I believe that if what we are teaching in our classroom is not meaningful for our students, it's a waste of our time and theirs. My message is one that encourages risk-taking and creativity in the classroom while giving ownership of the learning back to the students.
I love to give audiences a presentation that will not only engage but empower them to design experiences for today's learners. Using humor, storytelling, and a unique presentation style, I promise to deliver an experience that will encourage educators to see today's learners through a different lens.
5/29/19 Westside Community Schools Omaha, Nebraska
6/1/19 Los Angeles City/County Gifted Conference Pasadena, California
6/23-6/26/19 ISTE Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7/24-25/19 Passion-Based Learning Academy Dickinson ISD Dickinson, Texas
7/30/19 Northwest ISD Justin, Texas
8/30/19 Rawson Saunders School Austin, Texas
10/21/19 Midland ISD Midland, Texas
11/5/19 Paulding County School District Dallas, GA
12/4-12/6 giftED19 San Antonio, Texas
12/14/19 Los Angeles Unified School District Los Angeles, California
1/25/20 Galena Park Houston, Texas
2/3 - 2/7/20 TCEA Austin, Texas
2/28/20 Our Gifted Conference Denver, Colorado
7/4/20 Denton ISD Denton, Texas
7/14/20 Alvin ISD Alvin, Texas
6/23-6/24/20 Frisco ISD Frisco, Texas
7/23 - 7/24/20 Genius Hour Academy, The University of Pennsylvania
8/4-8/5/20 Irving ISD Irving, Texas
10/23/20 Keynote, PSA Conference British Columbia, Canada
My keynotes are designed to shift mindsets and change perspectives. I spend time helping the audience understand the why first and then move into how to make what it is that we are addressing happen in any classroom, on any campus, or in any district. I take time to really connect and create an experience that is not only meaningful, but lots of fun!
☑️ Keeping It Real - Bringing the Real World into the Classroom ☑️ The Power of Passion-Based Learning ☑️ A Meaningful Mess - Engaging Students in Meaningful Learning...Even when it's Messy ☑️ From What If to How To - Making Big Dreams a Reality in the Classroom ☑️ The Possibility of the Unexplored
Consultation and Designing for Change
I absolutely love working with school districts to create experiences for their learners. Professional learning doesn't have to be a presentation. My consultations are designed to take place during PLC time, planning time, or any other opportunity for small groups to come together and develop solutions.
I am also passionate about helping district administrators create meaningful change and drive innovation. I believe that school should be an experience instead of place and would love the opportunity to work with you to create change on your campus or throughout your district.
Workshops, Conferences, and Virtual Trainings
Genius Hour Professional Learning Experiences
💡 Passion-Based Learning Academy - 2 (or 3) Day Experience This learning experience is designed for campuses and districts that want educators to be able to implement passion-based learning in the classroom with confidence. Day 1 will be an introduction to Genius Hour and the 6 Ps. Educators will experience technology tools that make Genius Hour both manageable and meaningful and begin thinking about what Genius Hour will look like in their classroom with their learners.
Day 2 will provide teachers with tools and ideas to take Genius Hour to the next level by gamifying the 6 Ps and making Benefit Mindset a priority. This day also involves learning how to weave the standards into this type of learning so that students are learning through application.
If a campus or district opts for Day 3, I will stay on campus and be available for questions, coaching, and additional support. 💡 The 6 P's of Genius Hour Every student deserves an opportunity to pursue his or her passion during the school day. In this learning experience, I will explain how Genius Hour can be used to encourage today's learners to be innovative and think differently. By sharing the 6 P's - Passion, Pitch, Plan, Project, Product, and Presentation, I will explain how the Genius Hour process can be manageable for educators and meaningful for students. Educators will leave this experience with technology tools for each of the 6 P's and practical ideas regarding outside experts and weaving the standards into each project. This is the one training every educator that is considering implementing Genius Hour MUST have!
💡 Game On: Taking Genius Hour to the Next Level This learning experience is for educators who have seen the power of Genius Hour and are ready to take it to the next level. Learn how to make Genius Hour more than just a piece of the school day and instead, the way that students learn. Throughout the experience, we will explore the Benefit Mindset and how it can be used to make Genius Hour about so much more than just a project that results in a product. Educators will be given practical advice about how to encourage their learners to design projects that will impact others and create change.
💡 Genius Hour: Making It Happen Educators are often excited after Genius Hour training and can't wait to implement it into their classrooms. However, when things are not easy and there are questions that need to be answered, it becomes overwhelming. I know this feeling well as I implemented Genius Hour in my own classroom for several years. In an effort to support educators as they make Genius Hour happen in their own classrooms, I am available to offer virtual support at faculty meetings, during conference periods, and even after school for educators that have questions or need a more personalized experience.
