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Senior Analyst, OECD Centre for Educational Research & Innovation
Tracey Burns is a Senior Analyst in the OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. She heads a portfolio of projects including 21st Century Children, Trends Shaping Education and Innovative Teaching for Effective Learning. Previous to her time at the OECD she worked on social determinants of health and well-being. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The University of British Columbia, Dr. Burns led a research team investigating newborn infants' responses to language, and was an award-winning lecturer on infant and child development. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including The University of British Colombia Post-Doctoral Fellowship and the American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Awards. Tracey holds a B.A. from McGill University, Canada, and an M.A. and Doctor of Philosophy in psychology from Northeastern University, USA.
Chief Superintendent of Schools, Calgary Board of Education
From a very early age, Christopher recognized the value of public education and its power to transform lives. He now has 30 years of experience as an educator. Before joining the CBE, he spent 28 years with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), holding several positions including teacher, principal, Superintendent of Student Success, Associate Director and Executive Superintendent. Before joining the TDSB, Christopher taught in an Indigenous community in northern Manitoba. At every level, he actively engaged and collaborated with educators and partners to support student success.
Christopher Usih is the new Chief Superintendent of Schools at the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). He officially started his work with the CBE, Alberta’s largest school board, in December 2018
CEO, ISTE Author, Speaker & Innovator
Richard Culatta, chief executive officer, brings vast experience in education policy, teacher preparation, educational technology and innovation to his role with ISTE.
Culatta is a longtime ISTE member and a past recipient of the ISTE Making IT Happen Award.
Prior to joining ISTE, Culatta served as the chief innovation officer for the state of Rhode Island. In this role, he focused on developing partnerships to improve opportunities for students, including launching a program to make Rhode Island the first state to offer computer science in every K-12 school and creating a state vision for personalized learning.
As the director of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology, Culatta was at the helm of numerous efforts to expand connectivity to schools across the country, promote personalized learning and develop the National Education Technology Plan. He also pioneered new ways for the department to engage with educators and tech developers.
Prior to his role with the Department of Education, Culatta served as an education policy adviser to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. He was also the learning technologies adviser for the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University where he redesigned the technology component of the teacher prep program. He also served as the director of operations for the Rose Education Foundation, which brought the first internet connections to schools in rural Guatemala.
Culatta began his career in the classroom as a high school teacher and, across his career, has coached educators and national leaders around the world on using technology as a tool to reimagine learning.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish teaching and a master's in educational psychology and technology, both from Brigham Young University.
Melissa is an award-winning Educator, specialized in EdTech, STEM, Music/Arts Integration, and Project-Based Learning from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is the founder and president of Middle Years Esport Manitoba and the Canadian Middle School Esport Association, and actively involved in scholastic esports advocacy, research, and publication. To learn more about scholastic esports in Canada please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MelissaBurnsEDU
Computer Scientist, Educational Theorist
In 1999, Sugata Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC and left it there, with a hidden camera filming the area. What they saw: kids from the slum playing with the computer and, in the process, learning how to use it -- then teaching each other. These famed “Hole in the Wall” experiments demonstrated that, in the absence of supervision and formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other -- if they’re motivated by curiosity. Mitra, now a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, called it "minimally invasive education."
Mitra thinks self-organized learning will shape the future of education. At TED2013, he made a bold TED Prize wish: Help me build a School in the Cloud where children can explore and learn on their own -- and teach one another -- using resources from the worldwide cloud.
The School in the Cloud now includes seven physical locations -- five in India and two in the UK. At the same time, the School in the Cloud online platform lets students participate anywhere, with partner learning labs and programs in countries like Colombia. Pakistan and Greece. In 2016, Mitra held the first School in the Cloud conference in India. He shared that more than 16,000 SOLE sessions had taken place so far, with kids all around the world dipping their toes in this new education model.
CEO, Osiris Educational
Stephen aims to bring access to the front edge of developments in schools colleges and learning from across the world.
With 25 years experience of leading Osiris Educational he has worked with more than 10,000 schools across 50 countries.
His passions include; impacting positively on children’s lives, research, implementation, learning, evaluation, CPD, talent development, education leadership and automaticity.
Director of Sales – Canada for Wacom
Dave is Director of Sales – Canada for Wacom and he brings many years of working in the computer hardware industry. Dave has a passion for both K-12 and higher education and has been instrumental in introducing Canadian educators to Wacom pen tablet and pen display solutions. He is a graduate of The University of British Columbia.
