NCTIES Conference 2017

Keynote Speakers

George Couros

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George Couros is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked with all levels of school--from K-12 as a teacher and technology facilitator, school and district administrator, and is the author of the book “The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity.” He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools and organizations around the globe. George is also the creator of Connected, an initiative that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students.

Although George is a leader in the area of innovation, his focus is always the development of leadership and people and what is best for learners. His belief that, meaningful change happens when you first connect to people’s hearts, is modelled in his writing and speaking. You can connect with George on his blog, “The Principal of Change” (located at or through Twitter (@gcouros).

Come see George during his sessions!
Closing Keynote
Friday, March 3, 1:30-2:45pm
RCC Ballroom A & B

Blogging as Professional and Student Portfolio
Thursday, March 2, 3:00-3:45pm
RCC Ballroom B

Creating Blended Learning Environments
Friday, March 3, 9:00-9:45am
RCC Ballroom B

Jennie Magiera

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Jennie Magiera is the Chief Technology Officer for Des Plaines School District 62, previously the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership and a Chicago Public Schools math teacher. A White House Champion for Change, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google for Education Certified Innovator and TEDx Speaker, Jennie has been working to redefine teaching and learning through innovative new practices. Jennie is also passionate about transforming professional learning, having served on the Technical Working Group for the US Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan and co-founding PLAYDATE and other new conference concepts. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Courageous Edventures. Aside from her students, Jennie's great loves in life are sci-fi, mashed potatoes, Tabasco sauce, her dog and her husband. You can follow Jennie on Twitter at @MsMagiera and learn more about her work and her book at
Come see Jennie at her sessions!
Opening Keynote
Thursday, March 2, 8:30-9:45am
RCC Ballroom A & B

PD Is Not a 4-Letter Word: Making
PD Playful
Thursday, March 2, 1:00-2:30pm
RCC Ballroom C

Featured Speakers

Richard Byrne

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Richard Byrne is a former high school social studies teacher best known for developing the award-winning blog Free Technology for Teachers. He has been invited to speak at events on six continents and would gladly speak in Antarctica too. Richard’s work is focused on sharing free resources that educators can use to enhance their students’ learning experiences.

Richard’s print work includes a monthly column for School Library Journal, contributing author to What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media, and contributions to Teacher Librarian. Richard lives in Woodstock, Maine with his loyal dogs Max and Mason.

Come see Richard at his sessions!
Planning & Producing Video Projects
Wednesday, March 1, 1:00-4:00pm
RCC 202

Best of the Web 2017
Thursday, March 2, 3:00-3:45pm
RCC Ballroom B

Fake News & Search Strategies
Friday, March 3, 9:00-9:45am
RCC Ballroom A

How to Be Your Own Ed Tech Guru

Friday, March 3, 11:30-12:15pm
RCC Ballroom A

Jeff Crews & Dean Phillips

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Dean and Jeff founded Beyond the Chalk because they believe in the power of education and the need to continuously provide transformational learning experiences for our teachers and students. They feel technology, when used effectively as a tool by teachers and students, can facilitate the change from the traditional form of education to a 21st century paradigm. They are committed to providing a set of rich and diverse professional development experiences for all educators. These experiences focus on the integration of technology across grade levels, content domains, and skills levels. We offer trainings around the state and provide school-based professional development as well.
Jeff serves as adjunct faculty for Lesley University where he travels to different location around the country to teach masters’ level classes to teachers pursuing an advanced degree. He also has served as adjunct for The University of Montana where he taught the elementary science methods and the instructional technology courses.
Dean currently works as a professional speaker, technology integration specialist, and an educational coach and advisor for districts across the country.
Both Dean and Jeff are Google Certified Teacher, a Google Authorized Education Trainer, and Google Geo Certified Teacher, a members of Google Geo for Higher Education, and currently sit on the Google Geo Advisory Board.

Come see Dean and Jeff at their NCTIES sessions!
Step into the Classroom of the Future: Using Virtual Reality to Engage Learners
Wednesday, March 1 9:00-12:00
RCC Room 201

Make a Break(outEDU) for It!
Wednesday, March 1, 1:00- 4:00
RCC Room 204

Information Overload! Taming your ever increasing workload with digital tools
Thursday, March 2, 10:00-11:30
RCC Ballroom C

Breaking the Breakout Barrier: Creating your own 100% digital breakout experience
Friday, March 3, 9:45-11:15
RCC Ballroom C

Darren Hudgins

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Darren Hudgins is a former secondary education teacher, staff developer, Google Certified Innovator, and coach that joined the Organization for Educational Technology and Curriculum (OETC) team in 2007. Since becoming the Director of Instructional Technology, he has had the pleasure of leading, facilitating, keynoting and developing effective technology integration programs in districts to foster unique learning experiences. In addition to his professional development responsibilities, he is the OETC events lead for several different boutique events (IntegratED Portland | AcceleratED Portland and SPARK to name a few.).

