Featured Speakers

We're excited for this group of speakers that are educational technology experts and leaders!

Here's our 2019 Featured Speakers lineup:

Kasey Bell
Kasey Bell
Shake Up Learning

Adam Bellow, co-founder of Breakout EDU

Adam Bellow

Richard Byrne
Richard Byrne
Free Technology
for Teachers

Leslie Fisher
Leslie Fisher lesliefisher.com


Abbey FutrellAbbey Futrell
Asst. Superintendent, Edgecombe County, NC

Roni HabibRonen Habib
EQ Schools

Rushton HurleyRushton Hurley


Tom MurrayThomas Murray
Future Ready Schools


Joe SanfelippoJoe Sanfelippo
Superintendent, Fall Creek, WI

Dean ShareskiDean Shareski
Discovery Education CA

Sarah WoodSarah Wood
Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, MI



Kasey Bell

Kasey is a disruptor of the boring. An engaging, innovative, from the heart sharer who inspires educators while transforming their teaching with original, timely and use-tomorrow ideas for student choice, differentiation, and technology integration.

Through teacher empowering publications and award-winning educational resources at ShakeUpLearning.com, learner-driven workshops and presentations and co-hosting Google Teacher Tribe weekly podcast, Kasey proves why we should never settle for the boring when it comes to bringing out the very best in our students, and we should always strive to Shake Up Learning!

To find out more about Kasey visit her website at shakeuplearning.com or follow her on Twitter @ShakeUpLearning 

Adam Bellow

Adam Bellow began his career in the classroom as a High School English teacher. He has worked as a technology training specialist, Director of Educational Technology, and is now considered one of today’s leading speakers on educational technology and infusing technology to aid school reformation.

Adam is Co-Founder of Breakout EDU, the immersive gaming platform that enables teachers and students to transform classrooms into places of discovery and inquiry-based learning. 

He is also the founder of the websites eduTecher, eduClipper, WeLearnedIt, and eduGames. In addition to these free resources, Adam launched the popular charity “Change the World” student-focused charity campaigns.

To find out more about Adam visit his website adambellow.com or follow him on Twitter @adambellow.

Richard Byrne

Richard is a former high school social studies teacher best known for developing this blog. He taught for eight and a half years at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, ME. His work is focused on sharing free web-based resources that educators can use to enhance their students’ learning experiences.

He is a five time winner of the Edublogs Award for Best Resource Sharing Blog. He became a Google Certified Teacher in 2009. In 2012 he received a Merlot Classics award from chancellor’s office of California State University.

In addition to writing Free Technology for Teachers, he also maintains iPadApps4School.comAndroid4Schools.com, and PracticalEdTech.com. His printed work includes a monthly column for School Library Journal, contributing author to What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media, and contributions to Teacher Librarian.

To find out more about Richard visit his website at https://www.freetech4teachers.com/ or follow him on Twitter @rmbyrne

Leslie Fisher

After graduating from USC with a Business and Marketing degree in 1989 and a quick stint as a Trainer, Leslie joined Apple Computer in 1992. When the Internet took off in 1994, Leslie was one of the first Apple employees assigned to study Internet growth and implementation.

In 1997, Leslie was roadkill on Apple's road to recovery and part of their massive lay off. Leslie planned to spend most of her huge severance package golfing and waiting a few months to look for a job. The day after her layoff, her phone began to ring with Apple customers requesting consulting, training and presentation services. Before she could say fore, Fisher Technologies Inc. was created to help educators with their technology implementations and decisions. Fisher Technologies Inc. is now a worldwide company (meaning one employee named Leslie gets to travel the world teaching) specializing in presenting emerging and exciting technology solutions to educators all over the world.

To find out more about Leslie visit her website at http://lesliefisher.com/ or follow her on Twitter @lesliefisher.

Abbey Futrell

Abbey Futrell is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Edgecombe County Public Schools in Tarboro, North Carolina.  Prior to returning to a school district, she was a Digital Innovation Coach with the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative at North Carolina State University’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.  Her work with the Friday Institute encompassed a commitment to coaching teachers, redefining professional development experiences, and serving as one of the lead facilitators for the North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network.  She frequently presents and keynotes at national education conferences and has moderated Future Ready Summits sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Abbey’s collective 16 plus years in education include providing educational experiences for educators at the local, district, regional and state level.  Her classroom teaching experience includes public school middle grades Language Arts teacher, secondary English Literature teacher, district Instructional Technology Facilitator, district 6-12 Instructional Coach and Professional Development Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

To find out more about Abbey visit her website at https://www.abbeyfutrell.com/  or follow her on Twitter @AbbeyFutrell

Ronen Habib

Roni Habib is an expert in helping educators become more mindful, connected, and playful. As the founder of EQ Schools, he leads workshops and speaks in schools nationally and abroad.

