Meet Your Host, 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.
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.
Professor, University of Washington Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Director, Center for Game Science
Founder & Chief Scientist, Center for Game Science
Zoran Popović is a Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, as well as founder of Enlearn. Trained as a computer scientist, his research focuses on creating engaging environments for learning and scientific discovery. He is one of the leaders in the field of large-scale citizen science. His laboratory created Foldit, a biochemistry game that produced four Nature publications, and showed for the first time that novices can be developed into world-class experts in a science domain through game-based scientific discovery. His laboratory has produced award-winning math learning games played by over five million learners worldwide. He is currently focusing on engaging methods that can rapidly develop mastery and expertise in arbitrary domains with particular focus on scientific breakthroughs and revolutionizing K-12 math education. Zoran is known for conducting large-scale educational campaigns including Algebra Challenges conducted in Washington, Minnesota, and Norway with almost 100,000 students. To maximize the impact of his research, he founded Enlearn to develop the first platform that adapts all aspects of the learning ecosystem by specializing to each curriculum, student, classroom and teacher in realtime, towards maximizing learning outcomes. His contributions to the field of interactive computer experiences have been recognized by a number of awards including the NSF CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.
Autism Awareness Educator
Christy LaPaglia has been working in the field of special education as a teacher, consultant and an autism awareness educator for over 20 years. Christy began her career when she was hired to teach in the first classroom in a public school in Northeast Ohio designed specifically for children with autism. Most recently she was charged with the design and development of the first public school designed to meet the needs of students on the autism spectrum. She is currently the director of the Cardinal Autism Resource and Education School in Mentor Ohio.
Over the years, Christy has developed a quality and highly respected program for students with autism. Since then she has been asked by surrounding districts to help recreate similar programs in their own districts. Christy has been trained in many methodologies of educating students with autism including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Greenspan’s DIR model, Carol Gray’s Social Stories, but her primary focus has been on the TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children) methodology. Christy has twice been awarded the Franklin B. Walter Award for outstanding achievement in special education.
Christy has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kent State University and a Masters in Curriculum and Design from Cleveland State University. Christy holds a permanent teaching certificate moderate/intense k-12 and an administration license k-12.
Olivia Van Ledtje
Wisdom of a 9-year-old digital citizen
Olivia (aka as LivBit) is a 9-year old who is smart about all things shark and hopes to be a future ichthyologist. She is an ambassador for the Gills Club, an organization promoting girls in science through inquiry-based experiences meant to grow enthusiasm and activism for sharks. Olivia is also a passionate advocate for books and using social media to promote digital citizenship, voice and audience. Wanting to promote a deeper understanding about kindness in social media posting, Olivia is working hard to be a mentor tech example for others. She loves to tweet out messages that help kids love authors, books, and big ideas about life.
Olivia is also an accomplished ballerina and spent several weeks this summer at American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive Program in NYC, where she connected with dancers for all over the world and found out that she is a city girl at heart. She plays the violin, loves eating pizza, and has an incredible heart for all things Disney!
Olivia’s work on LivBits has been featured all over the world, including conferences in Taiwan, Singapore, and England. She was so excited to be included as a keynote speaker and voice for kids and social media at the Twitter Headquarters this past October. She’s been honored to present with accomplished authors at national conferences across the country, including NCTE, ASCD, ISTE, and ILA, and looks forward to more opportunities working with authors and organizations who share her drive to promote digital citizenship for kids.
Connect with Olivia at @thelivbits
Superintendent, Loudoun County Public Schools
Eric Williams has served as the superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) in Virginia since July 2014. LCPS serves approximately 78,000 students in 90 schools.
Williams served previously as superintendent in York County, Virginia, as an assistant superintendent and principal in Naples, Florida, and as a teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. He has also worked as a teacher and administrator in Massachusetts and Brazil.
Dr. Williams’ educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and a doctorate of education from Boston University.
His Twitter username is @ewilliams65.
Clinical and Organizational Psychologist
Robert Evans is a clinical and organizational psychologist and the Executive Director of The Human Relations Service in Wellesley, Massachusetts. A former high school and pre-school teacher, and for many years a child and family therapist, he has consulted in more than 1,700 schools throughout the U.S. and internationally, working with teachers, administrators, and boards, and speaks widely at educational conferences.
Rob received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his doctorate from Harvard. His interests have focussed on change and resistance to it in schools and organizations, on the challenges of leading innovation, and on changes in American families and their impact on schools. He is currently concentrating on ways to improve collegiality and candor among educators and to promote realistic dialogue about accountability.
The following presenters have been invited to speak at BLC17. This list will be updated as we invite and confirm more presenters.