EdTechTeacher Innovation Connection

November 1, 2021

Waltham, MA – Bentley University



Inspiration and Ideas with other Innovators

The EdTechTeacher Innovation Connection is a unique 1-day event designed to bring innovative educators together to learn, share, and connect. Held in the beautiful Bentley University conference center, the Innovation Connection features acclaimed edtech speakers and presenters, lively and interactive sessions, and plenty of opportunities to mingle with colleagues. Come for an invigorating day of ideas, inspiration and practical how-tos and return to your institution energized to further creative innovation.



Carl Hooker is an educational consultant and speaker from Austin, TX. He is a former teacher and administrator and has written 6 books on mobile learning as well as being a National Faculty Member for Future Ready Schools. He hosts two podcasts and has launched an online course called The Remote Learning Coach for schools and districts looking for assistance when it comes to remote and hybrid learning.

Keynote Topic: It's Time For Learning Realignment

Our teachers and students have been through the ringer the past two years. Hybrid/remote/virtual teaching and learning has definitely been a challenge, however, there are some positives that we can gain from this experience. In this talk, we’ll reflect on the time spent learning during the pandemic and look at what strategies and skills we can bring forward as we realign our future in education.

Conference will run from 8am until 3pm at Bentley University. Lunch included. Session Schedule Below.

EdTechTeacher Instructors and Invited Guest Speakers will lead breakout sessions throughout the day.


We are inviting some of our favorite educational companies to also be a part of the learning and day.




07:30 – 08:00 AM 

Registration, Coffee & Connect

Join us at Bentley University Conference Center to check in and connect with other participants.

08:00 – 09:15 AM 

Welcome & Keynote Speaker

Carl Hooker: "It's Time For Learning Realignment"

Our teachers and students have been through the ringer the past two years. Hybrid/remote/virtual teaching and learning has definitely been a challenge, however, there are some positives that we can gain from this experience. In this talk, we’ll reflect on the time spent learning during the pandemic and look at what strategies and skills we can bring forward as we realign our future in education.

09:15 – 09:30 AM 


09:30 – 10:30 AM 

Session 1

Choose from the following sessions:

Carl Hooker: "Strategies for Engaging Blended Student Assessment"

Authentically assessing student learning has always been a challenge. Now we have the added challenge of attempting to do this while students learn remotely. There are all sorts of proctoring software that will monitor students’ responses to a traditional test, but we need to be thinking of other ways to measure their understanding that’s not necessarily on a multiple choice quiz. During this session, we’ll explore several different strategies for educators to assess their students’ learning remotely.

Tom Daccord: "AI is Here: A Case Study of AI as Student Writing Assistant"

In many schools, Artificial Intelligence has been limited to adaptive tutoring software and most educators have not felt the impact of AI directly — until now. An AI tool called GPT-3 is now publicly available and can write stories, create characters, provide sensory description, craft poetic language, and more. GPT-3 requires only a small amount of text from a user to write language “impressively” and “human-sounding.” Come learn about AI advances in education and more specifically the promise and perils of AI and student writing.

Avra Robinson: "Creating & Utilizing Instructional Videos in the Classroom"

Instructional videos can be fantastic teaching tools for teachers, but they can also be a creation tool for students. In this session, we will explore how videos can be used to support learning in the classroom. From tips and tricks for teachers creating supportive instructional videos to ideas for how students might use students might utilize video to demonstrate understanding, this session will share a wide variety of new ideas to get students and teachers started utilizing video in the service of learning.

Tom Driscoll: "Project Based Learning with Audio & Podcasting"

Project Based Learning is a proven teaching method in which students explore real-world problems and challenges over an extended period of time. In this workshop, learn how to leverage the power of audio and podcasting to take PBL units to the next level! Participants will explore practical ways to design and implement podcasting and other innovative uses of audio within the context in authentic, collaborative PBL experiences. 

Matthew X Joseph: "Moving From Consumption to Creation"

We often talk about engagement and students having an active role in learning. However, if you look at the classroom of the 50s, you would see desks in rows, a teacher in the front of the room doing most of the talking, books out on the desks, and students consuming the lesson. Should schools in 2021 follow this same model? The answer should be a resounding, very loud NO, but that is not always the case. In today’s classroom, do we teach by telling information that students are expected to consume? One of the keys to academic achievement is active learning. Personalized, collaborative, and connected learning experiences enhance student engagement, which in turn drives student success. By integrating blended and digital learning into the classroom, educators can take learning experiences to the next level and improve student performance. Digital learning is an instructional strategy that enhancing and engages learners. It’s important to know what tools we have and what they’re capable of providing to enhance student learning. This session will focus on tools and strategies to create active thinkers and learners.

