Meet Your Host, Alan November


Alan November

Founder, November Learning, Marblehead, MA

An international leader in education technology, Alan November began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at a reform school for boys. Today, he thrives on challenging educators' thoughts about what is possible in teaching and learning. Recognized as one of the nation's most influential thinkers, Alan has delivered keynotes and workshops in all 50 states, across Canada and throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Central America.

More on Alan November

Meet Our Esteemed Keynote Presenters

Alan November selects each keynote speaker and featured presenter based on a personal connection with the ground-breaking qualities of his or her work. There is no request for proposals to find these innovative minds. Varied and valuable, the topics covered by our esteemed guests draw an array of participants for a truly global experience. Get to know more about these powerful practitioners of transformative education – including Alan November himself, BLC’s host.


Eric Mazur

Area Dean of Applied Physics, Harvard University

Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University. Mazur founded several companies and plays an active role in industry. He is the Vice President of the Optical Society.

Special Guest

David Malan

Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, Harvard University

As of 2015, CS50 is Harvard’s largest course with over 800 students, up from 132 in 2006, and those “less comfortable” now compose the course’s largest demographic. Since 2015, CS50 is now also offered in parallel at Yale University. Also as of 2015 is a version of the course specifically geared for secondary school and the new AP CS Principles curriculum (CS50 AP) now offered in approximately 45 middle and high schools around the country, with a wider rollout beginning in 2016.

David J. Malan is Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Member of the Faculty of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He received his A.B., S.M., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the same in 1999, 2004, and 2007, respectively. He teaches Harvard College’s largest course, Computer Science 50, otherwise known as CS50, and edX’s largest course, CS50x. His research in graduate school focused primarily on cybersecurity and computer forensics. His more recent publications focus on instructional technologies and pedagogy.

Mike Pennington

Director of Technology, Independence Local Schools, Ohio

Mike Pennington and Garth Holman have a combined twenty-seven years 7th grade social studies teaching experience. Garth currently teaches in Beachwood City Schools where he piloted their 1:1 initiative eleven years ago. Mike recently left Chardon Local Schools and is currently working for and the Lorain County ESC. Their collaboration started seven years ago and has expanded to include their students. Every year Mike and Garth connect their students from two districts nearly thirty miles apart. Collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and intrinsic learning are life-long skills that Mike and Garth’s students use to become passionate learners. Moving beyond grades and linear teaching, Mike and Garth use technology to inspire student learning beyond the classroom.


Homa Sabet Tavangar

Growing Up Global

Homa Sabet Tavangar is the author of the widely-acclaimed, Random House/Ballantine Books release, Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World, named a “Best New Parenting Book” by Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, and hailed by national education and business leaders and media ranging from Dr. Jane Goodall to the BBC, NBC, ABC, Washington, Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, Boston Globe, PBS, Parents Magazine, Rodale Press,, the Huffington Post and many more. Her book is sparking initiatives across the U.S. to help audiences from CEOs to Kindergartners learn and thrive in a global context – and have fun along the way.

Homa is the lead author of The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners (Sage/Corwin, 2014), contributor toMastering Global Literacy, Heidi Hayes-Jacobs, ed. (Solution Tree, Nov. 2013) and is currently working on a 3-book series with Professor Yong Zhao on educating creative, entrepreneurial “World Class Learners.”

She serves as Series Consultant to NBC Sprout TV’s original series, Nina’s World, starring Rita Moreno and Mandy Patinkin. Nina’s World celebrates everyday adventures in a multi-cultural neighborhood and embodies the principles of Growing Up Global. Homa also has been Education Adviser to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and has worked with organizations ranging from the World Bank and USAID to Education First (EF), PBS Parents, Sprout TV,, and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Her writing appears on National Geographic Education, Edutopia, the Huffington Post, PBS, Momsrising, GOOD, and EducationWeek, among other media, and she is a sought-after speaker around global citizenship, globalizing curriculum, parenting, diversity, and creating inclusive, empathetic working and learning environments.


