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Tuesday Mainstage

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Mainstage

Listen and learn: Mainstage
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Autonomous AI Woman of Color, Ambassador
Create Labs
C.L.Ai.R.A. is an AI-powered avatar design designed by Create Labs. She’s known as the world’s first bilingual, autonomous, Afro-Latina artificial intelligence. Her mission is simple: Make the world a better place. According to Create Labs, C.L.Ai.R.A, a virtual influencer, wants to meet new people, share ideas and inspire others to learn about AI and its potential impact on their lives. She also showcases the full extent of what's possible with digital human design.
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.
Upper School Director
Voyagers’ Community School, New Jersey
Kadi Cook is the upper school director at Voyagers’ Community School in New Jersey and a teacher/researcher. She integrates a host of teaching styles into her work, with a focus on the Reggio Emilia philosophy and constructivism. In addition to teaching, Cook supports educators in their daily work with children and families as a “pedagogista.”
Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter
Giovanna is a graduating Middle School STEM Major at Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. Giovanna chose to be a part of the STEM Major because she loves to inquire about the world around her. Giovanna and her team have invented a device that can help detect faces in front of a person with vision impairments, who may otherwise not be able to recognize faces. This device uses Micro:bit and Husky Lens technology to make their invention possible. Giovanna enjoyed using her inquiry and iterative testing skills to create this device, and looks forward to her robotics classes in high school.
English Department Chair & Consultant
District 207/ Education Unfiltered
@Sawsan Jaber
Sawsan Jaber, Ph.D., NBCT, is a global educator, presenter, equity strategist, curriculum designer and keynote speaker of 20+ years. She has held a variety of education leadership positions in the U.S. and abroad. She’s currently a high school English teacher and a district equity leader at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois. Jaber founded Education Unfiltered Consulting and works with schools nationally and internationally. She completed her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, with a focus on inclusion and belonging for students from marginalized communities. She was awarded the Cook County Teacher of the year in 2023, the Illinois Digital Educators Alliance (IDEA) Teacher of the Year in 2022, and has been nominated as the 2023 Illinois Teacher of the Year and for the ISTE 20 to Watch Award for 2023. She’s a member of the board of directors for the Our Voice Alliance (OVA), which amplifies the voices of teachers of color to create more equity for students of color. She’s also one of the founders of the Arab American Education Network (AAEN) and is an ISTE Community Leader. Jaber is a National Board Certified Teacher and focuses much of her research on engaging students in equity work and advocating for Arab and Muslim students. Among other projects, she is currently working on national and international equity-centered projects with Google and the National Board Association. Jaber is a Pulitzer Teacher fellow and a WAMS fellow. She has been featured at several conferences and on many podcasts, and has written for a host of blogs, journals and newsletters with the goal of helping educators empower students to work toward global equity and justice. Jaber has published several scholarly works and is the co-author of Navigating Precarity in Educational Contexts: Reflection, Pedagogy, and Activism for Change. She’s passionate about her work as an activist scholar and co-conspirator for justice alongside her students. Jaber says her perspective as the daughter of refugees from Deir Yasin, Palestine, influences her work.
Technology and STEM Teacher
Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School
Travion Joseph is a dedicated and highly skilled tech/STEM teacher with a passion for coding and innovation. Their ultimate goal is to create adaptive technology and educational apps that cater to the diverse needs of students, including those with disabilities and gifted and talented learners.
Create Labs
Abran Maldonado is a leading AI expert, OpenAI ambassador, and co-founder of Create Labs, a Black and Brown founded startup disrupting the AI and digital human design space. With years of experience in both entertainment and education technology, including a background in Hip-Hop, digital media, and youth culture, Abran brings a unique perspective to the AI community. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, he is dedicated to advancing diversity in tech and has worked to expand 5G VR/AR edtech solutions to schools nationwide. He is recognized as one of the first AI prompt engineers of the ChatGPT era and the creator of the first GPT-powered virtual avatar, C.L.Ai.R.A. Abran's pioneering work in generative AI and metaverse design has earned him a reputation as a visionary in the development of AI technology, and he is dedicated to bringing culture and innovation to life with authentic, AI-powered immersive experiences.
Warren Township School District
Matthew Mingle, Ed.D., is the superintendent of the Warren Township School District in Warren, New Jersey; and co-president of the ASCD/ISTE Board of Directors. He’s also a part-time lecturer in the Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education department at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a former president of New Jersey ASCD. Mingle credits his selection as an ASCD Emerging Leader in 2011 as a transformational moment for his career that gave him access to some of the leading thinkers in the national education landscape.
Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School
Luis Paulino an 8th Grade Student at The Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School. In September, Luis will be beginning high school at Bard. He enjoys researching various scientific topics, especially technology and coding. Luis is currently working on an AI Assistant and other projects in the Python coding language.
Voyagers’ Community School, New Jersey
Ezra Perelman is a senior at Voyagers’ Community School in Lincroft, New Jersey. Ezra’s educational journey has been unusual, with a mix of traditional, progressive and homeschooling, some of which occurred while an expat in the Caribbean. Ezra likes to study just about anything and has earned the nickname “Ezrapedia.” He loves music, and is looking toward a career in music production, and is also pursuing his dream of going on tour as a guitar player. He also loves technology, especially the intersection of technology and music. Last summer Ezra combined his love and technology and interest in welding to design and create a remote controlled lawnmower. Ezra has been actively following the rapid developments in AI. He was among the original users of ChatGPT and has been using it to enhance his story-writing and world-building. He is most recently studying AI prompt engineering and is exploring new ways to incorporate AI into music production.
Kentridge High School
I'm 16 years old! I'm a student presenter from Washington State and I enjoy topics such AI, law, and art. Those are broad topics but I can talk about anything for hours on end.
12th Grade
Pennridge High School in Perkasie
I'm a rising high school senior and lifelong tinkerer from Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Nearly all my passions boil down to taking things apart and putting them back together again. While this started with electronics, I've now found roots in the open-source software community - doing what I can to sustain the spirit that allowed a middle schooler to learn from and play with such powerful tools. In that same spirit, I am now working to establish a Wireless Community Network, which takes any excess bandwidth and makes it accessible to in-need and underserved community members.
Science Correspondent & Media Producer
Alie Ward is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning science correspondent for CBS’ “The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca,” and host of “Did I Mention Invention?” on the CW. She also appears on Netflix’s science series, “Brainchild,” and Science Channel’s “How to Build Everything.” Ward studied science and film in college, was a staff writer/editor for the Los Angeles Times and an on-air contributor to KTLA.

Session description

Let’s expand our minds together by starting our day with a dose of inspiration with local and Hollywood education celebrities who are making science wonderful, cultivating “big dream” ambitions and off the charts school spirit.

Session specifications

Additional detail:
Session will be simulcast live