Innovation in Action, Educator Voices Lightning Talks

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Location: New Orleans Theater
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Listen and learn : Ed talk

Azine Davoudzadeh  
Steve Dembo  
Michael Hernandez  
Sabba Quidwai  
Dr. Michelle Zimmerman  

Join us for a series of lightning talks that explore innovation across education. Educators share innovative practices and the impact of learning from a variety of perspectives.

Innovation through Invention
There's magic to be found at the intersection of Design Thinking, PBL and Invention. From research to prototyping, to presentations and patents, there are so many lessons for students to learn while solving real-world problems. Discover how to cultivate creativity while fostering the maker mindset in students!

Unlocking a New Reality: An XR Journey

Learn how to unlock the potential of XR in the classroom and beyond. I'll share my personal journey into XR and how it transformed my career, classroom and what the future holds for XR in Education. Discover the pillars of deep learning, design thinking and problem based learning as frameworks to support this transformation in your own classrooms.

Using Tech To Develop Cultural Literacy

Society is at a crossroads when it comes to inequity, racism, and empathy. In this talk, find out how student-created projects in your classroom can develop inquisitive, culturally literate citizens.

When We Don’t Know What’s Next: AI that supports humanity

Human curiosity with the support of technology can be a powerful combination for solving local and global problems. Preparing young people with this awareness can better position them to solve problems in the future for the health and strength of our society. Hear the connection between ISTE Standards and authentic real-world scenarios.

Navigating the Future of Work with Design Thinking

The future should be created by design. Not left to chance. Discover how schools can use design thinking strategies to support students in feeling curious and confident about their career pathway so they are ready to adapt and compete in a global economy.

Topic: Innovative learning environments


Azine Davoudzadeh

Azine Davoudzadeh is an award-winning educator, speaker and thought leader in the XR for Education ecosphere. She is the Founder of XR EDU, an organization dedicated to solving problems that leverage XR technologies. In 2020, she won the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow National contest, awarding her school a $100,000 prize in technology. She built an XR Lab and corresponding course called "XR for Social Good''. For mentoring female students pursuing STEM careers she received the Educator Award for Aspirations in Computing from NCWIT. She teaches XR for Social Good & VS.Net courses in California.

Steve Dembo, Western Springs, District 101

Steve Dembo is the middle school Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence Teacher and Director of Technology at Quest Academy in Palatine, IL. He is the co-author of the book Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching and the president of the Skokie/Morton Grove District 69 School Board, serving his third term. Dembo is a dynamic speaker on the capabilities of social networking, the power of educational technologies and the potential for digital content to empower teachers to improve student outcomes.

Michael Hernandez, Mira Costa High School

Michael is an award-winning teacher whose work focuses on digital storytelling, media literacy, project-based learning, and social justice. His published work addresses student voice and the intersection of education and social policy, and his podcast and newsletter, Change The Narrative, has found subscribers around the world. He has presented in North America, Asia and Africa on these topics, including SXSW EDU, TCEA, and ISTE. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Adobe Education Leader, and National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. Follow him on Twitter: @cinehead and Instagram: @changing.the.narrative

Sabba Quidwai, Designing Schools

Sabba believes that cultures of innovation begin with a culture of empathy. She works with leaders to integrate design thinking practices that encourage creativity, recognize accomplishments, build trust and inspire a collective vision. Sabba researches how design thinking can prepare individuals with the mindset and skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Sabba hosts a podcast, “Sprint to Success with Design Thinking,” where she interviews researchers and practitioners about their stories and strategies for navigating change with design thinking and thriving in today’s world.

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, Renton Prep

Michelle Zimmerman, author of Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning, published in 4 languages, was selected as 2021 ISTE Visionary Leadership, 2019 EdTech Leadership Awards Global Leader finalist and selected 6 consecutive years as Microsoft MVP. She teaches middle and high school while serving in administration at Renton Prep, a Microsoft Showcase School. Her PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development is from University of Washington, and her research has been recognized with multiple awards. Since 2007, she has presented around the world. You can find her in Forbes, GeekWire, Venture Beat, Getting Smart, local and international news.

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