10:30 – 10:45 AM 


10:45 – 11:45 AM 

Session II

Choose from the following sessions, click a session for description

Carl Hooker: "Unlocking Failure: Using Risk-taking to Open Up Creativity"

Risk-taking and celebrating failure can be great ways to stimulate creativity in the classroom. During this very interactive session, we'll go through a series of improv activities designed to help students activate the creative side of their brain. Come prepared to move, think, and leave your inhibitions at the door. It’s not how you fall down, it’s how you get back up.

Tom Daccord: "Designing Assessments for Digital Experiences"

COVID-19 has prompted many educators to reconsider their balance and design of formative and summative assessments. For many, digital experiences have become hybrid — happening remotely and in-person — and educators need assessment frameworks and strategies for multiple environments. Designed for classroom teachers, curriculum specialists, and edtech specialists, this session focuses on developing innovative assessment strategies for both onsite and remote instructional environments. Participants will be prompted to rethink their balance of formative and summative assessment, reflect on the qualities of effective formative assessment, and explore several tools, and apps that can be used to create effective assessment strategies.

Avra Robinson: "Digital Storytelling with Canva for EDU"

Digital storytelling, in the broadest sense, is about weaving together narrative, imagery, voice and music into media­ rich presentations. Storytelling provides students with opportunities to construct narrative, express their ideas, and stretch their imaginations. In this session, we will look at how to craft a multimedia digital story with the FREE tool, Canva for EDU.

Eric Lawson: "Design Thinking with Google Jamboard"

Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods. In this session, participants will use Google's interactive whitespace, Jamboard, to go through the design thinking phases and understand how to use this tool with students to develop not only problem solvers, but problem finders within our schools.

Justin Reich: "Healing, Community, and Humanity: How Students and Teachers Want to Reinvent Schools Post-COVID"

Understanding the experiences of students and teachers during pandemic schooling is vital to educational recovery and building back better. In the spring of 2021 as the school year was coming to close, we conducted three research exercises: 1) we invited 200 teachers to interview their students about the past year and share their findings, 2) we interviewed 50 classroom teachers, and 3) we conducted ten multi-stakeholder design charrettes with students, teachers, school leaders, and family members to begin planning for the 2021-2022 recovery year. Rather than a "return to normal" or the targeting of a narrowly-conceived "learning loss," the students and educators in our study emphasized themes of healing, community, and humanity as key learnings from the pandemic year and essential values to rebuilding schools. We recommend that in the 2021-2022 year, schools create structures for community members to reflect on the pandemic year, celebrate resilience, grieve what has been lost, and imagine how the lessons learned from a tumultuous year can inform more equitable, resilient school systems for the future. We provide guidance on four reflection protocols to use in school communities to advance this work.

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM 

Lunch Break + Visit the Vendors

12:45 – 1:45 PM 

Session III

Choose from the following sessions, click a session for description

Tom Driscoll: "Virtual Experiences with Google for EDU"

Virtual Reality has fundamentally transitioned from environments that are only accessible via expensive headsets to numerous web based platforms (WebXR) that are readily accessible to students and educators across multiple devices. In this session, we will explore a range of powerful virtual experiences that can be leveraged and designed using platforms that run in Google Chrome along other virtual Google for EDU tools and resources.

Avra Robinson: "Student Reflection & Digital Portfolios – Capturing Learning with BookCreator"

Creating digital portfolios can be a powerful process to chronicle student learning. Digital Portfolio creation also creates a space and time for student reflection on learning. This session explores the purpose, process and setup of digital portfolios as a means to have students develop evidence of their learning over time through a combination of text, images, audio and video. We will feature Book Creator as a wonderful option for curating student work into digital portfolios.

