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.