Gifted and Talented Professional Learning Experiences
💡Tools of the Trade* Teaching gifted students requires us to be creative and find ways to engage and empower them even when they are not in our classrooms. Find out how technology can be used to do just that. In this learning experience, I will share with educators how to know if technology is meaningful and why it is important to use these tools to help students make connections. Educators will leave this experience excited about the potential ways to engage their gifted learners in meaningful learning experiences using technology tools that are accessible and easy to use.
💡Meaningful Differentiation for Gifted Learners* Differentiation for gifted learners is more than just assigning a more challenging activity or giving more work. It’s important that we understand today’s gifted learners and what they need at school to not only be engaged but empowered. Designing meaningful learning experiences, rather than just assigning activities, is essential if we want gifted learners to grow and achieve both inside and outside of the classroom. In this learning experience, I will share practical ways that educators can provide meaningful differentiation in the classroom for today’s gifted learners.
* While these learning experiences were designed to address gifted learners, they can be customized to include all learners as well.
General Education Professional Learning Experiences
💡The Messy Middle of Innovative Learning Innovation isn't easy and can get messy. In this learning experience, I will share how to not only survive the messy middle but how to grow and become better because of it. Learn practical ideas for making the most of difficult situations, understanding what to do when you feel like giving up, and how to create a culture of willingness...even when things get messy!
💡Creating The Perfect Bite Teachers' plates are full. So many educators feel like they are unable to continue to carry the plate because we are keeping everything separated. We ask teachers to address social emotional learning, use technology, and make digital citizenship a priority just to name a few. What we aren't doing is helping them understand how to mix these things together to create the perfect bite when designing learning experiences for their students. In this workshop, I'll share how to weave so many of the things that we are expected to do in our classrooms into every experience that educators design.
💡 Differentiation: A New Perspective Differentiation doesn’t mean that every learner gets a different experience, it means that they experience it differently. In this learning experience, I will share what differentiation is, what it’s not, and practical tools that can be used to make it manageable and meaningful in the classroom. Educators will leave this learning experience with a new perspective and ideas that can be implemented immediately into any classroom. 💡 The Possibility of the Unexplored 80% of the world's oceans are unexplored. We have no idea what exists, what's possible, and what might be beneath the surface of the unexplored waters. Because of the difficulty, risk, and cost associated with exploration, we are unaware of the potential that lies beneath. What if the same is true for student learning? What if we have only scratched the surface of our learners' potential because of our unwillingness to be uncomfortable, fear of taking risks, and inability to see what's possible? In this presentation, I will acknowledge the difference between surface level learning and deep understanding as well as share practical ideas that can be used to shift mindsets and inspire educators to see the possibilities. 💡 Reflection - The Missing Piece to the Learning Puzzle John Dewey said, "We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on an experience." In this learning experience, I will explain how reflection can be used to make learning meaningful for today's learners. Educators will also understand the difference between reflection and remembering. When done well, reflection gives students an opportunity to make connections and take their learning to the next level. Educators will leave this experience with a toolkit full of ways to make reflection a priority in their own classrooms.
💡 Meaningful Maker Spaces Maker spaces have become very popular in education. While designing, creating, and making are all very important for today's learners, it is also important that we are engaging them in activities that are meaningful and relevant. In this learning experience, I will explain why it is so important that our students have time during their school day to produce. I will discuss what a meaningful maker space looks like and what is needed to make it successful. I will also share a variety of ideas for creating a maker space that will give students that opportunity to focus on life-ready skills. I will discuss how to implement the 4 C's + 1R - collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and reflection - into a maker space, as well as how to encourage students to be willing to take risks and learn by doing.
💡 What If? "What if"...two small words that should be playing a big role in the education conversation right now. Learn how to make a student-driven classroom a reality as we discuss the importance of student voice. Throughout this learning experience, we will hear "what if's" from students, educators, and administrators. Together, we'll explore practical ways to make the "what if's" a reality for today's learners.
💡 Digital Leadership We've all spent a lot of time talking about digital citizenship and while it's very important, it's also important to begin to see our learners as digital leaders. Rather than focusing on what they can't do online, it's important to help them understand what they can and should be doing online. What tools do they need to lead online? How can we encourage them to become leaders instead of followers? In this learning experience, educators will learn how to design experiences in their own classrooms that will encourage digital leadership and give today's learners an opportunity to see social media for what it is, an opportunity to promote themselves positively and share ideas that can impact others.
I have recently started to hop into virtual trainings, faculty meetings, and book studies via Zoom or Google Hangout. Below is the pricing for this type of connection:
If you are interested in connecting more than twice, we can work on package pricing so that it makes sense for your district or organization.