Founder, New EdTech Classroom
Sam Kary is the founder of New EdTech Classroom, a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching teachers how to create engaging, innovative, 21st century learning spaces. Sam is a former classroom teacher and instructional coach of a decade who spent his early career deeply skeptical of technology’s role in education. Now, he works full time helping teachers learn how to use technology to design innovative interactive, authentic learning experiences that cultivate students’ skills in the 4 Cs. Sam is a Google Certified Trainer, National Geographic Certified Educator, and ISTE presenter, and his work has been featured in Forbes for supporting teachers during emergency distance learning. Follow him on Twitter @newedtechclass, and download his free Teaching with Technology Starter Kit at newedtechclassroom.com/starterkit
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Digital Media Instructor, Web Developer, and Research Engineer
As a user focused software engineer, Chris Kim is in pursuit of using technology to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and address today’s talent gap in digital media. Trained in media production and information visualization, Chris works with institutional stakeholders, including University of Toronto, DARPA, and MIT, to build platforms that democratize AI and promote human-in-the-loop automation. Chris also operates a software studio Fresco Industries (https://frescoindustries.com), where he works with emerging talents in promoting underserved communities and facilitating youth entrepreneurship.
Professor Emeritus, York University
Dr. Ron Owston is University Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at York University, as well as former Dean of the Faculty of Education, and founding Director of the Institute for Research in Learning Technologies.
A pioneer in teaching and learning with the web since its early days, Dr. Owston specializes in the evaluation of technology-based educational programs in K12, government, higher education, and continuing professional education. He has spoken at numerous national and international conferences about blended and online learning, authored/co-authored some 50 commissioned studies, and published over 60 articles in top-tier journals, including Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record, Research in the Teaching of English, Journal of Computer-Based Instruction, Journal of Information Technology in Teacher Education, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Internet & Higher Education, and Journal of Research on Computing in Education.
Dr. Owston published one of the first academic examinations of the role of the Web for teaching and learning in Educational Researcher in 1997. His work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Health Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Canadian Fund for Innovation, and a variety of school districts and industry partners. Over the last several years his publications have addressed blended learning in higher education courses.
Currently, Dr. Owston ranks among the most cited blended learning researchers in the world in Google Scholar. Having retired from York in 2018, he is now actively engaged in research, consulting, and public speaking, and is a research associate at Contact North|Contact Nord, where he leads a successful series of webinars on the use of Zoom for teaching which over 10,000 educators around the world have registered for or downloaded.
Senior Education Strategist, Dell Technologies
Katina Papulkas is an Education Strategist at Dell Technologies and is committed to serving students from K-20 across Canada. Katina is an experienced educator with a background in teaching, online learning, educational leadership, assessment, and educational technology. In her two-decade tenure in education she has been an elementary teacher and a central instructional leader where she designed and implemented system-wide initiatives around the effective integration of technology into the curriculum. Additionally, Katina served as an administrator of a middle school at the Toronto District School Board. Most recently, she was the Director of Educational Partnerships at Television Ontario (TVO) where she focused on the design and development of digital learning resources in a cross functional and agile environment. Katina holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Technology from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Director of Research, Innovations and Change Management at District scolaire francophone Sud
Dr. Mario Chiasson is known for his practical insights on learning innovation. He is experienced and equipped to make big things happen. As the founder of My Learning My Space, Mario has helped countless organizations and institutions (schools, districts, ministries, colleges, universities, business and communities) to navigate through disruptive change, develop innovation capabilities and drive continuous improvement. From startups and small projects to educational and community reform.
Mario is a researcher that focuses on the design of spaces that influence the learning and the teaching process of new skills aligned with the innovative society. He holds a Bachelors degree in Physical Education with two concentration (Math and Science), a Masters in school administration with a focus on ICT and a Ph.D in Education at Université de Moncton, New-Brunswick, Canada. He is a Microsoft Innovative Teacher, a Cisco IT Essential Teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator, an Apple Certified Trainer.
Chief Learning Office & CFO, C21 Canada
Karen has enjoyed a 37-year career in leadership and collaboration with an ongoing focus on learning innovations in technology and assessment. Karen has been privileged to serve leader roles of influence in classrooms, schools, professional networks, district, government and post-secondary organizations, with continued service nationally and internationally.
