Keynote and Featured Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Monday Keynote: Dean Shareski

Dean Shareski

Dean Shareski is the Community Manager for Discovery Education Canada. He taught grades 1-8 for 14 years and spent 9 as a digital learning consultant for Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, SK. In addition he teaches pre-service teachers at the University of Regina, and has written and taught Masters courses at Wilkes University. His blog consistently ranks among the top educational blogs. He also blogs for Tech Learning and the Huffington Post. In 2010 he won the ISTE Award for Outstanding Leader of the Year. Dean has had the opportunity to speak to a variety of education audiences both nationally and internationally. His passion remains helping teachers explore the affordances of technology for learning. Dean believes humor and humility go a long way in supporting and advocating transformational practices in teaching and learning.

Tuesday Keynote: Carl Hooker

Carl Hooker

Carl Hooker has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration since becoming an educator. His unique blend of educational background, technical expertise, and humor make him a successful driving force for this change. As Director of Innovation and Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, he has helped spearhead the launch the LEAP program (Learning & Engaging through Access and Personalization), which put one-to-one iPads in the hands of all K-12 students in his 8000-student district. He is also the founder of“iPadpalooza” – a three-day “learning festival”in celebration of the shift mobile devices have brought about in education and beyond. He’s been named Tech & Learning Magazine’s 2014 Leader of the Year and is a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2013.He’s published the first four books of a six-book series titled Mobile Learning Mindset, a guide for teachers, administrators, parents and others to support and embrace mobile learning in our schools. Follow him on twitter @mrhooker and his blog:

Featured Speakers

Dr. Buddy Berry will take us through his journey in reimagining Eminence Independent Schools to design a next generation “Dream School” rooted in personalized learning, and centered around innovation and creativity. The Eminence Independent school district has redesigned its instructional experience for kindergarten through 12th-­‐grade students with its Framework of Innovation for Reinventing Education model using online, blended and competency-­based education in their quest to be the Disney World of Schools. Dr. Berry is in his 7th year as Superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools. He holds a Bachelors in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Kentucky, a Masters in Secondary Counseling from the University of Louisville, a Masters in Instructional Leadership from Bellarmine University, a Superintendency Certificate from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Doctorate of Education from Northern Kentucky University. Dr. Berry served on the Board for the Fund for Transforming Education, has been a Highly Skilled Educator with the Kentucky Department of Education, is a University of Kentucky Next Genera=on Academy Fellow, and developed the School on F.I.R.E. (Framework of Innovation for Reinventing Education) Model. The School on FIRE Model has become a model for innovation, personalization, inspiration, and next practice.

Barbara Bray is a writer, speaker, instructional designer and creative learning strategist who enjoys connecting people and ideas around transforming education. She co-founded Personalize Learning, LLC and is co-author of Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning with Kathleen McClaskey. She has focused on creating learner-centered environments for over 25 years and coined the term “Making Learning Personal” in 2000 because she believed that education really needs to be
all about our learners and learning first.

Barbara loves to blog on her website Rethinking Learning ( and is the Founder/Owner of My eCoach ( My eCoach is based on a coaching platform for teachers because they are learners too and need ongoing support as they change teaching practice. She wrote the professional development column for CUE for 17 years and received the CUE Gold and Platinum disks for her contributions to educational technology for the advancement of teaching and learning.

Barbara is passionate about writing, sharing stories of transforming learning, and facilitating change. She is encouraged when she sees teachers and administrators immersing themselves in challenges that stretch their minds and imagination. She loves combining the neuroscience of learning with the design-thinking process and project-based learning in a learner-centered environment. Barbara helps schools and organizations develop sustainable coaching programs, design professional learning to transform teaching practice and guide the redesign of flexible learning spaces. She enjoys working with leadership teams in guiding change so all stakeholders are committed to a shared vision around teaching and learning.

Leslie Fishers interest in technology began while studying music at the University of Southern California. She quickly realized the value of utilizing computers for music mixing and recording. She grabbed her 300 baud modem, jumped on the Internet (before anyone really called it the internet) and started looking for music resources. She soon realized she was spending more time discovering technology than playing music so she changed her major and tried to figure out what geeky thing she could do for the rest of her life.

After graduating from USC with a Business and Marketing degree in 1989 and a quick stint as a Trainer, Leslie joined Apple Computer in 1992. When the Internet took off in 1994, Leslie was one of the first Apple employees assigned to study Internet growth and implementation.

