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Opening Keynote

Clint Smith 
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
7:00-8:00 PM US ET

**This presentation will not be recorded.**

Transformative Classrooms

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Being a teacher has never simply been about pedagogy or lesson plans. Teachers are in a unique position to help their students understand that the state of the world is not an inevitability, and that we shouldn’t accept it as such. They can help their students understand that the inequality we see across the world was created and constructed—and thus it can be deconstructed and reconstructed to build something better, something more just. In this talk Clint provides teachers with the framework and the tools to approach these conversations in their schools—encouraging them to use their classrooms as spaces of transformation to help students dream of building a better world.

Clint Smith is staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Clint has received fellowships from New America, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review and elsewhere. He currently teaches writing and literature at the DC Central Detention Facility. His debut nonfiction book How the Word Is Passed, which explores how different historical sites reckon with—or fail to reckon with—their relationship to the history of slavery, will be published by Little, Brown in June 2021. He received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University.



James E. Alatis Plenary

Glenn Singleton 
Thursday, 25 March 2021
8:00-9:00 am US ET

**This presentation will not be recorded.**

Courageous Conversation™: Building Bridges, Not Borders

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Our humanity comes in an amazing symphony of languages and a glorious kaleidoscope of color and hues. Yet systemic racism continues to be the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished capacity of us all. Let’s explore the boundaries erected by race in our life, and  open ourselves to the wholeness of the humanity we all so desperately seek.

Glenn Singleton has devoted over thirty years to constructing racial equity worldwide and developing leaders to do the same. Author, thought leader, and strategist, he is the creator of Courageous Conversation™ a protocol and framework for sustained, deepened dialogue, and Beyond Diversity™, the curriculum that has taught hundreds of thousands of people how to use it. Glenn is the Founder and President of Courageous Conversation™, an agency that guides leadership development in education, government, corporation, law enforcement, and community organizing. He is the award winning author of Courageous Conversations About Race; A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, Second Edition; and of MORE Courageous Conversations About Race.

Glenn has trained law enforcement leaders with the U.S. Embassy in Western Australia, and established the Courageous Conversation South Pacific Institute in Auckland, New Zealand. For eight years, he served as an adjunct professor of educational leadership at San Jose State University. Glenn has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and has instructed faculty, students and administrators at the University of Minnesota, New York University School of Medicine, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, Glenn Singleton is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and 100 Black Men. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.



Thursday Keynote

Cindy Mi
Thursday, 25 March 2021
10:00-11:00 am US ET

The Global Classroom: Past, Present, and Future of Online Learning

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Through the lens of her personal journey as the storytelling vehicle, and by sharing experiences, compelling videos, impactful data and heartwarming anecdotes, VIPKid Founder and CEO Cindy Mi will discuss the past, present, and future of online learning. Learn how she went from a self-taught high school dropout to realizing her dreams of connecting students and teachers all of over the world, even when investors doubted that real-time online learning could lead to learning efficacy. In our present day world that has been ravaged by COVID-19, hear Cindy’s observations and insights about what is different about online learning now and what teachers have told her about best practices. Finally, find out what Cindy is forecasting for the future of online learning and teaching, including flexible, personalized learning, blended campus and online learning, AI, and more.

Recognized for her career as an educator and entrepreneur, Cindy Mi is the Founder and CEO of VIPKid, a global edtech company that connects children in China with online teachers for real-time English language learning. VIPKid has become China’s market-leading edtech startup. VIPKid’s vision is to build a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world and sparks a passion for lifelong learning. There are approximately 200,000 classes every day on the VIPKid platform.

Cindy has spoken at The New York Times New Work Summit, on the main stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco and the ASU+GSV Summit (2019, 2018 and 2017), among others. In 2020, Cindy was named EdTech CEO of the Year in the EdTech Breakthrough Awards. In 2019, Cindy was named a Glassdoor Top CEO and received the ASU + GSV Summit 2019 Power of Women Award. In 2018, Cindy joined the Whittle School & Studios’ Academic Advisory Board. Cindy was also selected to join the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2018.



Friday Keynote

Janet Zadina
Friday, 26 March 2021
8:00-9:00 am US ET

**This presentation will not be recorded.**

The Pandemic Brain: Science and Strategies for Optimal Learning

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Stress negatively impacts memory, attention, higher-order thinking, and self-regulation. Build a cycle of recognition, recovery, renewal, and rewiring into lessons to improve students’ personal and academic well-being. Gain an understanding of how stress hijacks the brain and strategies for taking control. Discover the critical nature of the “first 5”.

A determination to better understand learners’ struggles led high school and community college teacher Dr. Janet Zadina to an interest in neuroimaging studies of dyslexia.  Pursuing that interest, she became a neuroscientist, conducting MRI research into dyslexia in the Department of Neurology at Tulane University School of Medicine, where she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in cognitive neuroscience.

Today, Dr. Zadina is an internationally renowned speaker, consultant, and author.  She is known for her extraordinary ability to debunk popular myths about the brain while keeping educators aware of credible brain research.  The Society for Neuroscience honored her with the 2011 Science Educator Award for making significant contributions to public education and raising awareness of neuroscience through her powerful conference presentations and transformational workshops.

She is the author of reading and learning textbooks for students as well as professional development books for teachers, including Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain, and is co-founder of the Butterfly Project, a project designed to help teachers who have experienced natural disasters.  Among her many honors, she has been named as a Distinguished Fellow in the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations.


Presidential Keynote

Deborah J. Short
Saturday, 27 March 2021
12:00-1:00 pm US ET

Our Extraordinary Year: Stories of Resilience and Reinvention 

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COVID-19 created a genuine crisis for educators. Since March 2020, we have had to adapt to remote teaching, virtual professional development, and keeping ourselves, students, and loved ones safe. We have faced job insecurity and restricted budgets. But after the initial shock, English language teachers stepped up and generated creative alternatives. This talk tells some of the stories—how educators took action, pivoting to remote teaching, mastering technology, and advocating for their learners’ needs and their own. Along the way, they re-imagined what English language teaching looks like.

Deborah J. Short, Ph.D. is TESOL International Association president for 2020–2021. She directs Academic Language Research & Training, LLC and provides professional development on academic literacy, content-based English, and sheltered instruction worldwide. She led numerous research studies related to English learner education, co-developed the SIOP Model, published in professional journals, and served as series editor for several 6 Principles books.