Director of Education, Ottawa Catholic School Board
Thomas D’Amico was appointed Director of Education and Secretary-Treasurer of the Ottawa Catholic School Board in August 2020. Previous to that, he served as the Associate Director of Education from 2015 to 2020. Mr. D’Amico has over 30 years of experience in education, including as a teacher, school administrator, and Superintendent of Human Resources and Superintendent of Learning Technologies. He is an award-winning educator recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Canada’s Outstanding Principal award. As a Superintendent, he received the EXL award to recognize excellence among members of the superintendency.
Mr. D’Amico holds a Bachelor of Education and a Masters in Physical Education from the University of Ottawa. He obtained his Honours in Physical Education from McMaster University. Tom also holds an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management from the University of Windsor Law Department. On a personal level, Tom is involved with his local parish, St. John the Evangelist. He is also an off-ice official with the NHL. Tom and his wife Michelle have two daughters, Laura and Christina, both graduates of the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, Director, Learning Sciences & Health Professions Education
Adam Dubé is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program of the Educational and Counselling Psychology Department at McGill University, the head of the Technology, Learning, & Cognition Lab (mcgill.ca/tlc), and a joint Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the Society of Research in Child Development in middle childhood education and development. He investigates how educational technology augments the learning process and teaches courses on the use of emerging educational technologies. His work on the use of tablet computers in education is published in book “Understanding tablets from early childhood to adulthood: Encounters with touch technology.” One focus area of his research asks whether educational tablet math games are able to simultaneously entertain and educate and it is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada as well as the Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Société et Culture. Another recent focus area is on how the use of digital assistants (smart speakers) affects the development of children's theories of artificial minds and is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Altogether, Dr. Dubé's work on educational technology has gone so far as to inform the recent United Nations industry Guidelines on Digital Learning.
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Cofounder & CEO, Edsby
John obtained an Honours B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto and began his career in 1980 at Nortel Networks. After a few short years of programming activity John moved into management and by 1994 was the Vice-president and General Manager of Nortel’s global messaging business unit. Under John’s leadership over the next six years this business unit grew each year to exceed US$300M in revenue in 2000 and was one of Nortel’s most profitable and high-growth business units. John left Nortel in early 2001 to join his former colleagues at Centrinity (TSX:CTI) and was the CEO and a member of the Board of Directors when the company was acquired by Open Text in 2002. After the acquisition John continued to lead the team as General Manager until his departure in early 2010, delivering consistent growth and strong operating margins. As co-founder and president, John continues to do what he has done for the last 20 or so years – which is to manage a growing and profitable environment in which a team of enthusiastic and very talented people can build innovative products that both delight and bring true value to a wide range of customers.
Award-winning, internationally recognized entrepreneur, learning architect, speaker, author, humanitarian, and Canada’s top 10 power women 2020.
Dr. Billan is the President and CEO of Viewpoint Leadership and an expert on Psychological Capital. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto and has designed and facilitated programs, courses, and training sessions across industries and sectors. She led the groundbreaking national research study on Tall Poppy Syndrome which reveals the impact of the silent systemic syndrome on women in the workplace. In 2020, she co-led the Canadian Happiness at Work study, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, and was the inaugural National Ambassador for the Not Myself Today® campaign with CMHA.
Dr. Billan was named Canada’s Top 10 Power Women in 2020, and has been twice named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Founder & CEO, edWeb.net
Lisa Schmucki is the founder and CEO of edWeb.net, an award-winning professional learning network that serves the global education community. edWeb helps educators share their best ideas and practices to improve teaching and learning, and prepare students to be successful in life. Previously, Lisa held senior marketing and product development positions in education, publishing and media with Time, Macmillan, Peterson's, Films Media Group, and Achieve3000. She is a graduate of Princeton University and works with the university on issues of undergraduate social life and community service. Lisa has a Masters Degree from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Lisa has served on the board of the SIIA Education Technology Industry Network and is on the Advisory Council for the ERDI Education Impact Alliance.
President & Chief Executive Officer, NELSON
Steve Brown has made his mark in Canada and Internationally by leading organizations through digital transformation. His career spans a diverse mix of industry and technology experience from multi-media entertainment, logistics services, automotive, and now to learning solutions.