In 1997, Leslie was roadkill on Apple’s road to recovery and part of their massive lay off. Leslie planned to spend most of her huge severance package golfing and waiting a few months to look for a job. The day after her layoff, her phone began to ring with Apple customers requesting consulting, training and presentation services. Before she could say fore, Fisher Technologies Inc. was created to help educators with their technology implementations and decisions.
Fisher Technologies Inc. is now a worldwide company (meaning one employee named Leslie gets to travel the world teaching) specializing in presenting emerging and exciting technology solutions to educators all over the world.

Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He is committed to rewriting the traditional educational narrative. Brad believes that schools can be spaces where high levels of learning, creativity, and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. His passion for leadership and learning is palpable.

Brad is Minnesota’s 2016 National Distinguished Principal and a 2015 Digital Innovation in Learning Award (DILA) winner. He earned his Doctoral degree at Bethel University where his research focused on innovation and professional development.

Brad co-hosts the “UnearthED” program on the Bam Radio Network, and also writes about creativity, student voice, and technology. His blog, Adjusting Course, was named a “Must Read” K-12 blog by EdTech magazine, and was also recognized with an Editor’s Choice Content Award by Smartbrief Education.

In addition to blogging, Brad recently co-authored Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development. His new book, Renegade Leadership: Creating Innovative Schools for Digital Age Learners, will be released in October of 2016.

You can connect with him on Twitter @GustafsonBrad or find more information at

A much older version of Christian Long – many years into the future – can be found in semi-­‐retirement at a tree-­‐covered summer camp where he’ll continue to marvel first-­‐hand at the shared joy of children and adults alike. Prior to that imagined professional shift, he feels blessed to spend his days as a merger between ‘papa’, educator, designer, school planner, plausible futures dabbler, and an unapologetic advocate for wonder and curiosity as the root of all learning worth doing. Christian is the co-­‐founder of WONDER (by Design): A Learning and Design Expedition, a collaborative multi-­‐disciplined venture that explores the future of learning thru a human-­‐ centered design lens. He is also the proud founder of Prototype Design Studio, an on-­‐going experimentation in social-­‐driven design done in partnership with students, teachers, professional creatives, and community leaders around the world. Christian speaks internationally on topics ranging from design thinking mindsets, trends in education, emerging technologies, and innovative school design practices. He also embraces any chance to talk passionately about the hero’s journey, wonder and curiosity.

In past chapters of his design career, he served as Vice President for Cannon Design, supporting their global K-­‐12 and Higher Education practices, while also co-­‐leading the firm’s innovative The Third Teacher+ studio; founded Be Playful, a collaborative global design agency focused on the intersection between school planning/design, emerging technology, professional development, and future trending; served as President/CEO of DesignShare, a global research and consulting practice dedicated to the school architecture/planning industry; and was the Director of Research for Learning Environments for Huckabee, a K-­‐12 architecture firm in Texas. Beyond his work in the school design industry, he spent 15 years as an educator, coach, program director, and experiential education leader in the US, as well as an educator in Tokyo, Japan and on the Navajo Reservation (New Mexico). He also authored and directed an innovative architecture, design, and planning program for urban high school students in Washington D.C. and was a volunteer educator at the National Building Museum. Additionally, he has been very active in the global TED / TEDx communities. He founded and co-­‐led TEDxBloomington (where 2 of the speakers are now ranked in the 20 most viewed TEDx talks globally) and TEDxYouth@Columbus, as well as receiving the only TEDx license in the world for a non-­‐event for the TEDxClassroomProject which he co-­‐created with a group of his past high school students in Texas. He has also spoken at TEDxGreenville, TEDxOverlake, TEDxFurmanU(niversity), and TEDxIndianapolis.

Christian has served as a national juror on the American Institute of Architects annual school architecture awards program as well as for the global Design for Change program that empowers children to design solutions for the world’s greatest problems. He also served on CEFPI’s (Council for Educational Facility Planners International) World Conference 2010 / San Jose (CA) planning team, the national CEFPI Innovation planning team, and the CEFPI Southern Region planning team. Christian holds a master’s degree in education, with a concentration in school design, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was also a member of Boston’s Codman Academy planning team serving under founder Meg Campbell. He received a bachelor’s degree in English and a certificate of secondary education from Indiana University (Bloomington), was a Klingenstein Summer Fellow for emerging school leaders at Teachers College, Columbia University, and participated in extended professional development at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Christian is married to Karla, a brilliant middle school principal, social studies teacher and experiential education leader. They have 2 young children (Beckett, class of 2025, and Berkeley, class of 2027) that wonderfully help shape (and challenge) everything they know about education and learning.

