Ron Berger is Chief Academic Officer for EL Education. EL guides a network of over 150 public schools in more than 30 states – an organization that partners with districts and charter boards to found public schools in low-income communities that send all graduates to college, and transforms existing public schools K – 12 toward high student achievement, character and citizenship. EL’s core work is building teacher capacity in schools and districts through professional coaching, resources and open-source curriculum.
Ron works closely with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he did his graduate work and teaches a course that uses exemplary student project work to illuminate standards. With Harvard colleague Steve Seidel, he founded Models of Excellence: The Center for High-Quality Student Work, an open-source collection of the nation’s best K-12 student project work and writing. He is an Annenberg Foundation Teacher Scholar, and received the Autodesk Foundation National Teacher of the Year award. He is the author of six books: An Ethic of Excellence, and A Culture of Quality; recently, Leaders of Their Own Learning, Transformational Literacy, Management in the Active Classroom, and Learning that Lasts.
Ron was a public school teacher and master carpenter in rural Massachusetts for over 25 years. His writing and speaking center on inspiring quality and character in students, specifically through project-based learning, original scientific and historical research, service learning, and the infusion of arts. He works with the national character education movement to embed character values into the core of academic work.
Kim Carter is the Executive Director of the Q.E.D. Foundation, an organization of adults and youth working together to create and sustain student-centered learning communities. 1991 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and 1996 New Hampshire Media Educator of the Year, Kim is passionate about democratic schooling, educational equity, and learning theory, and has decades of expertise in developing adult and youth capacities for co-constructing learning experiences inside and outside of school. Her expertise and interests include developing adult and youth capacities for co-constructing learning experiences and co-creating learning communities, designing and implementing highly effective learning and assessments, proficiency based pathways, high school redesign, and leveraging technology in service of all of the above. A staunch believer that we are all good learners, Kim has developed and applied her expertise designing and implementing educational programs and schools that elevate and authorize students as partners in the learning process, including Souhegan High School, Making Community Connections Charter School (MC2 School), NH and Rhode Island’s Extended Learning Opportunity Pilot programs and Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network. Kim serves on the NHASCD Executive Board, is a long-time Coalition of Essential Schools affiliate, and contributes to the Education Reimagined collaborative community.
Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Chris’s fundamental interest is developing new types of educational systems to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. His research spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, developing policies that support educational transformation, and providing leadership in educational innovation. He is currently conducting funded studies to develop and assess learning environments based on virtual worlds, augmented realities, transformed social interaction, and online teacher professional development. Dede is a leader in mobile learning initiatives and has developed a widely used Framework for scaling up educational innovations. From 2001 to 2004, he served as chair of the Learning & Teaching area at HGSE.
Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization that focuses on improving learning opportunities for student through the effective use of STEM resources. Dr. Evans has been CEO of this organization since 1999 and during that tenure has created several innovative initiatives to impact education including the heralded Speak Up Research Project which annually collects and reports on the authentic views of 500,000 K-12 students, parents and educators on education issues each year. Dr. Evans serves as the chief researcher on the Speak Up Project as well as leading research efforts on the impact of mobile devices, digital content and blended learning models in both K-12 and higher education. Over the past thirteen years, 4.5 million K-12 students, teachers and parents have participating in the Speak Up Project representing over 35,000 schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and around the world.
Prior to this position, Dr. Evans enjoyed a successful career in national and regional sales and marketing management with Unisys and two education technology startups. She is a graduate of Brown University and earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, San Diego. She serves on several boards and advisory councils including the Project Tomorrow Board of Directors, the FETC Advisory Board, the NCTET Board, Blackboard’s K-12 Advisory Council and the Reaching At-Promise Students Association (RAPSA) Advisory Board. Dr. Evans is a frequent speaker and writer on K-12 and higher education issues around digital learning. In November 2015, she was named one of the Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers nationwide by the Center for Digital Education.
Zoran Popović is an Associate Professor in computer science at University of Washington. He received a Sc.B. with Honors from Brown University, and M.S. and Ph.D in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Zoran’s research interests lie in computer graphics and interactive games research, focusing on scientific discovery through game play, learning games, high-fidelity human modeling and animation, and control of realistic natural motion. He recently lead the team that produced Foldit, a biochemistry games whose outcomes are now published in Nature. His contributions to the field of computer graphics have been recently recognized by a number of awards including the NSF CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.
Jacob is a 2016 Eye to Eye Think Different Diplomat and a student at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.