Since joining NELSON in September 2016, Steve has transformed the vision for this 104-year-old company by reimagining the role and purpose of a publisher in 2017 and beyond. Introducing a matrix driven view to the management culture, and unifying a K20 student-centric business division is at the core of this shift to a cohesive customer focused structure. He has reframed the organization’s digital competency by instituting a technology department comprised of some the world’s best and brightest talent based in Silicon Beach California. Additionally, over the past 12 months the company has engaged in various M&A activities, including the acquisition of one of its largest competitors, as well as signing numerous agency and partnership deals to ensure NELSON offers a world class portfolio of learning solution and for all its markets.
Steve’s passion and commitment to transforming education, and the student learning experience, continues to fuel the innovation pipeline at NELSON.
Executive Officer – IT Services, TDSB
Peter brings 23+ years of K-12 sector technology know-how to his CTO portfolio. He has been at the forefront of bringing innovative technologies to the Toronto District School Board. He’s a practitioner of emotional intelligence who is spearheading the TDSB “Information Technology Services” team from a digital era to Quantum Age of Information Technology.
Chief Executive Officer of Contact North | Contact Nord
Maxim Jean-Louis is President – Chief Executive Officer of Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education and Training Network, headquartered in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Maxim worked in senior management roles for over 15 years at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada’s open university.
He is also a member of the Comité consultatif en matière d’éducation postsecondaire en langue française dans les régions du Centre et du Sud-ouest.
Maxim is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the World University Service of Canada and of the Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario, as well as a past member of Ontario’s Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board, and he served as a member of the Canadian Advisory Mission to support the implementation of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF) by the South African Qualifications Authority. He also served as President of Collège des Grands Lacs, one of Ontario’s three French-language community colleges.
In 2011, Maxim was appointed Special Advisor to Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities for an Ontario Online Institute, producing a 125-page report and recommendations to the Minister on opportunities for online learning in the province.
Member Board Of Directors at BC Council for International Education, CEO/Superintendent of Schools BC
Ms. Patricia Gartland has been Superintendent of Schools for School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) since 2015 and is responsible for overseeing B.C.'s third largest school district with 32,000 students and 4,000 employees in over 70 schools and facilities.
Ms. Gartland attended school in Coquitlam and graduated from Centennial Secondary School. During her career Patricia has filled a variety of roles as French Immersion teacher, Teacher-Librarian, Program Coordinator, K-12 School Administrator, District Principal, and Director of Instruction, among several other senior leadership positions leading to her present role as Superintendent.
Ms. Gartland has also served a leadership role in School District 43 as the Assistant Superintendent – International and Continuing Education. Over a decade ago, she instituted what has become one of the most successful revenue generating International Education Programs in B.C. through the implementation of her vision for the internationalization of the school district and its communities – "guiding global citizens, becoming tomorrow's leaders."
Ms. Gartland holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature from UBC, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from SFU, and is proficient in several languages. She has earned the accolades of her many colleagues and peers including being presented with the BCCIE Distinguished Leadership Award in 2012.
Ms. Gartland is committed to team work and collaboration with district staff and community partners to ensure personal, social and career success for all students within the school district.
Award-winning Canadian Author
It all began in 1993 when Eric was teaching a Grade 5 class. His students were reluctant readers and writers, and Eric began to write to encourage them to become more involved in literature. His first novel, Stand Your Ground, was created for this class. It is set in the school where Eric was teaching, Vista Heights Public School, and some of the features of the community of Streetsville and many of the names of his students were incorporated into the story.
Since his first novel Eric has exploded on the children’s and young adult scene. Over the past two decades he has published 104 more novels and picture books with eight more scheduled in the coming years.
These novels have been enthusiastically received by children and young adults and critically acclaimed by teachers, reviewers and parents. Eric’s novels have won more than 100 awards including eleven separate children’s choice awards. He is the only three-time winner of both the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch and four-time winner of the Red Maple Award – in which over 250,000 students participate and vote the winner. In November 2013 he received the prestigious Children’s Africana Book Award – Best Book for young children – for his book The Matatu. This American award was presented to Eric in a ceremony at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. In 2017 he won the prestigious Sakura Medal give to the favorite book of International students in Japan.
Eric’s novels are now available in places as far award as New Zealand, Australia, India and Nepal and have been translated into more than a dozen languages including French, German, Japanese, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese.
Eric has presented to more than 1,500,000 students across North America and internationally in Japan, Kenya and Germany. His presentations blend drama, storytelling, audience participation and interaction. He presents to students from K – Grade 12 as well as adult groups and has been a keynote speaker at a variety of conferences.