Sean Martinson is a northern Minnesota husband, father, and Elementary School Principal. He has four amazing children and is currently the Principal at Murphy Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Sean holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Technology, Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, and his favorite, from where it all started: an Associate in Arts degree from THE Itasca Community College, WHICH IS A GREAT PLACE TO START (and where he just so happened to meet his AMAZING wife who currently teaches Kindergarten)! Sean also holds Minnesota K-12 Principal and Superintendent licensures.Sean looks to empower learners by overcoming barriers and obstacles. His current focus in EdTech areas relate to: providing purpose and wider audiences for students through social networking and digital portfolios, engaging learners through hands on technological tools and concepts, bridging geographical barriers through video conferencing, and improving home-school connections and communication utilizing digital tools, practices, and social media. He is also exploring the impact of technology related to the social emotional learning of elementary aged children.

Outside of education Sean is passionate first and foremost about his faith and his family. What room is left is saved for good music, Hiit Training, and anything and everything NASA related. He may appear calm and quiet, but once you get to know him, good luck shutting him up.

Sean can be found online at: ~ ~ ~ ~ and is always only a phone call or text away: 218-259-3129.

Pernille Ripp is an expert in literacy and technology integration and dedicates her research and practice to developing engaged and empowered students and communities. She is a teacher, speaker, author, blogger, and passionate advocate for education. She is a Skype Master Teacher; Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert; recipient of the 2015 WEMTA Making IT Happen Award; and the 2015 ISTE Award for Innovation in Global Collaboration.

In 2010, Pernille founded The Global Read Aloud, a global literacy initiative that began with a simple goal in mind: one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to connect more than 1,000,000 students in 60 different countries.

She is author of Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students, now in its second edition, and Empowered Schools, Empowered Students, both focusing on creating learning spaces and communities where students thrive and all stakeholders are empowered and passionate about learning. Her work has also been featured by many print and online journals including Edutopia, School Library Journal, The Guardian, andMiddleWeb.

You can follow Pernille’s work on Blogging Through The Fourth Dimension, her personal blog and a frequent Teach100 top rated education blog. With her mentoring, her own students blogs’ have had more than 600,000 unique views since they began.

Pernille’s current research interest is in creating passionate literacy environments within the restriction of our current educational systems to helping students fall in love with literacy again. She uses her own classroom as a laboratory as well as the many educators she works with across the country.

Andrew Stillman led youth conservation and teen job skills programs in the Pacific Northwest prior to a ten year stint in the New York City Department of Education, where he worked as a science and math teacher, and later as founding assistant principal and engineering educator for the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering in Harlem, NYC. Andrew is best known to the edtech community for his work as Director of Systems Development at New Visions for Public Schools, where he built a suite of free, popular Add-ons and Scripts for Google Apps, including Doctopus, autoCrat, and formMule. In Spring 2016, Andrew joined Amplified IT as Chief Product Officer, where he is now leading the development of a new generation of Chrome extensions, apps, and Add-ons for educators and GAFE admins. When Andrew is not coding, he loves working on “maker” projects with his two young kids, cooking spicy food, or riding his bike.

Tony Vincent

The only thing Tony Vincent likes better than teaching is learning. He enjoys technology because it continually gives him something new to learn. Since 1998 he’s been a pioneer in digital learning, having a class website where his fifth graders in Omaha, Nebraska shared their writing, art, and projects with the world. In 2001 he had a 1:1 classroom full of Palm Pilots, and in 2004 he started one of the first podcasts by kids. Today Tony Vincent lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa and works as a self-employed consultant. He’s on a mission to help teachers be their best by connecting them with technology. He has traveled to 41 states, Canada, Australia, England, and the Caribbean to facilitate workshops and to make presentations. Tony has authored books, produced videos, created infographics, co-developed an iPad app, and blogged about learning and technology. You can find his work at And, if you spend a little time with Tony, you’re likely to hear about his twins, who turn 4 in December.