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Paulo Blikstein is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education and (by courtesy) the Computer Science Department, where he directs the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab. Blikstein's research focuses on how new technologies can deeply transform the learning of science, engineering, and mathematics. He creates and researches cutting-edge educational technologies, such as computer modeling, robotics, digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping, creating hands-on learning environments in which children learn science and mathematics by building sophisticated projects and devices. He also focuses on the application of data mining and machine learning for the assessment of hands-on, project-based learning. Blikstein is a pioneer in bringing the maker movement to schools, and has started the first educational program around digital fabrication in school, the FabLab@School project. His group has built advanced digital fabrication labs in middle and high schools in the US, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Australia, Denmark, and Thailand. Paulo is also the Founder and Principal Investigator of the Lemann Center for Brazilian Education at Stanford, a 10-year initiative to transform public education in Brazil.
Nichole Pinkard, Ph.D. believes that digitally literate kids – those who can critically consume and produce alternative media – grow up to be better citizens. With a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, and an M.S. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, she is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago, and is the founder of Digital Youth Network and Remix Learning. Both organizations focus on developing digital literacies as tools for extending traditional literacies. Dr. Pinkard is also a co-founder of YOUmedia, a public learning library space that immerses high school students in a context of traditional media – books – where they make and produce new media artifacts such as music, games, videos and virtual worlds.
The recipient of a 2010 Common Sense Media Award for Outstanding Commitment to Creativity and Youth, the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies, and an NSF Early CAREER Fellowship, Dr. Pinkard serves on the Boards of Institute of Play and Chicago Allies.
Rafranz Davis is the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin Independent School District. In this role, she supports the growth of district leaders, teachers and students through the lens of personalized learning, creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Microsoft Innovative Education Expert and serves in advisory roles for multiple technology companies and organizations including the ISTE community as the chairperson of the digital equity network. Rafranz uses her voice in education to speak at local, state and national events on topics such as connected learning, digital equity, student data and privacy, creativity, digital learning tools and diversity in edtech. In 2014, Rafranz was invited to the White House as a speaker for the official launch of the ConnectEd Initiative where she spoke on future ready professional learning through the lens of her district. She is the author of the book, The Missing Voices in Edtech: Bringing Diversity into Edtech and is a two time Bammy Award finalist for school technologist of the year.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Corcoran is responsible for keeping the whole EdSurge operation running. Betsy was previously Executive Editor for technology coverage at Forbes Media. Earlier she was an award-winning staff writer for the Washington Post and Scientific American. She has led professional development workshops on using IT in a public elementary school, where she also learned the fine art of coaxing incompatible systems to talk with one another and how to tame dust bunnies.