Early in his career, Roni struggled with the high stresses and demands of teaching even losing touch with why he wanted to be a teacher in the first place. It was so painful that he finally discovered the power of integrating mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology in his own life as well as in his classroom and felt called to share this new approach with the world.

In the first two years of establishing EQ Schools, Roni has taught and inspired thousands of teachers through his workshops and conferences. In addition to inspiring educators through EQ Schools, Roni also teaches at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California.

Prior to earning his Masters of Education and teaching credential at Harvard University, he lived in Israel and Belgium. Most important though, is that Roni has a huge heart and loves helping people.

To find out more about Roni visit http://eqschools.com/ or follow him on Twitter @Roni_Habib

Rushton Hurley

Rushton Hurley is an educator who believes this is a great time to teach. In his work, he has taught Japanese language, been principal of an online school, directed a professional development program, and succeeded as a social benefit entrepreneur. He loves creativity, collaborative innovation, and laughing at himself. A graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Rushton founded and is executive director of the educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of hundreds of short videos by and for teachers and students at NextVista.org.

The author of two books, Making Your School Something Special and Making Your Teaching Something Special, Rushton works with schools around the world to make them more personally and professionally satisfying places for everyone. His graduate research at Stanford University included using speech recognition technology with beginning students of Japanese in computer-based role-playing scenarios for developing language skills.

To find out more about Rushton visit his website http://rushtonh.com at or follow him on Twitter @rushtonh

Thomas Murray

Tom serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a Project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, located in Washington, D.C. He has testified before the United States Congress and works alongside that body and the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered, personalized learning while helping to lead Future Ready Schools and Digital Learning Day. Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named the “2017 Education Thought Leader of the Year,” one of “20 to Watch” by NSBA, the “Education Policy Person of the Year” by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. His latest book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today, was published by ASCD in 2017.

To find out more about Tom visit his website http://thomasmurray.com at or follow him on Twitter @thomascmurray .

Joe Sanfelippo

Joe is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, home of the Crickets and an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe co-hosts the Hacking Leadership Podcast and co-authored The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age, and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love. He was selected as a Future Ready Superintendent in 2014 and a Personalized Learning Leader by the US Department of Education in 2016. He holds a BA, two Masters of Science, and a PhD.

To find out more about Joe visit his website http://jsanfelippo.com at or follow him on Twitter @Joe_Sanfelippo

Dean Shareski

Dean Shareski works for Discovery Education in Partner Engagement. He taught grades 1-8 for 14 years and spent 9 as a digital learning consultant for Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, SK. In addition he an adjunct professor at Wilkes University. His blog consistently ranks among the top educational blogs. In 2010 he won the ISTE Award for Outstanding Leader of the Year. Dean has had the opportunity to speak to a variety of education audiences both nationally and internationally. He has recently authored “Embracing a Culture of Joy” and co-authored, “Different Schools for a Different World”. His passion remains helping teachers explore the affordances of technology for learning.  Dean believes humor and humility go a long way in supporting and advocating transformational practices in teaching and learning.

To find out more about Dean follow him on Twitter @shareski.

Sarah Wood

Sarah is a K-12 Technology & Media Integration Specialist in West Michigan. She has a love for photography, graphic recording, being creative, crafts, and anything learning related - if it involves making and creating, you will find her part of it! As an educator, Sarah strives to provide unique learning experiences for students that not only engage them in the learning, but leave students with a story to share about their learning. She has previously presented at MACUL and Podstock as well as done graphic recording for ISTE.

To find out more about Sarah, visit her website at http://myedtechworld.weebly.com/ or follow her on Instagram (myedtechworld), Twitter (@myedtechworld), and Facebook (My EdTech World).

Featured Speakers

Featured speakers will host sessions on Friday, March 19, while workshops will take place on each day. Click here to register today so you don’t miss out on learning from these experts

Brian Aspinall

Featured Speaker – Computer Science and Math

Brian Aspinall is an educator and best selling author and is considered one of the brightest STEAM innovators in education. He is the CEO of Code Breaker Inc., an organization whose mission is to engage students and amplify voices of passionate educators who believe that all students can achieve if given a fair chance. He travels the globe speaking and leading professional development programs that inspire educators to create curious seeking individuals in classrooms built on a community of trust, risk-taking and a freedom to fail. His first book, Code Breaker:15+ Ways to Get Started With Coding, continues to top the charts in STEM Education with a focus on rethinking assessment and evaluation. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence for his work with coding and computational thinking.

