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Wednesday Mainstage: Adapt

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Mainstage

Wednesday, December 2, 1:30–2:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Bill Bass  
Gitanjali Rao  
Dena Simmons, Ed.D.  

All educators can use help adapting to the new learning landscape. Tune in to get the pro tips and advice you need now with a keynote featuring Dena Simmons, an interview with student inventor and scientist Gitanjali Rao, and input from Bill Bass, a longtime education innovator and president of the ISTE Board of Directors.

Topic: Reimagining learning


Bill Bass, Parkway School District
ISTE Certified Educator

Bill Bass is a former English teacher who now serves as the innovation coordinator for instructional technology, library media and federal programs in the Parkway School District in St. Louis, Missouri. As a speaker, writer and professional developer, he focuses on systemic and sustainable integration of technology into classrooms at all grade levels. Bass currently serves as president of ISTE Board of Directors, and was named one of National School Board Association’s (NSBA) 20 to Watch EdTech Leaders. He’s also a Google Certified Innovator and Google for Education Certified Trainer. Bass has written numerous articles and book chapters, and is the author of three books: From Inspiration to Red Carpet, Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 and Leading from the Library.

Gitanjali Rao, Highlands Ranch High School

Gitanjali Rao is a 14-year-old student and inventor from STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado. She was named America's Top Young Scientist, and earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Environmental Youth Award for her invention of Tethys, an early lead detection tool. Gitanjali is also the inventor of Epione, a device for the early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction that uses genetic engineering. She recently launched Kindly, an anti-cyberbullying service that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing. She was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2019, and was recognized as Time Magazine’s Top Young Innovator for the innovation sessions she conducts globally that have inspired 30,000 students across three continents in two years. In her sessions, Gitanjali shares her process of innovation that she says can be used by students all over the world. She’s a four-time TED speaker, and presents often for global and corporate forums on innovation and the importance of STEM. She was recently selected as a partner for the Forbes Ignite Network where she’s piloting a concept called Empathy Sharktank that helps in employee-employer engagement and staff development for startups and schools.

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., Educator. Activist. Lifelong Learner.

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is the assistant director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence where she supports schools to use the power of emotions to create a more compassionate and just society. Prior to her work at the center, Simmons served as an educator, teacher educator, diversity facilitator and curriculum developer. She has been a leading voice on teacher education, and has written and spoken across the country about social justice pedagogy, diversity, emotional intelligence and bullying in K-12 school settings, including at the White House, the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, the United Nations, two TEDx talks and a TED Talk on Broadway. Simmons has been profiled in Education Week, the Huffington Post, NPR, the AOL/PBS project, the documentary “MAKERS: Women Who Make America” and the book Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. She’s a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, an Education Pioneers Fellowship, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, a Phillips Exeter Academy Dissertation Fellowship, a Hedgebrook Writing Residency and an Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellowship, among others. Simmons earned her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she recently served as faculty in the Summer Principals Academy. Her research interests include teacher preparedness to address bullying in the K-12 school setting, culturally responsive pedagogy and the intersection of equity and social-emotional learning (SEL) interventions – all in an effort to ensure and foster justice and safe spaces for all. She’s the author of the forthcoming book, White Rules for Black People.

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