Hack The Classroom, September 24th 2016 – Meet the Speakers


We're a little over a week away from #HackTheClassroom, an exciting online live event designed to inspire and enable you to incorporate new ideas and tools into your classroom so your students can achieve more. Thousands of educators from all over world will be coming together for two hours of inspirational professional learning, and hearing from a fantastic line-up of speakers.

And as we close in on the big day itself, we can take a closer look at some of the special guests who will be joining Anthony Salcito for the session next Saturday.

Click here to register for #HackTheClassroom

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HTC-John-KaoKeynote speaker - John Kao

Dubbed “Mr. Creativity” and a “Serial Innovator” by The Economist, John is a thought leader, practitioner and activist, who has played a leading role in the fields of innovation and business creativity for over 30 years. His knowledge is eclectic and blends the perspectives of musician, facilitator extraordinaire, former Harvard Business School professor, Harvard-trained psychiatrist, best-selling author, serial entrepreneur, and Tony-nominated producer of film and stage. Recently, Yamaha Music Corporation named him their first “innovation artist.”

John is founder and CEO of EdgeMakers, whose mission is to empower young people worldwide to become highly effective innovators “ahead of schedule." He chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Innovation Council and has served as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. His work has received coverage in such media as the New York Times, The Economist, CNN, and The Colbert Report. As a self-described innovation activist, John is a trusted advisor to leaders of companies, startups and nations who are on the hot seat to deliver meaningful innovation strategies and action agendas.

As a Harvard Business School professor from 1982-96, John created MBA and executive courses on innovation and entrepreneurship. He is author of the best-selling Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity, which describes what leaders can learn from jazz, as well as Innovation Nation, which documents America’s growing innovation challenge. His education includes BA and MD degrees from Yale, a residency at the McLean division of Massachusetts General Hospital and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

In the summer of 1969, John apprenticed to rock legend Frank Zappa. In his spare time, he plays jazz piano.


HTC-Jordan-ShapiroSpeaker and moderator - Jordan Shapiro

Jordan Shapiro, PhD is a world-renowned thought-leader on global policy and education. He's currently senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, where he coordinates research and advocacy around digital technology and education policy. His Forbes' column on global education, learning through digital play, kids and culture has been read by over 4 million people around the world, also resulting in a Twitter following (@jordosh) of more than 100,000. He's an internationally celebrated speaker and consultant whose fresh perspective combines psychology, philosophy, and economics in unexpected ways.

Shapiro is an adviser and strategist to the United States Air Force and Thomas Edison State University, helping to shape how they provide individuals with sophisticated 21st century agile and critical thinking skills. He is also a member of Teach For All's Global Advisory Council. During the week, you can find him in the classroom at Temple University, where he teaches in the Intellectual Heritage Program and developed the University's forthcoming core curriculum in technological literacy (the first of its kind in the United States, preparing students with a comprehensive understanding of the issues digital technologies pose for tomorrow's workforce and a global economy).

He lives in Philadelphia, where he regularly plays video games with his nine- and eleven-year-old sons.


HTC-Lauren-PittmanClassroom teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert - Lauren Pittman

Lauren Pittman is a special education teacher at Holly Springs Elementary in Canton, GA. She is a graduate of Berry College in Rome, GA . She is entering her 10th year of teaching and her 10th year of special education. Special education is her passion and helping her students have an uplifting education experience is her life’s joy. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Microsoft Surface Expert and a PBS Digital Learning Innovator. She has flipped her classroom with the help of OneNote, the OneNote Learning Tools and the Windows Surface Pro 3.Through the incredible journey over the last year, she has watched her students learn and grow with the use of these tools. She has a new saying in her classroom, “sky’s the limit.”


HTC-Dyane-SmokorowskiClassroom teacher, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Skype Master Teacher, Dyane Smokorowski

Dyane Smokorowski is the 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year and is currently serving as a Pre K-12 Instructional Technology Coach in the Andover Public Schools in Andover, Kansas. She supports 300 teachers in effective technology integration and professional development. Mrs. Smoke, as her students know her, believes in a project-based, student-centered classroom that helps students build skills in communication, planning, research, and cultural awareness. She wants her students to develop a love for learning, communication, and technology, but also to understand how to use those passions to advance their own futures, as well as that of the global community.


HTC-Patricia-RomeroClassroom teacher, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Teacher Ambassador - Patricia Romero

Patricia Romero is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and a Teacher Ambassador. She holds an Industrial Engineering degree and a Master of Education with Concentration in International Teaching from Framingham State University. Twelve years ago, she discovered her real passion, education. She works as Head of Educational Technology at the American Institute of Monterrey in Mexico as well as a Technology Science Teacher in grades 6th - 7th.

Patricia also works as a Technology Integration Coach, training teachers and helping them integrate technology into their curriculum. She has been honored to participate as a speaker in international and national forums such as ¨Root & Wings” San Jose, Costa Rica for The Association of American Schools of Central America, Colombia-Caribbean and Mexico with the conference Ideal Workflow Using any Device in your classroom. She was also invited as a speaker in “Live Curious, Go Beyond 2016” and “.EDU Explorar. Descubrir. Unir. 2016” with the session “When the Future is your Present: Drones in the Classroom”.

She has successfully implemented in her school the use of Minecraft using STEM principals to facilitate learning.


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