancing Leadership and the SXSWedu Advisory Board.

  • Walker_meredith

    Meredith Walker

    Tuesday March 10th 1:30pm – 2:30pm

    Executive Director, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

    Talk to me about:

  • Media
  • Production
  • Life (get your hair wet!)

    Meredith Walker began her television career under the tutelage of respected journalist Linda Ellerbee. While producing for Ellerbee's NICK NEWS on Nickelodeon, the show won the Peabody Award, as well as several Emmys. Meredith traveled to all 50 states to interview kids who had interesting stories to tell; this would become the foundation for her deepening interest in the lives of young people. Next, she served as head of the Talent Department at the iconic Saturday Night Live, where she met her best friend, Amy Poehler.

    Now living in Austin, Texas, Meredith devotes her time and talent to what has become her passion. As Executive Director of the organization she co-created with Amy Poehler, "Amy Poehler's Smart Girls," Meredith delivers the Smart Girls message by leading live workshops/camps, and by producing online materials, such as the "Smart Girls at the Party Podcast." Meredith also offers her time as a mentor at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders; she is honored to serve on the ONE Girls and Women Advisory Board and is a newly appointed member of the Austin, Texas Community Court Advisory Committee.

  • Wallaert_matt

    Matt Wallaert

    Tuesday March 10th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Behavioral Scientist, Microsoft

    Talk to me about:

  • Startups: I've exited two, both in the behavior change space, and invested and advised dozens more.
  • The Academic Transition: As a scientist with a teaching degree that went in to the world of business, if your career is at an inflection, I can help you navigate that.
  • Behavior Change: As a scientist, I specialize in changing real world, offline behaviors. If you know what you want people to do, I can help you design a process to get them there.

    Matt Wallaert is a behavioral scientist working at the intersection of technology and human behavior. After several years in academia and two successful startup exits, he joined Microsoft, where he works across a variety of products and projects to design technology that helps people live happier, healthier lives. Wallaert maintains an active research lab and is a frequent speaker on the science of behavior change. He is most well-known at Microsoft for creating the Bing in the Classroom program, which has helped over 7 million kids to make digital literacy a daily part of their education. Externally, he sits on the board a variety of startups and non-profits, and cultivates pro-social side projects like, which has helped underpaid women ask for and earn millions of dollars in salary increases.

  • Walls_stephen

    Stephen Walls

    Wednesday March 11th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Deputy Director & Senior Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin

    Talk to me about:

  • Higher Education Curriculum Design
  • Design Thinking in Practice and in Education
  • Marketing Research and Brand Management

    Stephen Walls serves as the Deputy Director of Business Development for Online, Continuing, and Professional Education at the University of Texas at Austin and also holds an appointment as a Senior Lecturer in the Marketing Department the university. In his Deputy Director role, he leads the diverse units at UT Austin that provide high quality education to non-degree seeking students, including the UT High School, OnRamps Dual Enrollment, University Extension, Professional Development Center, Petroleum Extension, Informal Classes, and Lifelong Learning programs. He also works with the academic units to build successful business models for new online educational offerings. As an instructor, he teaches courses on Marketing Principles, Brand Management, Integrated Marketing Communications, and Design Thinking within the BBA and MBA programs, along with the Masters in Engineering Management program. He has received a number of teaching awards since joining the McCombs faculty in 2002. Stephen completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and his MBA at the University of Texas and his BBA in Marketing at Texas A&M University.

  • Bruce_robin

    Robin Weekley Bruce

    Tuesday March 10th 9:00am – 10:00am

    CEO, Action School of Business

    Talk to me about:

  • Higher Ed
  • Socratic Learning
  • Non-traditional learning environments

    Robin Bruce is the CEO of the Acton School of Business, an award-winning entrepreneurial MBA in Austin, Texas. In her role, Robin is honored to come alongside extraordinary individuals in their journey to become principled entrepreneurs. Prior to her return to Texas, Robin was part of the Edelman team in New York City, where she helped develop the firms global Business + Social Purpose offering while working alongside Fortune 500 companies on triple bottom line business strategies. Robin holds an MBA from The Acton School of Business and a B.A. from Vanderbilt University. She received Texas Business Hall of Fame's 2010 Award for entrepreneurial achievement. Robin and her husband Taylor live in Austin, Texas with their giant goldendoodle, Cooper.

  • Weerts_emily

    Emily Weerts

    Wednesday March 11th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Director, Nucleus Learning Network

    Talk to me about:

  • Informal STEAM Education
  • Diverse Community Partnerships
  • Teaching Programming to Elementary Students

    Emily Weerts has over ten years experience as an educator and program manager for innovative learning projects in schools, museums, and outreach settings. She has developed and managed a diverse set of programs focused on STEM education, 21st Century Skills, and creative problem solving. An avid collaborator, Emily has a strong record of establishing and sustaining partnerships with educators, mentors, and learners. In 2014, she co-founded Nucleus Learning Network, a nonprofit focused on connecting stakeholders interested in enhancing Austin’s innovative learning community. Emily’s personal heroes include Jim Henson, Ada Lovelace, and Luke Skywalker.