Jed Stefanowicz: "The 5th C: Computational Thinking K-5"

Unlock the magic of Coding and Computational Thinking in the elementary classroom. Explore hands-on opportunities for computational thinking and early programming using apps and robots, as well as offline activities fostering problem-solving skills and engineering. Join Digital Learning Coach Jed Stefanowicz to bring coding concepts and language to the hands of young learners for accessibility and engagement, including curriculum integration and ideas for folding ISTE standards into everyday instruction. The session is designed to showcase effective lessons and implementation with significant opportunity for participant exploration, including web-based software as well as physical robots and tools, including Ozobot, Beebot, Osmo, Circuit Playground and Makey-Makey.

Kerry Gallagher: "Digital Wellness: Reshaping Our Cultural Approach to Technology"

Education has experienced many pendulum swings throughout our many adaptations to technologies. Rebounding from our full remote model of teaching and learning does not have to be another swing-and-a-miss. We can help our students, their parents, and our colleagues reflect on what we've learned, how we've improved, and how we want to move forward as an educational community that uses technology in healthy, positive, and productive ways. Learn a framework for Digital Wellness. Then start the conversation in your classroom, among your colleagues, and with the community that supports your school.

Reshan Richards: "Combatting Video Conference Fatigue Using a Digital Whiteboard"

An article that came out of Stanford University in the early spring of 2021 highlighted research that identified four causes of what the author described as “Zoom fatigue”and ways to address those causes. Generally, it suggested approaches to address video call fatigue by minimizing or removing elements from the experience. In addition to understanding these 4 moves, we will explore an additive approve: using a whiteboard as a replacement visual layer to promote visual engagement while reducing video fatigue.

01:45 – 02:00 PM 


02:00 – 3:00 PM 

Session IV

Choose from the following sessions, click a session for description

Tom Daccord: "How Do We Change? Coaching and Conscientious Innovation"

Technology environments offer unprecedented opportunities to develop personalized and student-centered learning environments, but developing effective instructional and cultural practices is challenging. In this session, we will examine theories, case-studies, and strategies for how to promote conscientious innovation among faculty within new learning environments.

Tom Driscoll: "Best Practices for Flipped Learning"

Flipped learning, particularly strategies related to instructional video content, has rapidly become a go-to strategy for teachers across the nation. In this session, we will explore best practices around designing and implementing effective flipped lessons in a variety of modalities, contexts and subject areas.

Suzy Brooks: "Let’s Dig Deeper and Ditch the Dinosaurs!"

Bring your binoculars to find what Dinosaurs still roam through the education system, impacting budgets, efficiency and student engagement. The time to make an unprecedented shift is now! What has this global pandemic experience given us? What take-aways can we carry forward? Seize the opportunity to affect positive change in your classroom, school or district by exploring and discussing ideas, resources, tools and stories leading us away from obsolescence and towards better and better practices.

Kyle Wilson: "Managing Data, Differentiation & Decision Making in Google Workspace"

A normal school year starts with an abundance of assessments, surveys and screenings. As a result of the pandemic, these measurement tools take on a whole new level of importance.Quality assessments produce quality data. Often the most challenging part is organizing student data in a way for teams to make effective decisions.In this session we'll explore how Google Workspace tools can allow for teams to have deep discussions over student data, leading to quality, just-in-time interventions. We'll also examine the importance of putting data in the student's hands and the ways to explicitly teach students the importance of knowing where they stand in their own learning and development. A teacher is better able to focus on teaching and grouping when they've established a culture where students demonstrate true agency and choice.


We believe the best instruction starts with the best content. Newsela ELA, Newsela Social Studies, and Newsela Science, Newsela SEL take authentic, real-world content from the most trusted providers in the world, and make it ready for use in those classrooms at 5 reading levels. In addition to our engaging content, we partner with districts to create aligned resources built to meet your specific needs and offer professional learning opportunities to make sure you are set up for success. Address unfinished learning by leveraging authentic, accessible content that can be used cross-curricularly to empower disciplinary literacy. Learn how to embed social emotional learning into core curriculum so that you are meeting not only students academic needs, but also supporting the whole child.