Along with a passion to improve education and thrive in the human condition; Darren holds a M.Ed. along with dual bachelor's degrees in Human Development and Social Sciences.
Come see Darren at his sessions!
Game Design Thinking: Dream | Design | Draw | Play | Reflect
Wednesday, March 1, 1:00-4:00pm
RCC 307

People Tell All Kinds Of Stories
Thursday, March 2, 11:00-11:45am
RCC Ballroom A

Fiction Can Be Fun:
Is That True In A Post Truth Era?
Friday, March 3, 11:30-1:00pm
RCC Ballroom C

Lucas Gillispie & Alicia Ray

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Lucas Gillispie (@lucasgillispie) - Lucas Gillispie is Director of Academic and Digital Learning for Surry County Schools in North Carolina. A passionate gamer and educator, Lucas explores the intersection of games and learning. He is the creator of the WoWinSchool Project, exploring the educational potential of online games like World of Warcraft with middle schoolers, was one of the earliest pioneers to bring Minecraft into classrooms, and is working to build game-inspired professional development for teachers in his district through his EPIC Academy program. He shares gaming resources with educators and even makes an occasional blog post at:

Alica Ray (@iluveducating) - Alicia Ray is the Digital Learning Coach at Flat Rock Elementary School in the Surry County Schools system. Alicia holds a Master of Library Science, as well as a Master of Arts in Education in Instructional Technology from East Carolina University. Her interests include infusing technology into education seamlessly and effectively. She is particularly interested in gamification and gaming in education, as well as blended environments and computer science in the elementary school. Alicia is currently using MinecraftEdu and 3DGameLab in an elementary school environment and transforming her media center to include a designated makerspace area. She is a blogger at

Come see Lucas and Alicia at their sessions!

Jennifer LaGarde

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Jennifer LaGarde (aka library girl!) is the Lead School Library Media Coordinator/Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist for New Hanover County Schools in Wilmington, NC. With over 18 years experience in public education, Jennifer has been a classroom teacher, school library media coordinator, district level leader and educational consultant for the NC Dept of Public Instruction. Jennifer is a past winner of the ALA, New York Times and Carnegie Corporation’s "I Love My Librarian Award" and she was also named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker” for her efforts as a school library advocate. Jennifer earned her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English/Language Arts from the University of NC at Wilmington. And she earned her Master’s in Library Science from the Appalachian State University. She also holds National Board Certification in the area of School Library Media. Jennifer has published numerous articles on best educational practices for journals like Teacher Librarian and Knowledge Quest. She is also the author of the award winning blog The Adventures of Library Girl where she proves you don’t have to be super hero to be a teacher librarian, but having a cape sure helps.
Come see Jennifer during her sessions!
#MacGyverLibrarianship 2.0: Reality TV Edition
Wednesday, March 1, 9am-noon.
RCC Room 204

Evernote for Administrators: Harnessing Evernote to Power Up Building Level Leadership
Thursday, March 2 1:00-1:45pm
RCC Ballroom B

Choose Your Own Adventure! Creating Personalized Professional Development
Thursday, March 2, 3:00-4:30pm
RCC Ballroom C

Read, Tweet, Repeat. Using Social Media To Cultivate Communities of Readers
Friday, March 3 10:30-11:15am
RCC Ballroom A

Dee Lanier

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Dee has vast experience in leadership and consultation for program development, particularly in the area of diversity goal-setting and training. He is the Executive Director of UNCOMMEN a cause organization that exists to encourage men to be better Leaders, Husbands, and Dads. He is also a technology coach EduTechServe which provides technology training for individuals, families, and learning communities.
Come see Dee at his sessions!
#MakerKitchen, Chopped-Like Edition
Thursday, March 2, 10:00-11:30
Marriott University

Unreal Virtual Field Trips with Mobile Apps
Friday, March 3, 8:00-8:45
RCC Ballroom B

Ken Shelton

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Ken currently holds an M.A. in Education with a specialization in Educational Technology as well as New Media Design and Production. He has worked as an Educator for over 14 years and most recently taught technology at the Middle School level. As a part of his active involvement within the Educational Technology community, Ken is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Teacher.

Ken regularly gives keynotes, presentations, and leads workshops, many of which are hands-on, covering a wide variety of Educational Technology, Visual Learning, Visual Storytelling, and Instructional Design topics. Ken is currently the Global Keynote Specialist and Technology Integration Strategist, for EdTechTeam.
Come see Ken at his sessions!
Making Student Thinking and Learning Visible Through Portfolios
Wednesday, March 1, 1:00-4:00pm
RCC 203

Visual Storytelling and Visual Literacy: A Spotlight on Creativity
Thursday, March 2, 1:00-1:45pm
RCC Ballroom A

Pictures in Motion - Visual Storytelling and Cinematic Narrative with a mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Android)
Thursday, March 2, 2:00-2:45pm
RCC Ballroom A

Kristin Ziemke

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Kristin celebrates innovative learning practices where thinking is at the heart of the curriculum. Author of Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom and co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. A teacher and learning innovation specialist for the Big Shoulders Fund in Chicago, Kristin works with inner-city students to create classroom experiences that redefine school. A guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and several network news programs, Kristin was named to the global team of Apple Distinguished Educators in 2013 and was selected as a featured speaker for the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival for 2015 & 2016.

Ziemke works with organizations around to the world to empower students and teachers and has keynoted conferences including: International Literacy Association, National Council of Teachers of English, International Society of Technology in Education, reThinking Literacy, IntegratEd, EdTech Teacher, Building Learning Communities, Texas Computer Educators Association, Wisconsin Reading Association, Michigan Reading Association and more. Chicago’s Tech Innovator of the Year in 2013, Ziemke has also been awarded the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Teaching, the McCormick Tribune Award for Early Childhood Education, The Earthwatch Institute Fellowship, the Chicago Foundation for Education Award, The American Red Cross National Merit Award, the Bank of American Community Champion Award and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Come see Kristin at her sessions!
Creating Bravely in a Digital Culture: They Have a Story to Tell
Thursday, March 2, 11:00-11:45pm
RCC Ballroom B

Micro-writing! Digital Discussion to Foster Fluency, Feedback & Thinking
Thursday, March 2, 2:00-2:45pm
RCC Ballroom B

Power to the Little People: Literacy, Independence, Critical Thinking
Friday, March 3, 11:30-12:15pm
RCC Ballroom B