Keynote & Featured Speakers

George Couros George Couros, Keynote Speaker, @gcouros
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

George is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division and an Innovative Learning and Leadership Consultant. He has worked as a teacher, technology facilitator and school administrator. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools all over the world. George is also the creator of Connected Principals, the founder of Connected Canada, as well as the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program (#SAVMP). His focus is to help organizations create optimal learning environments for innovation within schools. George is a leader in the area of innovation, but his focus is always the development of leadership in people and what is best for kids. He uses humor as a way to connect with all of those that he works with. His mix of research, personal stories and practical ways to implement new learning help participants feel comfortable in taking risks in their own learning.

In addition to the keynote on February 9, George will also be the keynote speaker at the Leadership Luncheon. Additional registration is required.

Rafranz Davis, Keynote Speaker

Rafranz Davis, Keynote Speaker, @RafranzDavis
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rafranz Davis serves the community of Lufkin ISD as the Executive Director of Professional Development and Digital Learning in Lufkin, Texas. As an advocate for passion-based learning, Rafranz uses her experience as a secondary math educator to help teachers integrate technology using innovative teaching strategies aimed at empowering students to be autonomous learners. As a writer and speaker, Rafranz frequently draws upon her background as a parent and woman of color to offer ideas and insight into how technology can be used in schools to not only break barriers but to provide opportunities and instruments for diverse learners' voices. Her first book, The Missing Voices in Edtech: Bringing Diversity into Edtech (Corwin Press, January 2015), challenges schools to not only face inherent challenges of lack of diversity in decision-making but also take steps aimed at changing it.

Her book will be available at the METC book store where you will also have the opportunity to have Rafranz sign your copy. 

Steve Dembo

Steve Dembo, Featured Speaker, @teach42

As a former kindergarten teacher and school director of technology, Steve Dembo is a pioneer in the field of educational social networking and has been instrumental in the explosive growth of the Discovery Educator Network and its online presence. He currently serves as Discovery Education’s Director of Social Media Strategy and Online Community as well as a member of the Skokie/Morton Grove District 69 school board. Steve is also a course designer and adjunct professor for Wilkes University where he serves as class instructor for the Internet Tools for Teaching course. He is the co-author of the book Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching.

Steve will be presenting two breakout sessions on Wednesday, February 10.

Donnie Piercey

Donnie Piercey, Featured Speaker, @mrpiercEy

Featured Speaker Donnie Piercey works in a hybrid role as a fifth grade teacher and district technology integration specialist for Eminence Independent Schools in Kentucky. Donnie has run a 1:1 iPad, Chromebook Macbook classroom over the course of his eight year career. He is a Google for Education Certified Innovator, a Google for Education Trainer and a Google Geo EDU Teacher Advisory Board (GTAB) member. He is always trying to find new and innovative ways to incorporate technology across the curriculum to increase student learning and engagement. See what his students are up to by visiting

Donnie will be presenting breakout sessions on both Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10. He will also be presenting a three hour preconference workshop on Monday, February 8. It is titled EdTech in the Elementary and is for those from the PreK-5 grade audience. 

Nikki Robertson

Nikki Robertson, Featured Speaker, @NikkiDRobertson

Nikki is a veteran educator, librarian and Instructional Technology Facilitator for James Clemens High School. She is passionate about 1:1 Digital Initiatives, collaboration with other education professionals and assisting students in becoming well informed, critically thinking digital citizens.

Nikki will be presenting a three hour preconference workshop, MakerSpaces in the Library: Letting Genius SHINE!, on Monday, February 8. She will also be presenting breakout sessions on both Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10. 

Nikki will also be the keynote speaker at the Library and Media Literacy Luncheon on Wednesday, February 10. Additional registration required.

Kristen Swanson

Kristen Swanson, Featured Speaker, @kristenswanson

An educational leader and curriculum writer, Kristen is a renowned teacher, professional developer, writer, speaker, and consultant on impactful learning designs. She has worked directly under the tutelage of Dr. Grant Wiggins and authored both Professional Learning in the Digital Age (2013) and Unleashing Student Superpowers (2014). A founder of the Edcamp movement, Kristen is also passionate about effective teacher education. Kristen currently leads all of the professional learning at BrightBytes. Kristen has a doctorate from Widener University in Educational Leadership.