The following professionals are available for keynotes and workshops.
Specializing in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Technology and Technical Education.
Please contact us at [email protected].
Jim Brazell, Leading Cultural Change & Innovation
Bob Allen, Chief Storyteller | Apprentice Zen Teacher, IDEAS Orlando
A Disney brat since 1975, Bob became Vice President of Disney Production Services, Inc. in 1991. Bob was responsible for all facilities and services at the Disney-MGM Studios as well as the operation of Disney IDEAS (Innovation, Design, Entertainment, Art and Storytelling), a full service Integrated Creative Content Studio.
In 2008, Bob spun IDEAS out of Disney as a private company now in downtown Orlando. A nationally recognized speaker, Bob has presented to the National School Board Association Technology and Learning conference, the Florida Educational Technology Conference, National Career Pathway Network/National Association Tech Prep Leadership, U.S. Air Force, Association of Travel Marketing Executives, Allied Travel Organization, National Telecommunications Conference and many more across industries. Bob’s creative approach to group transformation is rooted in something we all do well—telling stories. He is a master at taping every groups inner creativity to chart a course into the future with hope and determinism.
i.d.e.a.s. was created in June 2001 through a management buy-out of a unit of the Walt Disney Company. The i.d.e.a.s. team has played key roles in creating video, film, multi-media, online interactive, and immersive experiences for Disney as well as a long list of national clients. In fact, the i.d.e.a.s. staff aggregates over 300 years of Disney and entertainment industry experience. We have brought our central premise that powerful stories create powerful experiences to a diverse collection of clients and audiences via almost every delivery platform imaginable – from print to broadcast television, from multi-screen surround theaters to new immersion-based destination experiences.
Jim Bower, Ph.D., Chairman Numedeon, Inc. and Professor University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
Jim Bower, Ph.D., is the Founder of Whyville and currently holds the title of Chief Visionary Officer. Whyville has been used to study how children behave, learn, and interact with information and with each other. Jim Bower has been involved in educational reform efforts since he was President of the Teen League of Rochester (NY) as a high school student from 1970 – 1971. While at Caltech, he founded and directed the Caltech Precollege Science Initiative (CAPSI). He has been a member of numerous national advisory groups on education, including the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, the National Science Foundation and the Society for Neuroscience.
He has published more than 100 scientific articles and has authored several books. Bower received a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bower was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for 17 years. James Bower is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and at the University of Texas San Antonio.
David Thornburg, Ph.D., Principal, Thornburg Center for Professional Development
David Thornburg, Ph.D., is an award-winning futurist, author, and consultant whose clients range across the public and private sector in the United States and Brazil. His razor-sharp focus on the fast-paced world of modern computing and communication media, project-based learning, 21st century skills, and open-source software has placed him in constant demand as a keynote speaker and workshop leader for schools, foundations, and governments.
As the founder and director of global operations for the Thornburg Center, Thornburg conducts research and provides staff development in several areas. He helps clients to think intelligently about the future and is active in exploring ways that telecommunications and multimedia will change the face of learning at home and in the classroom. Thornburg’s educational philosophy is based on the idea that students learn best when they are constructors of their own knowledge. He also believes that students who are taught in ways that honor their learning styles and dominant intelligences retain the native engagement with learning with which they entered school. A central theme of his work is that we must prepare students for their future, not for our past.
In addition to his work at the state and local level, Thornburg is also involved at the federal level in helping to shape telecommunications and education policy for the benefit of all learners. He has shared his perspectives with policy makers in several countries. Thornburg has written numerous books. His most recent book, STEM Education: From Sputnik to the 22nd Century (2010), explores the current problems we face, and then examines proven strategies that can be applied in the classroom to not only provide needed knowledge and skills, but also to engage students in the joy of working in these fields. His last book, When the Best is Free, explores the world of free open-source software in education, with special emphasis on tools for use by students. Reviewers have declared this to be the definitive book on the topic. His other books include: Campfires in Cyberspace; Brainstorms and Lightning Bolts: Thinking Skills for the 21st Century; Putting the Web to Work in Education; Education in the Communication Age; and Education, Technology and Paradigms of Change for the 21st Century.
Bill Symonds, Harvard Pathways to Prosperity
Bill Symonds is the director of the Pathways to Prosperity Project, which is based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Pathways Project was created in 2008 to find promising solutions to our increasing national failure to prepare many young adults for success.
In February, 2011, the Pathways Project released a major report summing up its research and recommendations in Washington, at an event that included keynote remarks from Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other key officials. The report is entitled, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century.
Pathways to Prosperity
The report has generated enormous interest from around the nation, including speaking invitations from organizations in more than 10 states. The Pathways Project now hopes to work with several states that would like to implement the Pathways vision for preparing their young people.
Symonds helped create the Pathways Project while he was a senior fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2007-8. Prior to that, he spent nearly 25 years as a senior correspondent and bureau chief for Business Week Magazine.
During his career at Business Week, he covered business in the U.S. and abroad, and led bureaus in Pittsburgh, Denver, Boston, Toronto and Rome, Italy. He also served as Business Week’s chief education correspondent for many years, and wrote extensively about the role of U.S. business in school reform.
Sara Armstrong, Ph.D., Thornburg Center for Professional Development
Sara was a pioneer in putting kids in touch with kids they wouldn’t ordinarily meet. In the early 1980’s, Sara’s school was linked by Atari 800 computers and 300 baud modems to a school in Forest Hill, CA, for weekly interactive “book talks.” She saw the power of the computer for communication and sharing.
