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Fireside Chat With the ISTE Board: Recover, Reconnect and Reimagine Professional Learning

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: MCCNO Room 391-2
Experience live: All-Access Package
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package

Engage and connect : Forum

Nikole Blanchard  
Patricia Brown  
Dr. Cathy Collins  
Heidi Ellis  
Dr. Rand Hansen  
Carla Jefferson  
Nick Kind  
Dr. Michael McVey  
Sophia Mendoza  
Thuan Nguyen  
Dr. Adam Phyall  
Marlon J Styles, Jr.  
Christine Terry  
Tacy Trowbridge  

Educators' quick pivot to remote learning impacted teaching practices in multiple ways, especially in how they learned new skills. This interactive session with the ISTE Board of Directors shares how educators successfully managed the switch to online learning and provides an opportunity to recover, reconnect and discuss professional learning models and key components to reimagine professional learning.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Coaches, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Professional learning
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges and the impact of learning with technology with other education leaders who want to learn from this work.
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
Connected Learner
  • Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Board members sharing their learning experiences
What are the professional needs of educators


20 min - sharing out from board members
30 min - small group discussions
10 min - wrap-up

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Nikole Blanchard, The Dunham School

Nikole Blanchard is the Director of Innovation and Technology at The Dunham School and a part-time professor at Louisiana State University. She has taught students of all ages and currently focuses most of her attention on working with teachers and designing future-ready curriculum. Blanchard manages a 1to1 technology program which has been recognized as the only Apple Distinguished PK-12th grade school in Louisiana. Blanchard is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Trainer, and Google Innovator. Blanchard is on the Board of Directors for ISTE was most recently elected as President-elect.

Patricia Brown, Ladue School District

Patricia J. Brown, known as “MsEdtechie,” is an equity-minded, innovative educator with a passionate commitment to student growth and the learning experience through effective technology integration. Brown is a technology specialist in St. Louis, Missouri. She’s also a member of the ISTE Board of Directors. She’s passionate about closing the digital equity divide through access and opportunity and sharing practical techniques to create meaningful technology interactions and make global connections. a Brown is a keynote speaker and presenter and was a featured TED Masterclass speaker at the ISTE 18.

Dr. Cathy Collins, Sharon Public Schools

Dr. Cathy Collins has served as a Library, Media and Technology Specialist for 23 years. She served on the MassCUE Board as PD Chair from 2015-2019, and has published her writing in journals including “EdWeek,” “Library Media Connection,” and “NEA Today." She served on the MA State Science Ambassador Team, the ISTE STEM PLN Leadership Team and MSLA Board. She was elected in 2020 to serve on the ISTE Board of Directors, and as a News Literacy Project Ambassador. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work, and is passionate about STEM/STEAM, Media Literacy and Global Education.

Heidi Ellis, ISTE

Heidi Ellis is the senior director of membership and partnership strategy for ISTE. In this role, she develops member benefits and programs that help educators and school districts improve teaching and learning by leveraging technology. Ellis oversees several programs, including member benefits, awards and recognition, volunteers, professional learning networks and district partnerships. She enjoys working with educators and members to help them transform education and empower learners.

Dr. Rand Hansen, University of Maryland Global Campus

Rand Hansen, Ed.D., is the acting dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Maryland Global Campus and president of the ISTE Board of Directors. He began his career as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher and a district technology coordinator for a large urban school district in Maryland. He has also worked at Discovery Education, Johns Hopkins University and National Louis University.Rand Hansen, Ed.D., is the acting dean of the School of Arts and Science at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and president of the ISTE Board of Directors. As acting dean, he supports the planning and execution of all academic and administrative matters pertinent to the successful operation of the School of Arts and Science.

