George Couros is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division and an Innovative Leadership Consultant. He has worked with all levels of school from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school based administrator. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools/organizations all over the world. George is also the creator of Connected Principals, the founder of Connected Canada, as well as the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program (#SAVMP). His focus is to help organizations create optimal learning environments for innovation within schools.
Although George is a leader in the area of innovation, his focus is always the development of leadership and people and what is best for kids. He uses humor as a way to connect with all of those that he works with. His presentations are known to be both informative and entertaining, yet create an emotional connection that helps people move to the next level. His mix of research, personal stories, and practical ways to implement new learning help participants feel comfortable in taking risks in their own learning.
Allison Zmuda's focus is to help every educator create a competent classroom-a learning environment where all participants believe it is possible for them to be successful-in which what teachers and students are expected to know and be able to do is challenging, feasible, and worthy of the attempt. Zmuda also specializes in short and long rangecontinuous improvement planning, evaluating the degree to which structures, policies, and job descriptions support the work of the school to achieve its mission.
Allison Zmuda began as a public high school teacher in Connecticut and her curricular and instructional practices led to her first book, The Competent Classroom (2001). Her second book, High Stakes High School: A Guide for the Perplexed Parents (2001), welcomes parents into the conversation about standards, assessment, and high-stakes testing. In addition to her work in the area of curriculum, assessment and instruction, Zmuda's third book, Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement (2004) looks at the challenges and promise of engaging in building and system-wide improvement. Transforming Schools received the honor of being the designated member book and as such, over 100,000 copies were distributed its first year and was recently named a "best-seller." Zmuda's fourth writing project was as lead co-author of the Schooling by Design Action Tool, released by ASCD in October 2007. Her fifth book, released in June 2008, triumphs the power of the library as a doorway to creating rigor and relevance in student learning: Librarians as Learning Specialists: Meeting the 21st Century Learning Imperative (2008). Zmuda's latest project, Breaking Free from Myths of Teaching and Learning: is in its final stages and is due out in December 2010 as an ASCD premium member book. Allison Zmuda works with the Association for the Supervision and Curriculum Development as a Faculty member in the Understanding by Design cadre and independently through her own consulting firm. Zmuda has presented at workshops and conferences across the United States and Canada. In addition, Allison Zmuda hosts "Insider, Outsider," a web-based radio show that is an insightful, eclectic mix for listeners and guests in pursuit of cutting-edge ideas and exceptional wisdom. "Bringing to the discussion, experts in business, dance, creativity, neuroscience, meditation, psychology, and innovative design adds new dimensions to conversations about improving schools for our students and ourselves," said Zmuda.