Her work as a professional developer began early on, when she taught Montessori curriculum classes, and then technology integration classes in the mid 1980’s. She is often asked to keynote and speak at conferences, such as Computer-Using Educators (CUE), NECC, NCCE, ASTE, NSBA T&L, CLMS/CLHS, and NSDC. Her professional development clients include CTAP, The MY HERO Project, the Buck Institute for Education, CUE, Lake Washington School District, and Technology & Learning.
Sara is an Associate of the Thornburg Center for Professional Development, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Global SchoolNet Foundation, the Center for Accessible Technology, and CTAP Region IV’s and the River School Advisory Councils. She is a recipient of both of CUE’s high honors: a Gold Disk and a Platinum Disk.
Lynell Burmark, Ph.D., Thornburg Center for Professional Development
Dr. Lynell Burmark earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University, where faculty and students elected her to receive the Walter Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. After eleven years of classroom teaching (kindergarten through graduate school) and nine years in administration, Lynell joined the Thornburg Center for Professional Development. She now consults to high-tech companies and school districts, and presents at dozens of conferences every year.
Lynell’s book, Visual Literacy: Learn to See, See to Learn, a widely adopted textbook for teacher education and instructional technology programs, won the book of the year award for publisher ASCD and is now expanded, updated and available as an eBook. Lynell is featured in a 30-minute segment on Canter & Associates video for the Masters in Instructional Technology with Walden University. She also produced a 10-minute video on visual literacy, which is distributed free to educators through 100% Educational Videos.
Energetic, encouraging, often humorous yet serious about her content, Dr. Burmark considers the highest praise to be “You practice what you preach!”
Raymond Rose, Online Learning Teacher-Teacher
Ray has been involved in online education since the mid ’90s when he first began defining and building a method of creating online learning communities. He helped envision, create, and administer the first virtual high school in the country. He currently works with college and university programs, policy-makers, and leaders in online learning from non-profit organizations and institutions. He has helped shape the nature of e-learning efforts in the USA.
Janet Jaworski, Ed.D, Career Pathways & STEM
Dr. Janet Jaworski’s interest in technical education began almost 20 years ago when she stumbled upon an Articulation Specialist’s position being advertised at a vo-tech in northern New Jersey. Thus began what she describes as “a wonderful journey into the marriage of technical and academic education!”
Dr. Jaworski earned her BA at Newark State College in NJ double majoring in Elementary Education and Speech Correction. She later earned an MA in Reading at Kean University and her Supervisor’s certificate at Seton Hall University. A Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University followed a few years later.
Dr. Jaworski has taught a wide spectrum of students in her capacity as a reading specialist, classroom teacher, speech correctionist, and curriculum coordinator, in a variety of settings from elementary schools thru to colleges. Most recently she has been involved with the Tech Prep initiative as an Executive Director of a consortium located at a community college in North Texas. That consortium served 40 + high schools and over 10,000 students in one of the fastest growing areas of the state. The consortium provided technical pathways from high school to college, conducted professional development workshops and symposiums for educators, and summer programs for potential college students.
Dr. Jaworski also served as the Director of Professional Development for the National Association for Tech Prep Leadership. In that capacity she has facilitated NATPL national forums, and has been a frequent presenter at national and state conferences as well. She describes herself as an educator dedicated to change, whose mantra is her undergraduate motto “who dares to teach must never cease to learn.”
Debra Amidon, Mother of the Knowledge Innovation
A global innovation strategist, Debra M. Amidon, founder of ENTOVATION International, is an architect of the Knowledge Economy and “Drucker operationalized” in demonstrating how his theories can be applied for practical results. An international thought leader and author, she has published 8 books that have been translated into several languages, including The Innovation Superhighway: Harnessing Intellectual Capital for Collaborative Advantage – acclaimed as the “Innovation Book of the Decade”.
Debra has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations in 38 countries on 6 continents. Her clients are diverse: Fortune 50 companies, government/community organizations and enterprises such as the European Union (EU), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations and The World Bank. Her seminal concepts have become the standard-to-emulate; and “Innovating our future…together” has been her mantra.
Her unique contribution to the field is a measurement methodology – the Triple Knowledge Lens – for all performance aspects of organizational innovation – the seamless movement of ideas from the point of creation to the point of highest use. Accompanying these processes are in-depth modular training programs for those involved in organizational transformation. Debra holds degrees from Boston University, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.
For over two decades, she has served as the virtual chief knowledge officer for a global network of experts across 67 countries with Roundtables in New York City, Helsinki, Monterrey, Barcelona, and Muscat, Oman. Her newest rubric – Knowledge Innovation Zones (KIZ) – enables companies, regions and virtual communities to increase performance with a P7 Blueprint connecting purpose to prosperity. As innovator of the next wave of influence, she practices the art of “collaborative advantage” – the key competence of this Millennium.
Regan Flowers, Ph.D., STEM + ARTS and Communications Extraordinaire
In 2009, Reagan Flowers, Ph.D., authored and published, “The CSTEM Sea Turtle Challenge: A Feeder Pattern Approach to Reaching All Students through Hands-on Project-based Learning.” In 2010 she published “CSTEM Pedagogy: Your Guide to Project-Based Learning.”
CSTEM engages children and adults to make a difference in their communities. Students apply classroom learning to solve real-world problems through design, research, artifact development, team work, creative innovations, and inspiration. The annual theme, “Everyone is an Artist and an Engineer,” is used to engage the whole community systemically—connecting school, community, colleges and universities, associations and workforce organizations.
Dr. Flowers received her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Texas Southern University, Masters of Arts in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University of Texas, and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from The Union Institute & University.
Thomas J. Shaw
Technical Education Magazine