Previous Speaking Experience
2018 - 2019
January 24, 2016 SCES East Enterprise, Indiana
February 3, 2018 Houston Area Co-op Houston, Texas February 22, 2018 NAG Keynote Omaha, Nebraska March 3, 2018 Houston Area Co-op Houston, Texas April 16, 2018 TAGT Leadership Keynote Plano, Texas April 17, 2018 Texas Social Media Conference Fort Worth, Texas
6/4 Houston Area Co-op, Houston, Texas
6/7-6/8 Kerrville ISD, Kerrville, Texas
6/11 Houston Area Co-op, Houston, Texas
6/24-6/27 ISTE Conference, Chicago, Illinois
8/1-8/2 Irving ISD, Irving, Texas
8/3 Houston Area Co-op, Houston, Texas
8/9 Northside ISD, San Antonio, Texas
8/16 Stephenville ISD, Stephenville, Texas
9/24 Baldwin ISD, Austin, Texas
10/8 Stewart Creek Elementary, Montgomery, Texas
11/16 - 11/18 Learning and the Brain Conference, Boston, Massachusetts
11/28-11/30 TAGT Conference Fort Worth, Texas
12/3/18 PD in PJ's (virtual) CCR3 Plattsburg, Missouri
12/10/18 Genius Hour (virtual) Kellyville HS Sydney, Australia
1/27-1/30/19 FETC Orlando, Florida
2/7/19 TCEA San Antonio, Texas
3/5/19 Tarleton University Stephenville, Texas
January 19, 2017 Pasadena Creativity Potpourri Pasadena, Texas - Keynote
June 15, 2017 Judson ISD - Genius Hour
June 25-28, 2017 ISTE - Genius Hour San Antonio, Texas
July 9-10, 2017 Irving ISD - Genius Hour Irving, Texas
November 28-December 1, 2017 TAGT - Institute Speaker Houston, Texas
December 2, 2017 AESA - Genius Hour San Antonio, Texas
February 2 - 4, 2018 TCEA Austin, Texas
May 14, 2016 Houston Co-op
June 6 -8, 2016 Region 9 Wichita Falls, Texas
June 14, 2016 Region 12 Waco, Texas
June 16, 2016 Region 14 Abilene, Texas
June 17, 2016 Area 12 Conference, FOCUS Waco, Texas
June 20, 2016 Region 7 Kilgore, Texas - Keynote
June 23-24, 2016 Region 11 White Settlement, Texas (ElementaryCon)
June 30, 2016 Region 3 Victoria, Texas
July 12, 2016 Region 12 Waco, Texas
July 14, 2016 Region 17 Lubbock, Texas
July 20, 2016 Houston Area COOP (HAC) Houston, Texas
July 21, 2016 Spring Branch ISD Houston, Texas
August 1, 2016 Region 14 Abilene Texas
August 8, 2016 Region 12 Waco, Texas
August 9, 2016 Region 12 Waco, Texas
August 11, 2016 Region 17 Lubbock, Texas
August 12, 2016 Harmony Public Schools Dallas, Texas
August 16, 2016 Region 3 Victoria, Texas
August 18, 2016 Santa Rita Elementary School San Angelo, Texas
November 3-6, 2016 NAGC Disney World, Florida
November 30 - December 2, 2016 TAGT Dallas, Texas
2015 Fort Worth Technology Conference Fort Worth, Texas May 5th, 2015 Region 10 Technology Conference
June 12, 2015 Region 9 GT Conference Wichita Falls, Texas
June 16, 2015 Region 12 GT Conference Waco, Texas June 24, 2015 Region 7 GT Conference Kilgore, Texas
July 14, 2015 Region 12 GT Conference Waco, Texas
July 23, 2015 Region 14 Technology in the Gifted Classroom Abilene, Texas
July 28 - 30, 2015 TEKS Resource System Conference San Antonio, Texas
August 3-4, 2015 Region 12 Diversity Conference Waco, Texas
August 5, 2015 Region 18 GT Roundup Midland, Texas
August 10, 2015 Region 12 GT Conference Waco, Texas
August 11, 2015 Region 12 GT Conference Waco, Texas
August 18, 2015 Region 3 GT Conference Victoria, Texas
August 19, 2015 Region 3 REAL Conference Victoria, Texas September 29, 2015 Superintendent Leadership Conference Port Aransas, Texas December 2-4, 2015 TAGT San Antonio, Texas - Institute Speaker
2012 Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Conference - Global Encounter
2012 Texas Association of School Administrators MidWinter Conference - Global Encounter
2013 Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Leadership Conference - Global Encounter
2013 Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Conference - Using Edmodo to Engage Students
2014 BAM! Radio Network with Don Wettrick - Using Innovations/Genius Hour in the Elementary Classroom
2014 Edmodo@10 Conference - Meaningful Assignments Using Edmodo
2014 TAGT Leadership Conference - Cultivating Creativity Through Innovations
2014 Region 12 Leadership Conference - Genius Hour
2014 Baylor University Gifted Conference - Technology for the Gifted Classroom
2014 Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Conference - Technology for the Gifted