  • Weisburg_mitch

    Mitch Weisburg

    Tuesday March 10th 3:00pm – 4:00pm

    Founding Partner, Academic Business Advisors

    Talk to me about:

  • What are the pain points your product or service addresses, and how do they affect the way you need to communicate your value proposition?
  • Who makes the decision to use your product or service in schools and how to reach them?
  • What is it going to take to reach the next two levels for your product or service?

    Mitch Weisburgh is a partner at Academic Business Advisors and has overseen development and marketing of systems, content, curriculum, and courses across the spectrum of K-12, Postsecondary, corporate training, and job readiness.

    Mitch co-authored the SIIA guide to the Postsecondary Market and is a national speaker at conferences on education technology in both K12 and higher education. He writes the PilotED blog and is on the Boards of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) Education Division and Youth Rights Media. In 2014 he co-founded Edchat Interactive, which provides live interactive online PD to share best practices among educators. In 2015 he organized the first Games for Schools Summit, which brought together individuals from different sectors of education to discuss and start planning ways to increase the use of games in schools.

  • Wescott_claire

    Claire Wescott

    Tuesday March 10th 9:00am – 10:00am

    K-4 Gifted & Talented Specialist, Metro Nashville Public Schools

    Talk to me about:

  • Challenging advanced elementary school students with techniques such as presenting open-ended inquiry, interleaving, and analyzing text-based evidence
  • Emphasizing a growth mindset for children at home & in the classroom
  • Encouraging critical & creative thinking in traditional classrooms

    Claire Wescott, M.Ed. is a gifted & talented specialist with two K-4 elementary schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She instructs over 130 young scholars each week on rotating units of inquiry. They are currently analyzing authors’ motivations in classic literature, including the work of T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, and Leo Tolstoy. Her goal is to challenge every child in the classroom using cognitive science strategies while creating the least amount of additional responsibilities for the general education teacher. She believes kindergarteners can learn to love structural engineering & e.e. cummings if you believe in their abilities & ignite their curiosities.

    She has presented to educational communities on topics such as embracing failure in gifted students, modeling a growth mindset for children, and avoiding disengagement in the classroom.

    Her work is driven by her experiences teaching elementary school, conducting literacy research at Vanderbilt University, and encouraging creativity at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School.

    She holds her M.Ed. in elementary education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

  • Willcott_julie

    Julie Willcott

    Wednesday March 11th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Science Teacher & Apple Distinguished Educator, Foxcroft Academy

    Talk to me about:

  • Facing down a classroom full of students armed with mobile devices and making the devices work towards (not against) your learning objectives
  • Being an innovative teacher - following your own drum beat and creating student success
  • Becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator - adviser, author, advocate, ambassador

    My passion is empowering students in the study of science and teachers in the use of technology in the classroom.

    I currently teach in a 1:1 iPad high school classroom in rural Maine. Courses I teach include Chemistry, Physics, Forensics, Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, and Greenhouse Management.

    I provide professional development locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. My presentations include Student Videos as Assessment Tools, iPads in the Science Classroom, Enhancing STEM Teaching and Learning, Creating Open Education Resources for your K-12 Classroom, and Challenge to Change.

  • Williams_ray

    Ray Williams

    Wednesday March 11th 10:30am – 11:30am

    Director of Education & Academic Affairs, Blanton Museum of Art

    Talk to me about:

  • Art museums and medical education.
  • Art interpretation and appreciation. Designing learning experiences for diverse audiences.
  • Socially conscious work in the arts.

    Michael Hawes is the Statistical Privacy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Education.

    Grew up in a family of educators in the mountains of western North Carolina. Pursued graduate work in art history at UNC-Chapel Hill and education at Harvard University. 25 years experience as an educator in art museum settings with particular interest in: teaching from works of art, storytelling, building community, working with immigrants, religious diversity, and therapeutic conversation about art and life.

  • Wolzak_elizabeth

    Elizabeth Wolzak

    Tuesday March 10th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Senior Manager, Instructional Design, National Geographic

    Talk to me about:

  • Becoming a leader of learning: a long and never ending road
  • Instructional design: challenges and opportunities
  • Redefining success: designing and implementing MOOCs

    Ms. Wolzak has extensive experience in face-to-face and online teaching, as well as training in post-secondary education. She has lead instructional teams in the production and delivery of technology-based learning environments for formal and informal education. Her experience includes the design and production of online instructional materials and courses for PBS TeacherLine, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and Global Climate Change and STEM PD online courses and modules funded by NASA’s Global Climate Change Education Program. Most recently, Ms. Wolzak has lead the design and development at National Geographic of teacher professional development experiences at scale, or MOOCs.

    Ms. Wolzak holds an M. Ed. from Framingham State University, Framingham, MA, an M.S. in Information Systems from ITESM, Monterrey, N.L., Mexico, and a B.S. in Chemistry. She is a certified professor of Monterrey’s Institute of Technology (ITESM). She is also certified by the University of Twente in The Netherlands as a facilitator of online training courses for professors developing courses using Project Oriented Learning.