Featured Speaker l  Dr. Kelly Calhoun Williams

A.I. in Education – And Why We Shouldn’t Be Afraid
Session: 11/15/17 10:00 - 11:50am

Artificial Intelligence is really here, after years of being little more than part of our fantasies about life with the Terminator.   As it begins to permeate every aspect of our daily lives, natural questions come to mind about how it will impact education.  Robot tutors or existential threat?  Personalizing learning, or de-personalizing it?   Dr. Calhoun Williams takes you on a tour of where AI is today, where it’s going, and why we likely need not to fear, but to embrace it. 

Speaker Bio

After 25 years in public education, Dr. Kelly J. Calhoun Williams began work in 2014 as a Research Director for Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company.  She provides insight and advice to school districts, boards, educational agencies, vendors and service providers around the US and the globe on what’s needed and “what’s next” in Education.

Kelly served most recently as the Asst. Superintendent/CTO of the Santa Clara County Office of Education, an educational service agency serving over 265,000 public education students in the Silicon Valley, as well as providing community college support.   Dr. Calhoun has also served as adjunct faculty with the University of Southern California and San Diego State University, as an IT director, a curriculum coordinator, and as a teacher at districts in Sacramento and San Diego counties.   She also served on the Board of Directors and as a former President of the California Educational Technology Professionals Assn. (“CETPA”).  

She has a doctorate in organizational leadership, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a bachelor's degree in telecommunications and film, as well as teaching and administrative credentials in California.  She has received a long list of awards for her service, and has worked with education organizations around the world to help develop the vision and leadership needed to succeed. 

A popular speaker known for her fun and insightful style, Dr. Calhoun Williams brings passion and exciting new ideas to the field of educational technology.

Featured Speaker l Melissa Dodd

Melissa Dodd

Building Digital Districts: How CTOs Can Partner for District Digital Transformation
Session: 11/15/17 8:00 - 8:50am

CTOs must partner across functional areas and departmental lines to foster district transformation through technology integration. The role of the CTO is evolving - no longer are CTOs just leading operations-focused departments. They must ensure coherent, integrated adoption of technology to support schools and departments to achieve instructional and strategic priorities. With experience leading technology divisions in Boston and in San Francisco, Melissa Dodd, the 2017 CoSN Withrow Chief Technology Officer of the Year, will explore topics such as: - Building bridges with other departments in supporting the integration of digital content - Challenges a CTO faces entering a new education system - Expectations of, and strategies for, women leaders in technology - Recommendations for other CTOs to prioritize their time when leading and collaborating in a new district - The importance of context: surprises and “ah-ha” moments in East and West coast districts - How to strategically partner to prepare a district for a digital future.

Speaker Bio

Melissa Dodd serves as the Chief Technology Officer for San Francisco Unified School District. Ms. Dodd is charged with leading the district's technology vision and digital district plan, Building a Digital District, which articulates the district’s strategy to leverage technology to transform teaching, learning, and operations to realize the goals of Vision 2025 and the SFUSD graduate profile for college and career readiness in the 21st century.

Prior to joining SFUSD, Ms. Dodd worked in the Boston Public Schools for more than eleven years in various capacities, including Chief Information Officer and Chief of Staff. Ms. Dodd sat on the Massachusetts Board of Education Digital Learning Advisory Council and plays an active role with the Council of Great City Schools, most notably in the development of IT Key Performance Indicators now used by the largest 66 school districts in the country.

Prior to joining BPS, she worked at Tufts and Harvard Universities managing academic programs and designing online communities of practice. Melissa has presented nationally on the role of technology in education and published on the use of digital simulations to teach problem-solving in the social sciences. Fluent in Spanish, Melissa has worked and traveled globally, including Spain, Latin America, and South Africa. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Dodd tweets @MelissaPDodd.

Featured Speakers | Access 4 Learning Community
Get In Charge of Your Data!
Session: 11/15/17 9:00-9:50am

Dr. Larry Fruth II is the Executive Director and CEO of the Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community.  A4L is an independent non-profit membership organization comprised of over 3,200 software vendors and educational institutions whose mission is to support the identification, management, movement and usage of learning information within the education sector.  The main community product is the collaboratively developed, platform independent and vendor-neutral technical specifications (SIF Specifications) to enable data sharing among education software applications internationally.  Additional activities include the establishment, support and growth of the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) addressing critical on the ground privacy issues. 

Dr. Fruth brings over 30 years of experience in teaching and learning as a classroom teacher/professor, curriculum and professional development designer and state and federal policymaker.  He has worked with two White House administrations, international government education agencies and marketplace providers in advising on strategies and policies in the development of longitudinal data systems to leverage previous and current technology investments.  He has been a national keynote speaker, grant reviewer, and currently sits on state, national and international boards relating to education and technology.


Steve Smith
 brings more than 20 years of CIO/CTO experience in both rural and urban, large and small, school districts in New England, the last ten years as CIO of Cambridge Public Schools. He has spent a great deal of time navigating student privacy issues. Steve has represented both Maine and Massachusetts on the National Forum on Education Statistics and has contributed to Forum's Education Data Privacy, Civil Rights Data Reporting, Longitudinal Data Systems, Virtual Education, Facilities Data Management and Metadata working groups. In addition, Steve is a contributing member to the CoSN Trusted Learning Environment project as well as the Founder of the Student Data Privacy Consortium.

To learn more about A4L visit HERE.

Featured Speakers | PTAC and the U.S. Department of Education
The Privacy Technical Assistance Center and Developing Training Resources for Teachers
Session: 11/16/17 8:00-9:50am

Curious about student privacy?  Join PTAC for an exploration of our mission, services and resources we provide to the field through on-site and on-line technical assistance! Then, stick around for an in-depth review of the development and demonstration of our latest and greatest training resources: customizable FERPA- and privacy-related training modules specifically designed for educators and school staff!

Eric Gray

Eric Gray – Subject Matter Expert

Baron Rodriguez

Baron Rodriguez – PTAC Director