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Helping Students Thrive in a Digital World with AI, While Addressing SEL

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 119AB

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Innovation Director, ISTE and ASCD Board
The Dunham School
ISTE Certified Educator
Nikole Blanchard is the director of innovation and technology for the Dunham School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and co-president of the ISTE Board of Directors. She’s also the co-founder of the Private School Colloquium, and a board member for Baton Rouge's Edcamp and Louisiana IT Symposium. A passionate digital innovator, Blanchard is a National Board Certified Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Innovator, Apple Teacher, Swift Playground Teacher, Google Certified Trainer, PBS Learning Media Innovator and Microsoft Innovative Educator. A career highlight for Blanchard was sharing the stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2018. She told her technology story, making history as the first non-Apple employee to speak during an Apple keynote. In 2003, Blanchard was part of a pilot program at Louisiana State University (LSU) where student teachers used laptops in the field. Blanchard was blown away by the way students' needs could be met with technology. Pursuing this interest, she graduated from Louisiana State University with a master’s in educational technology.
Technology Integration Specialist
Ladue School District
Patricia Brown, Ed.D., or "MsEdtechie," is a director of technology in St. Louis. She is passionate about using technology to promote student growth and close the digital equity divide. With over 20 years of experience, she fosters authentic learning and the 4Cs while breaking down traditional classroom barriers. Brown's expertise has earned her numerous accolades, including being a National School Board Association's 20 to Watch in EdTech, an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google for Education Certified Innovator & Trainer. Her work has been featured in various edtech publications, and she is a sought-after national keynote speaker and presenter.
Library Media Specialist
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.
Research Associate Professor
University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development
Bart is a research associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development, where he founded the nation’s first accelerator focused on helping edtech companies do efficacy research and then founded the nonprofit EdTech Evidence Exchange. Bart previously spent a decade building the world’s first and largest online tutoring company. He served as the first general manager of the U.S. Department of Defense’s online tutoring and homework help service. Bart is currently working to develop an Executive Function Artificial Intelligence. He is a proud member of the ISTE Board of Directors and Co-Treasurer of ISTE+ASCD.
Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
University of Maryland Global Campus
Rand Hansen, Ed.D., is the associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Maryland Global Campus and past-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.
Principal, DCSD Virtual Academy
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.
Eastern Michigan University
ISTE Certified Educator
Michael McVey is a professor of educational technology at Eastern Michigan University and also serves on the ISTE Board of Directors as Treasurer. McVey began as a k-12 teacher and has taught in Canada, Tucson, Arizona, and Japan. He has a chapter in "Championing Technology Infusion in Teacher Prep" (ISTE, 2020).
Director, ITI
Los Angeles Unified School District
Sophia Mendoza is an innovative systems-level collaborator with 25+ years of experience as an education leader in the Los Angeles Unified School District and a member of the ISTE Board of Directors. As the director of LAUSD’s Instructional Technology Initiative, she leads computer science education and digital citizenship implementation. Mendoza cultivates leaders and learners for the digital world, recognized as the Latina Technology Champion, CUE Administrator of the Year, and for Best Overall Implementation of Technology by Tech & Learning. She is also the Association of California School Administrators Region 16 Technology Administrator, expanding instructional technology opportunities for all students.
Warren Township Schools
Director of Professional Learning and Leadership
Future Ready Schools
Dr. Adam Phyall focuses on how teachers can keep students engaged in rigorous learning by putting technology in the hands of students. Adam works directly with teachers showing them fun and easy methods of incorporating technology into instruction by “Putting the Pieces Together.” His philosophy on teaching is “if you’re having fun teaching it, then your students will have fun learning it.”
Marlon Styles is a recognized inspirational speaker and educational leader. In 2017, he was named a Top 30 Digital Trailblazer by the Center for Digital Education. Under his leadership at Middletown City Schools, the district was awarded the ISTE Distinguished District Award in 2019. He testified before the United States Congress in 2020 to advocate for access and opportunity for all students. K-12 Dive recognized him as the Superintendent of the Year in 2020 for his advocacy and leadership to close equity gaps on a national stage. Styles is a Unifier in education who works to create cultures which people win.

Session description

Join ISTE/ASCD board members for this interactive session as we engage in a healthy dialogue sharing ways ISTE resources support students' social emotional learning, and how to create a positive and supportive learning environment. We will discuss ways we are utilizing AI in education, through authentic experiences that inspire educators and engage students to thrive in a digital world!

Purpose & objective

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

Identify the challenges and opportunities of using technology in education specifically around AI.
Learn about the various ISTE resources and programming available to help develop strategies for using technology to support students' social emotional learning.
Create a positive and supportive learning environment for their students.

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10 min - sharing out from board members
40 min - small group discussions and report-outs
10 min - wrap-up

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Session specifications

Professional learning
Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Coaches, Principals/head teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.