Carla Jefferson, Darlington County School District

Carla M. Jefferson is the principal of the Darlington County Virtual Academy in the Darlington County School District in South Carolina. Jefferson’s motto, “Why Not Darlington?” was inspired by a colleague and motivates her to fight for digital equity, not only for the children of Darlington County, but for children everywhere. Jefferson is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Educator/Trainer/Innovator, and PBS Lead Digital Innovator.. Her work has been highlighted in several publications, including ISTE’s Empowered Learner, Tech & Learning Magazine and District Administrator. Jefferson is currently a member of the Google Equity Board and an ISTE board member.

Nick Kind, Tyton Partners

Nick Kind is a board member of ISTE pro bono. His day job is as a Managing Director at Tyton Partners, the leading strategy consultancy and investment bank in education, where he co-leads work on impact investment and venture philanthropy, and outside the USA. Previously, he spent 16 years developing educational software for every age group and around the world in and with a wide range of organisations, including his own startup and some of the world's largest media groups. He is based in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Michael McVey, Eastern Michigan University
Sophia Mendoza, Los Angeles Unified School District

Sophia Mendoza is an innovative systems-level collaborator with over 20 years of experience as an education leader in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and a member of the ISTE Board of Directors. As the director of LAUSD’s Instructional Technology Initiative, Mendoza leads the implementation of computer science education and digital citizenship programs across 1,300 schools. She’s committed to cultivating leaders and learners who are prepared for a growing digital world. Mendoza was named a NextGeneration Leader by EdScoop and CoSN; made the 2018 Most Influential People in EdTech list from Tech & Learning; is a 2019 ISTE Impact Award honoree; a 2019 Education Dive Innovator of the Year winner; and the 2020 Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 16 Technology Administrator, an honor that recognizes her work in establishing strategic partnerships and programs that expand instructional technology opportunities for all students.

Thuan Nguyen, AVID Center
Dr. Adam Phyall, Newton County School System

Adam Antoine Phyall II, Ed.D., is the director of technology and media services for the Newton County School System in Georgia where he’s focused on helping teachers put technology in the hands of students to keep them engaged in rigorous learning. Since getting his first laptop in college, Phyall has been hooked on the fantastic things technology can add to learning. Early in his teaching career, Phyall had students create videos and podcasts to explain advanced science concepts. Once he saw the impact technology had on learning in his classroom, he began to share his activities and strategies with peers. This led Phyall to work as a building instructional technology leader, technology facilitator, and then take on his current role as a tech director. Throughout his career, Phyall has worked extensively with Title I and urban schools to improve technology integration for economically disadvantaged students. He has developed mobile learning plans for school districts in Georgia and Missouri that have led to 1:1 device initiatives. His philosophy on teaching is, “If you’re having fun teaching it, then your students will have fun learning it.”

Marlon J Styles, Jr., Middletown City Schools

Marlon Styles Jr. is the superintendent of the Middletown City School District in Middletown, Ohio. Under his leadership, Middletown City Schools earned the 2019 ISTE Distinguished District Award for ensuring equitable, accessible and appropriate technology use for all students. Styles also earned the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Digital Trailblazers Award and was recognized in 2020 as the K-12 Dive superintendent of the year. He’s passionate about closing the systemic equity gaps faced by many students in the U.S. and is devoted to transforming education and finding ways to integrate technology, while creating inclusive learning experiences for all students.

Christine Terry, Univ. of MO, Division of Research

Christie Terry is the Director of Educational Programs for the University of Missouri Division of Research, Innovation, & Impact. In this role, she designs and delivers professional development for higher education faculty, staff, and students focused on research impact, engagement, and funding. Christie's prior roles have included Director of the eMINTS National Center at the University of Missouri, K-12 educational technology specialist, and classroom teacher. Christie has been an enthusiastic member of the ISTE community since 2000 and currently serves on the ISTE Board.

Tacy Trowbridge, Adobe

Tacy is a lifelong educator and learning enthusiast whose passion is inspiring students in all stages of learning, giving them a voice and empowering them to develop creative skills. She started her career as a teacher in California schools and then led learning and research initiatives at the University of California and Stanford. Today, she heads a global education team at Adobe and hosts the Creative Educator Podcast.

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