Tuesday, October 1 General Session Speaker
Kathy Schrock has been a school district Director of Technology, an instructional technology specialist, a middle school, academic, museum, and public library librarian, and is currently an online adjunct graduate-level professor at two universities.
Kathy has been involved with technology to support teaching and learning since the early 1990's, and is an Adobe Education Leader, a Google Certified Teacher, a Sony Education Ambassador, and a Discovery Education STAR and a DEN Guru. In 1995, she created her award-winning site, Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators, to help teachers easily wade through the many resources on the Web. In 1999, Kathy partnered with Discovery Education and she maintained the site until late 2012 when the site was retired.
In addition to teaching online, Kathy writes, speaks, blogs, tweets, and conducts professional development workshops, presentations, and keynotes throughout the world. She is known for her practical presentations dealing with pedagogically sound practices for the embedding of technology seamlessly into teaching and learning. Her passions are online tools to support classroom instruction, the role of emerging technologies in the classroom, infographics, tablets in the classroom, copyright and intellectual property, and gadgets of any type! You can find her on Twitter (@kathyschrock), Skype (kathyschrock), Google+, and on many other social networks!
Kathy has written hundreds of articles dealing with technology and education and has authored several books about edtech topics. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her work, including a People's Choice Webby, the ISTE and MassCUE Making IT Happen Award, the NCTIES Service Learning Award, has served on the ISTE Board of Directors twice, and has worked with the US Department of Education on several educational technology initiatives.
Wednesday, October 2 General Session Speaker
Doug Johnson has been the Director of Libraries and Technology for the Mankato (MN) Public Schools since 1991 and has served as an adjunct faculty member of Minnesota State University since 1990. His teaching experience has included work in grades K-12 both here and in Saudi Arabia. He is the author of nine books including Teaching Right from Wrong in the Digital Age
; Machines are the Easy Part; People are the Hard Part
; and The Classroom Teachers Survival Guide to Technology
. His columns appear in ASCD’s Educational Leadership
and in Library Media Connection
. Doug’s Blue Skunk Blog
averages over 50,000 visits a month, and his articles have appeared in over forty books and periodicals. Doug has conducted workshops and given presentations for over 200 organizations throughout the United States and internationally and has held a variety of leadership positions in state and national organizations, including ISTE and AASL.
Gennifer Choldenko is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor Award–winning author of ten children’s books, including Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, and No Passengers Beyond This Point. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their two children, and a dog named Sasha.
Ruta Sepetys is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Between Shades of Gray. The award-winning novel was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is now published in over 40 countries. Her new bestselling novel, Out of the Easy, combines her love of research, scandal, and young women overcoming obstacles in a historical setting. Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee.
Books have always been a part of Wendelin Van Draanen’s life. Her mother taught her to read at an early age, and she has fond memories of story time with her father, when she and her brothers would cuddle up around him and listen to him read stories.
Growing up, Van Draanen was a tomboy who loved to be outside chasing down adventure. She did not decide that she wanted to be an author until she was an adult. When she tried her hand at writing a screenplay about a family tragedy, she found the process quite cathartic and from that experience, turned to writing novels for adults. She soon stumbled upon the joys of writing for children.
Feedback from her readers is Van Draanen’s greatest reward for writing. “One girl came up to me and told me I changed her life. It doesn't get any better than that,” she said. Van Draanen hopes to leave her readers with a sense that they have the ability to steer their own destiny, that individuality is a strength, and that where there's a will, there's most certainly a way.
Her first book was published in 1997, and since then her titles have won many awards. Now in its sixteenth installment, the Sammy Keyes Mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children’s Mystery five times, with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief bringing home the statue. Additionally, she has won the Christopher medal for Shredderman: Secret Identity, the California Young Reader Medal for Flipped, and the Schneider Family Book Award for The Running Dream. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, Shredderman became a Nickelodeon made-for-TV movie, and Flipped was released as a feature film, directed by Rob Reiner. She lives in California with her husband and two sons. Her hobbies include the “Three R’s”: Reading, Running and Rock ’n’ Roll.
Ann Hood is the author of the middle grade novel How I Save My Father's Life (and Ruined Everything Else), and has written several adult novels, including An Orinthologist's Guide to Life, The Knitting Circle, Comfort, and The Red Thread. Her work has appeared in the The Paris Review, O, and elsewhere.