His enthusiasm, thought leadership, and approach to building capacity within STEM education has made him a sought after speaker throughout North America and has earned him the honour of being selected as Canada’s first Minecraft, Micro:BiT, and Makey Makey Ambassadors.

Eric Curts

Featured Speaker – SPED, Assistive Technology

Eric has been in education for 29 years, and currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for SPARCC in Canton, Ohio where he oversees G Suite for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across the country. He is a co-leader of the Ohio Google Educator Group at bit.ly/gegohio.

Eric runs the award-winning blog www.ControlAltAchieve.com where all of his edtech resources can be found, and is the author of the book “Control Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects”.

Leslie Fisher

Workshop and Featured Speaker – Educational Tools, Tips, Tricks and Gadgets

Leslie Fisher’s interest in technology began while studying music at the University of Southern California. She quickly realized the value of utilizing computers for music mixing and recording. She grabbed her 300 baud modem, jumped on the Internet (before anyone really called it the internet) and started looking for music resources. She soon realized she was spending more time discovering technology than playing music so she changed her major and tried to figure out what geeky thing she could do for the rest of her life.

Aaron Johnson

Workshop and Featured Speaker – Equity & Literacy

Dr. Aaron Johnson is a teacher, administrator, higher education faculty and author working as an equity leadership coach. Aaron has twenty years of experience as a teacher, principal, director of instruction and assistant superintendent with a commitment to equity in public school environments. He most recently served as the assistant superintendent for diversity, equity and inclusion in a public school district. Aaron has presented at several local, regional and national conferences with an emphasis on developing literacy for African American students in schools.

He is the author of the Teachers College Press book, A Walk in Their Kicks: Literacy, Identity and the Schooling of Young Black Males. Aaron is also the creator of the Black Male Literacy Paradigm, which is a framework used by schools to engage Black youth in school literacy practices. He is active in the Detroit area and started the nonprofit, The American Literacy Society, whose vision is to engage citizens in literacy to participate in the democratic process.

Kurt Melcher

Featured Speaker – ESPORTS

Kurt Melcher is the Executive Director of Esports at Intersport and Robert Morris University in Chicago, IL. Through his efforts, RMU became the first university to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping to legitimize the world of collegiate esports. An athletic administrator and coach for over 15 years, Melcher recognized the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same hold true for esports. Recently the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) selected Intersport to lead the research and ideation surrounding the association’s potential role in collegiate esports.

Mr. Melcher’s visionary program has been highlighted in a number of prominent news sources including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, ESPN, NPR, HBO Real Sports and in the documentary film All Work All Play.

Matt Miller

Workshop and Featured Speaker – Innovative Student Engagement

Matt Miller taught in public schools for more than 10 years, teaching all levels of high school Spanish. In his career, he planned nearly 12,000 class lessons. He taught more than half a million instructional minutes. And he graded work for nearly 2,000 days of class.

His blog, “Ditch That Textbook”, and four books have equipped and inspired tens of thousands of educators in more than 100 countries.

Shannon Miller

Featured Speaker – Digital Literacy, Librarians

Shannon is the District Teacher Librarian and Innovation Director at Van Meter Community School in Iowa and Future Ready Librarians Spokesperson working with students, librarians, educators and others around the world every day. She is Buncee’s Librarian Advisor, Capstone’s Librarian on the Street and a Skype Educator. Shannon is the author of the award winning The Library Voice blog. She has published 4 children’s books about library skills and 8 graphic novels in the series Adventures in Makerspace with Capstone and Cantata Learning. Shannon and Bill Bass recently published a book with ISTE, Leading from the Library. In 2011, Shannon was awarded the Connecting People Shorty Award and was chosen to be part of the SLJ New Leaders Program in 2012. In 2013, she was named one of the Faces of Innovation from Broadband for America; one of 50 featured in the 2013 Center for Digital Education Yearbook; and one of the featured Connected Educators with the Connected Educators projects partnered with the US Department of Education. In 2014, Shannon was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker. In 2016, she was awarded the Making it Happen Award by ISTE. In 2018, she was named the AASL Social Media Superstar Leadership Luminary.

In 2020, Shannon was an EdTech Awards Leadership Finalist. And her most favorite roles of all….She is mom to amazing children and lucky wife of Eric’s. You can find Shannon at @shannonmmiller on Twitter and Instagram and by following her blog, thelibraryvoice.com.

Chris Woods

Workshop and Featured Speaker – STEM

Chris Woods started “DailySTEM” to provide educators and families with simple STEM resources that connect the real world to learning. Our kids need to see that STEM is all around us…in the backyard, at the store, in our homes, on TV and movies, in the news…everywhere! Chris is the author of Daily STEM: How to Create a STEM Culture in your Classroom and Communities, as well as a high school math teacher.