Mimio Educator

      Top 20 Influencers in Education Technology

      Posted by Holly Fritz-Palao on Thu, Aug 20, 2015
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      Influencers_callout-01Talented Individuals Dedicated to Making Education Work

      As a new school year gets underway, we thought it might be interesting to share a list of some of the education industry’s most influential K-12 educators and administrators, key bloggers, cutting-edge executives, and nonprofit superstars. Did we miss anyone? Share their name and contact information in the comments section below.

      1. Terry B. Grier & Lenny J. Schad (Houston Independent School District)
        Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry B. Grier and Chief Technology Information Officer Lenny J. Schad work hard to facilitate the $28 million PowerUp initiative in Houston schools. The initiative aims to provide laptops for the 65,000 students in the school district’s high schools, creating a 1:1 learning environment with no more print textbooks and easier access to digital content. The extensive effort these administrators have put into this initiative has earned them a place in Education Week’s “2015 Leaders to Learn From” report.

      2. Andrew Coy (Digital Harbor Foundation)
        Andrew Coy is the executive director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering learning, creativity, productivity, and community through education. So far, the foundation has transformed a closed recreational center in Baltimore City into a vibrant Tech Center for youth. They also offer technology workshops for educators to help teach them to do the same.

      3. Richard Barth (KIPP Foundation)
        CEO Richard Barth heads the KIPP Foundation, which aims to create a respected national network of public schools to help students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the future. The foundation operates on the belief that all students, regardless of their demographics, can learn and achieve. Through the KIPP Share online sharing platform, educators from all over the country who are in the KIPP network can collaborate and work as a team.

      4. Michael Walden (Rethink Education)
        Michael Walden is a partner at Rethink Education, a consortium of investors who are working to bring education to the 21st century by investing in companies focused on educational technologies. 

      5. Mark D. Benigni (Meriden Public Schools)
        Meriden Public Schools Superintendent Mark Benigni has organized a plethora of programs for struggling schools in Meriden, CT. With initiatives such as full-day kindergarten, Saturday enrichment academies, and increased time for teacher collaboration, as well as the creation of two new high schools with state-of-the-art blended learning programs, Benigni has expanded opportunities for students in his district. He has also extended learning time in his district, increasing student achievement and well-being through longer, more enriching school days.

      6. Linda L. Clark (West Ada School District)
        As the superintendent of one of the lowest funded schools in districts with more than 10,000 students, Linda Clark has worked hard to get results with few resources. With minimal funding, Clark was able to help supply five ”superstar” teachers in her district with the technologically advanced classroom of their dreams. This has earned her a place in Education Week’s “2015 Leaders to Learn From” report.

      7. Anant Agarwal (edX)
        Anant Agarwal is the CEO of edX, an online learning community founded by Harvard and MIT to provide free college courses to anyone looking for educational opportunities. Agarwal taught the first edX course, and he has since won the Maurice Wilkes prize for computer architecture. He was also awarded MIT's Smullin and Jamieson prizes for teaching.

      8. Vicki Davis (CoolCatTeacher)
        A well-known teacher and blogger, Vicki Davis aims to help other teachers be better leaders and get better results from their students. She leads a bi-weekly podcast full of ideas and strategies for educators. Her award-winning blog, “CoolCatTeacher,” and her two books on teaching make her an influential resource for teachers all over the country.

      9. Roger Wagner (HyperDuino)
        Roger Wagner is the designer of the HyperStudio program, an easy and fun way to introduce students to programming. Using a HyperDuino circuit board and LED lights or small moving parts, the system can be used to create many things. But Wagner points out that one of the most helpful uses is to program the HyperDuino as a supplemental part of presenting a project. Wagner’s exciting technology visited ISTE this year and gained a lot of attention for its innovation.

      10. Chris Aviles (Teched Up Teacher)
        Chris Aviles is the ed tech coach for the Fair Haven School District in New Jersey. Using the ideas and challenges he comes upon as a technology coach, he creates blog posts on his website, Teched Up Teacher, to help guide other teachers and administrators through the implementation of ed tech into their schools.

      11. Julie Evans (Project Tomorrow)
        Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that today’s students are well prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. The organization works towards this mission through research projects, providing tools for educators and students, and contributing to educational policy issues. One of Project Tomorrow’s initiatives is Speak Up, a research project that provides participating schools with online surveys to collect feedback from students, educators, and parents.

      12. Chris Lehmann (Science Leadership Academy & Practical Theory)
        Chris Lehmann is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a high school in Philadelphia that focuses on science and technology. The school is inquiry-based and project-driven, and has successfully implemented a 1:1 laptop initiative. Lehmann’s blog, Practical Theory, catalogs his ideas and successes at SLA on School 2.0 environments and blended learning.

      13. Claire Pavia (teepeesmommy on mimioconnect.com)
        Claire Pavia is a first-grade teacher in a rural Lutheran school in Illinois. A MimioConnect® member since 2009, Pavia has uploaded almost 130 lesson plans and activities, making her one of the most active members in the community. With her M.S. in Education and 11 years of teaching experience, Pavia is a valuable resource for members of the MimioConnect community.

      14. Lucy Gray (Global Education Conference)
        The Global Education Conference (GEC) is a free, week-long online event that brings together educators and innovators to network and discover the latest and greatest trends in education. Lucy Gray is the founder of the online GEC community, and the heart and co-chair of the conference. She is also an educational technology consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator, and Google Certified Teacher.

      15. Kyle Dunning (Edudemic)
        Kyle is the general manager of Edudemic, where he works to keep up with the brand’s mission to create great students. He oversees the creation of educational, technology-related content to share with educators and innovators alike. Kyle has been involved with education products for over five years; since taking over Edudemic in 2014, he’s been driven to make it better than ever.

      16. Jerry Blumengarten (Cybrary Man)
        Jerry Blumengarten – better known as “Cybrary Man” – has spent years creating an online database of links to educational resources for parents, students, and educators. He views each link he adds to his catalog to ensure that it will be useful for those who visit it. Topics of links range from homework help to hobbies, making the site helpful to anyone who explores it.

      17. Shelly Terrell (Teacher Trainer & Author)
        Shelly Terrell is the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, a book about transforming teaching methods through small, step-by-step changes. She promotes the same advice on her blog, helping to inform teachers of ways they can efficiently use resources such as educational technology to revamp the way their students learn.

      18. Monica Burns (ClassTechTips)
        Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher who now writes a popular ed-tech blog called ClassTechTips. She has used technology to align classroom instruction with requirements such as Common Core State Standards, and now works to make technology integration exciting and accessible at all grade levels. Through her blog, she provides educators with ideas and resources to take on ed tech in their own way.

      19. Valerie Strauss (The Washington Post)
        Valerie Strauss writes for The Washington Post, focusing mainly on the topic of education. Her articles capture sides of education that are often forgotten, such as “The consequences for kids when their parents work irregular night shifts and “Teacher: I’m not Tom Cruise but my job is a lot like ‘Mission Impossible.’”

      20. Russell Stannard (Teacher Training Videos)
        Russell Stannard is the creator of Teacher Training Videos, a collection of video tutorials designed to help teachers learn new ways to educate their students. He has focused on educational technology topics such as flipped classrooms, teaching online, and Prezi and PowerPoint. In addition to maintaining his website of training videos, he also makes presentations, gives talks, and conducts workshops.

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      Topics: education industry, Educational influencers


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