Tom Daccord

Founder & CEO of EdTechTeacher

Carl Hooker

Keynote Speaker

Avra Robinson

EdTechTeacher Director of Online Learning

tom driscoll
Tom Driscoll

EdTechTeacher Instructor & Digital Learning Director

Matthew X Joseph

Featured Speaker

Jed Stefanowicz

Featured Speaker

Suzy Brooks

Featured Speaker

Reshan Richards

Featured Speaker

Kerry Gallagher

Featured Speaker

Justin Reich

Featured Speaker

Kyle Wilson

Featured Speaker

Eric Lawson

Featured Speaker

Matthew X. Joseph

Matthew has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education for over 27 years. His experiences ranges from Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, elementary school principal, classroom teacher, to district professional development specialist He has used those experiences to publish articles and had opportunities to speak at multiple state and national events. He is the author of Power of Connections: Connecting Educators, Cultivating Professional Learning Networks, & Redefining Educator Collaboration, Power of Us: Creating Collaborative Schools and co-author of Modern Mentoring, Reimagining Teacher Mentorship.

Jed Stefanowicz

As a Digital Learning Coach in Walpole, Jed provides job-embedded pd and instructional coaching for academic technology. Jed aims to engage and build staff/student capacity with digital tools while keeping the focus on practice over product. As an 25 year elementary educator, speaker, and blogger, Jed shares his passion for effective tech integration to transform teaching and learning, creating digital learning environments and experiences that are meaningful, memorable and measurable. Check out his blog at stefanowiczclass.blogspot.com.

Suzy Brooks

Suzy Brooks is an Instructional Technology Director for Mashpee Public Schools after 10 years as an elementary teacher. She provides professional development and hands-on workshops for educators at local, regional and national venues. Her work in blended learning, student engagement, and social media has been featured by EdWeek, NBC News’ Education Nation, Instructor Magazine, Intel, ASCD, and the NEA.Suzy is the past-President for the Massachusetts affiliate of ASCD and is a 2011 MassCUE Pathfinder. You can follow her on Twitter @SimplySuzy.

Reshan Richards, Ed.D.

Dr. Reshan Richards is Director of Studies at New Canaan Country School in Connecticut, and co-founder of Explain Everything Inc. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Math, Science, and Technology department at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a co-founder of Explain Everything, Inc.

Dr. Richards also teaches Startup 101, an entrepreneurship course for graduating seniors at Montclair Kimberley Academy in NJ. He is the co-author of “Blending Leadership: Six Simple Beliefs for Leading Online and Off” and “Make Yourself Clear: How To Use A Teaching Mindset To Listen, Understand, Explain Everything, And Be Understood.”

An Apple Distinguished Educator and member of Mensa, Dr. Richards has an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University, an Ed.M in Learning and Teaching from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Music from Columbia University.

Kery Gallagher, J.D.

Kerry Gallagher, JD is the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. She’s also the Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely.org, an EdSurge Columnist, and an active blogger. Her multi-award winning blog can be found at www.KerryHawk02.com and she is on social media @KerryHawk02.

Prior to moving into administration, Kerry served as a middle school teacher, high school teacher, and then digital learning specialist for over 15 years. Kerry received the 2014 Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission on the use of mobile devices for a paperless public school classroom.

Kyle Wilson

Kyle is entering his 14th year in education with experience teaching both fourth and sixth grade. He currently is the K-5 Math Instructional Coach for the Burrillville Public Schools. In recognition of his dedication to the profession, he was especially proud to be named the 2018-2019 Burrillville Teacher of the Year. Kyle was a member of the first cohort of FuseRI fellows and EdTechRI Testbed. He worked with partner districts on blended learning scalability and a system for sharing, implementing, and evaluating technology usage and blended learning in schools across Rhode Island. Kyle has a unique combination of technical expertise and curiosity mixed with the perspective of a classroom teacher, which serves him well in professional development trainings. He is a frequent presenter at regional blended learning conferences. Kyle has worked on behalf of EdTechTeacher and the Highlander Institute facilitating immersive teacher workshops focused on Google Workspace tools creating a more purposeful and engaging learning process for both teachers and students.

Eric Lawson

Eric Lawson has been in education for 21 years. He has been an elementary teacher, a technology integrator, an Admin Curriculum/Technology Integrator, and is currently the Director of Technology & Libraries for the York School Department in York, Maine. He has been published in eSchool News, Tech&Learning Magazine and ISTE’s Learning and Leading with Technology Magazine for technology integrated projects and ideas. He was named a member of the Maine Starting 6, and was inducted into the Unum Maine Teacher’s Hall of Fame in January 2012. He was the ACTEM Achieve Award winner in 2018. Eric is a certified Google Innovator, Trainer and Platinum Product Expert.