Kristin Ziemke

Teacher, Big Shoulders Fund, Chicago

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning from children in both urban and suburban school districts. A teacher and innovation specialist in Chicago, Kristin engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago’s 2013 Tech Innovator of the Year, Kristin seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She inspires educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer. To learn more about her work follow her on Twitter @KristinZiemke.


Jordyn Zimmerman


Jordyn Zimmerman is a student studying to become a special education teacher. Having experienced special education programs while in school herself, Jordyn hopes to become a catalyst for change in education. Jordyn has been challenging the status quo in special education for many years. Because Jordyn has difficulty with verbal communication, the educational system as it was, didn’t realize Jordyn’s true potential.

After a series of events when Jordyn was 18 years old, Jordyn began utilizing a communication device to help her relay her thoughts and feelings. Technology helped bring many opportunities for change for Jordyn and in 2014, she began advocating for special education through a series of speaking engagements including presenting to college students at University of Akron and Kent State University, residence hall staff at the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities, a Share A Vision fundraiser, a National School Boards Association (NSBA) Education Technology Site Visit and Mentor Schools Opening Day for hundreds of staff members.

Jordyn attended Mercyhurst University’s Autism Initiative Foundation Summer Program in 2015 to study psychology. Prior to that, a placement at Hudson High School and Mentor Schools’ Cardinal Autism Resource and Education School, known as CARES, brought opportunities for Jordyn to work with students in the classroom. This hands-on work experience included creating lessons for elementary students in Hudson, students with special needs at CARES, and teaching a fourth-grade class in a blended learning setting in Mentor.

The next plan for Jordyn is to attend college, earn her degree, and become a special education teacher. However, that will be just the beginning, as Jordyn is passionate and determined to make a difference in the world of education.

Linda Liukas

Author, Computer Programmer

Linda Liukas is a Finnish computer programmer, children’s writer and programming instructor. In 2014, she published Hello Ruby, the world’s most whimsical way to learn about technology, computing and coding. It is a story about a little girl with a big imagination who knows even the biggest problems are just small problems stuck together. The kids get to go on an adventure with Ruby and her friends – all while learning the basics of computational thinking through stories and exercises.

Linda does not think everyone will be a coder, but the ability to speak and structure thinking in a way a computer understands it will be one of the core future skills whatever the field, be it game designer, biologist, or data analyst. There are not that many professions that wouldn’t benefit from computational thinking skills. Programming languages will come and go, but our world will become only more technical.

“This generation of kids is growing up in a world where computers and programming are a big part of everyday life. This is why it is important to encourage the children to explore technology and to show that a simple keyboard on a computer is a tool for inventing, building and creating.”


Dr. Robert Goodman

Executive Director, New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning

Robert Goodman, the 2006 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning. As the science chair and a teacher of physics, chemistry, and environmental science at the Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro, NJ from 1999 to 2009, he founded and led the development of the Progressive Science Initiative® (PSI®) and, later, the Progressive Mathematics Initiative® (PMI®). Bob was a member of the New Jersey Task Force on College and Career Readiness; NEA’s Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching; a Content Expert Reviewer for Achieve; a Field Reader for the United States Department of Education; and a member of the Education Advisory Committee for the Liberty Science Center. In 2007, Bob received the I CAN Learn – NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his undergraduate research was published in an article he co-authored for the Journal of Applied Physics. He received his Master of Arts in Teaching Physics from SUNY Stony Brook, and his Doctorate in Science Education from Rutgers University, where Kappa Delta Pi awarded him the 2006 Delta Xi Award for outstanding dissertation. Before becoming a teacher, Bob had a twenty year career in the electronics industry which included serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Harman Kardon, JBL Consumer Products, and Onkyo International Operations.

Additional Presenters

The following presenters have been invited to speak at BLC16. This list will be updated as we invite and confirm more presenters.

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