Thursday, February 2, 2017

9:00 am – 10:00 am

The State of the Edtech Marketplace

    • What ten things will educators, parents and students be doing 5-10 years from now that they are not doing now?
    • What needs to happen in the next two years for these predictions to be true?
    • What are the critical actions ed innovators should be taking now?
    • What are likely stumbling blocks and how can they be avoided?
    • What is happening in the marketplace related to ed innovation growth outside the US compared to in the US?
    • What have been surprises in development over the past two years?
    • What can edtech stakeholders do to support the marketplace in the coming years? 

Tom Vander Ark is author of Getting Smart, Smart Cities, and Smart Parents. He is CEO of Getting Smart, a learning design firm and a partner at Learn Capital an education venture fund. Tom advocates for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access. Previously he served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tom served as a public school superintendent in Washington State and has extensive private sector experience. Tom is Board Chair of Charter Board Partners, Director for 4.0 Schools, Bloomboard, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation and Imagination Foundation, and serves on several other non-profit boards.

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Will Robots Eat Your Job?

“Software is eating the world.” As artificial intelligence capabilities increase, computers and software are doing more jobs that humans used to do, but they’re also creating new opportunities. MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, the co-author of The Second Machine Age, will address what’s in store for the economy and what it means for students and educators. Given his pioneering work on the combined power of people and machines, he will challenge and inspire the audience.

Erik Brynjolfsson is Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Professor at MIT Sloan School, and Research Associate at NBER. His research examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and performance, digital commerce, and intangible assets. At MIT, he teaches courses on the Economics of Information and the Analytics Lab. Author or co-editor of several books including NYTimes best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, Brynjolfsson is editor of SSRN’s Information System Network and has served on the editorial boards of numerous academic journals.

Twitter: @erikbryn

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm

What Neuroscience has to say for Education 2.0

Neuroscientists and cognitive scientists are working to uncover more insights on how  humans learn. What key insights emerging from basic science should be incorporated into teaching and learning by educators, and the development of new education products and services by entrepreneurs?   What key questions remain?  Gabrieli will provide both an overview and deep insight into his area of inquiry: the formation of memory.

John Gabrieli is Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT. His goal is to understand the organization of memory, thought, and emotion in the human brain. By combining brain imaging with behavioral tests, he studies the neural basis of these abilities in human subjects. A central theme of Gabrieli’s research is memory in its different forms: the short-term recall that allows us to dial a phone number, our long-term memory of events and places, and the emotional associations that often color our factual memories. Gabrieli studies how memory emerges during childhood. As brain imaging technology improves, it becomes possible to scan children at ever younger ages. This will open the door to many new questions about normal human development as well as developmental disorders such as dyslexia or autism. In fact, Gabrieli will head an ambitious new project to study the origins of dyslexia.

Friday, February 3, 2017

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Transforming Education: Personalizing K-12

In order to help all kids achieve their true academic potential, it’s time to rethink the way we do education – to shift our focus from a one-size-fits-all model to personalized learning, a process as individual as learners themselves. LEAP Innovations is a social enterprise, headquartered in Chicago, dedicated to connecting innovation and education to transform learning for all kids. Ms. Lockett, along with her team, has worked with more than 70 schools across Chicago and leads a national network of organizations that are advancing education innovation. In her keynote, Phyllis will address:

  • What are the real-life stories of teachers, principals and superintendents on their own paths to personalized learning?
  • What are the critical bottlenecks to achieving broad, successful adoption of personalized learning?
  • How do we identify and invest in the most promising edtech solutions to advance personalized learning, and drive the development of what’s missing in the market?
  • What are the differences between creating new schools based on personalized learning compared to creating change within existing schools?
  • What real-world advice can be offered to personalized learning leaders and pioneers?

Phyllis Lockett has been dedicated to transforming education in the U.S. for more than a decade. She is currently the CEO of LEAP Innovations, a 501(c)(3) social enterprise headquartered in Chicago. LEAP Innovations leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the US they are  the creators of the “LEAP Learning Framework,” a suite of resources that educators across the country are using to define, design, implement, and measure personalized learning models.

Before starting LEAP, Phyllis was founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, where she helped raise more than $70 million to bring quality public schools to communities of high need. She served as executive director of the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA), a pro bono consulting firm for government agencies, and held marketing, sales and business development roles with Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Kraft Foods and General Mills.

Born and raised on Chicago’s south side, Phyllis is a graduate of the Chicago Public School system, and both of her parents were Chicago Public Schools teachers. She earned a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Personalizing Higher Ed

Northeastern University is widely acknowledged as a leader in experiential learning, and in personalizing pathways to learning and careers. In this session, President Joseph Aoun will review the key strategies, resources and culture that have enabled Northeastern to innovate. Aoun will share his view on how  higher ed will change in the next 3-5 years as well as make recommendations to higher ed leaders as to key capabilities that higher ed institutions need to address these changes. Competency-based ed, “unbundling”, micro-credentials, internships and more will be touched on.


Joseph E. Aoun, a leader in higher education policy and an internationally renowned scholar in linguistics, is the seventh President of Northeastern University.

A respected voice on the value of global and experiential education, President Aoun has enhanced Northeastern’s signature co-op program with opportunities around the world and additional flexibility. Students have worked, studied, and conducted research in 131 countries, on all seven continents.

President Aoun has strategically aligned the University’s research enterprise with three global imperatives—health, security, and sustainability.  Northeastern is home to seven federally recognized research centers and institutes, including  the  Center for Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats, the Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing, the Center for Translational Cancer Nanomedicine, the Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems, and the Institute for Information Assurance.  Northeastern’s faculty focus on interdisciplinary research, entrepreneurship, and on transforming research into commercial solutions that address the world’s most pressing problems.

Northeastern’s excellence in education, research, and urban and global engagement is attracting highly-talented applicants from throughout the U.S. and around the world.  This year, it received more than 54,000 applications for freshman admission— the highest in the University’s history.  During Aoun’s presidency, Northeastern has also established a network of regional campuses and has amassed one of the largest libraries of online and hybrid professional masters programs of any university in the U.S.

President Aoun came to Northeastern from the University of Southern California’s College of Letters, Arts & Sciences where he was the inaugural holder of the Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair. He received his Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and advanced degrees from the University of Paris (France) VIII and Saint Joseph University (Beirut, Lebanon).

President Aoun has published seven books and written more than 40 articles. In 2006 he was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques (Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms) by the French government.  In 2011, he received the Robert A. Muh Award from MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the immediate past Chair of the American Council on Education (ACE). In 2013, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


Shirley Leung is a columnist at The Boston Globe, writing on everything from the cost of the Olympics, to gender issues in the workplace. She was a 2015 finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for commentary and a speaker at TedxAmherst. Leung also appears every Friday on Boston Public Radio at WGBH 89.7 FM. She is a regular contributor to New England Cable News, WGBH­TV’s “Greater Boston,” and “Beat the Press.” Previously, Leung was the Globe’s business editor overseeing daily coverage and helped launch Top Places to Work magazine. On her watch, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers named the Globe’s business section one of the best in the country. Prior to the Globe, she was a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal and her hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun. A graduate of Princeton University, Leung is a working mom with two young sons.