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Building Authentic Need and Research into Edtech Development

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Building Authentic Need and Research into Edtech Development

Presented by Dr. Daryl Diamond, Director of Innovative Learning, Broward County Public Schools, FL; Dr. Ayanna Howard, CTO, Zyrobotics; Dr. L. Robert Furman, Principal of South Park Elementary Center, South Park Township, PA; and Sierra Noakes, Senior Research Project Manager, Digital Promise
Hosted by Barbara Pape, Communications Director, Learner Variability Project

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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Do you have challenges finding, selecting, and procuring high quality edtech? You’re not alone! In this edWebinar, watch the conversation as panelists representing district leaders, school leaders, and product developers discuss their challenges with edtech and the market. By sharing the multitude of challenges various roles in the edtech marketplace face, panelists will imagine and propose innovative solutions to design a marketplace that better meets the needs of each stakeholder.

Most importantly, the panelists discuss changes to the edtech industry that ensure students receive high quality, research-based instruction from the products they use. Attend this edWebinar to learn how you can join this movement. This recorded presentation will be of interest to preK-12 and higher education teachers, librarians, school and district leaders, researchers, product developers, and entrepreneurs.

About the Presenters

Dr. Daryl Diamond is the director of innovative learning in Broward County Public Schools. She supervises the district’s instructional technology program, instructional and digital materials adoption and distribution process, library media, gifted and talented students, and the district’s global scholars program. She has served as an intern principal and assistant principal at Sheridan Technical College and High School, assistant director of organizational change management for a district-wide ERP implementation, instructional leader of curriculum for Broward Virtual School, and project manager technology and instruction for the district’s office of information and technology. She has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association and has conducted research for the International Association for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL). She is co-author of the book Digital Solidary in Education (2014).

Dr. Ayanna Howard is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Zyrobotics, an educational technology company, and the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her B.S. in engineering from Brown University, her M.S.E.E. from the University of Southern California, and her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. Her artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and assistive technology research has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed publications and a number of commercialized products, including STEM Storiez, a set of AI-powered gamified e-books for early STEM education. To date, her unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in USA Today, Upscale, and TIME Magazine, as well as being named a MIT Technology Review top young innovator and recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider. Prior to this, Dr. Howard was a senior robotics researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dr. L. Robert Furman is an educator, leader, principal, student, speaker, and published author. As a former teacher and now administrator, Dr. Rob serves in the foreground of everyday education. Currently, Dr. Rob serves as Principal at South Park Elementary Center outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and has truly become a sought-after leader in topics surrounding the field of education today. Dr. Rob is the author of several books including Reading, Technology, and Digital Literacy and the ISTE bestselling title Are You Future Ready. Beyond speaking at venues across the country, Dr. Rob is also a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post as well as the Ed Tech Review. Rob also hosts a well-known YouTube educational video blog called The Seditionists and educational podcast called the Council on the Future of Education. Further, he has received several prestigious awards, such as being named in the National School Board Association’s “20 To Watch” in technology education and a Pittsburgh Tribune Review News Maker of the year.

At Digital Promise, Sierra leads collaborative, research-based projects driven by authentic needs. By co-designing systemic improvements to the edtech marketplace with key stakeholders, such as education leaders and educators, Sierra hopes to infuse research into edtech product design and help educators make edtech decisions based on classroom needs. Prior to joining Digital Promise, Sierra was an educator and the curriculum coordinator for the Brooklyn Autism Center and received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

About the Host

Barbara Pape is the communications director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise Global (DPG). She has 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, writing, and policy analysis, primarily in education. Previously, she served as Executive Producer of the award-winning Teaching & Learning conference, sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she developed content and oversaw outreach and communications. As a writer, she has written for numerous publications, including Harvard University, the National Education Goals Panel (U.S. Department of Education) and Parents magazine. Barbara also served as editor and publisher of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. She earned an EdM at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and launched her career as a middle school language arts teacher.


Join the Research and Evidence in Edtech or Personalized Learning for All communities to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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