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2017 Keynotes & Featured Speakers

2017 Luncheon Keynotes

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo

Thursday Keynote
November 16, 2017
12:00 PM – 1:10 PM

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, and an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Viterbo University. Joe co-hosts the Hacking Leadership Podcast, and co-authored The Power of Branding-Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students and Parents Love. He was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader in 2016 by the US Department of Education. He attended summits at the White House for both distinctions. Joe has been a featured speaker in multiple states in the areas of Telling Your School Story, Advancing the Use of Social Media for School Leaders, Creating a Culture of Yes, and Personalized Professional Growth for Staff.

Keynote: Telling Your School’s Story

Description: When is the last time something amazing happened in your school? How many people knew about it? The work done in schools all across the globe is spectacular. Kids gather, learn, leave and make the world we live in a better place. So…amazing things happen all the time. Telling the story of schools helps create a narrative that builds culture and gives everyone in your community an identity. Utilizing social media and being the chief storyteller in your district is a great way to celebrate the success of students with parents and the community. FIND YOUR AUDIENCE…BUILD YOUR BRAND…CELEBRATE KIDS!!

Location: 2nd Floor Ballroom
Time: Thursday, 12:00 PM – 1:10 PM

Featured: Hacking Leadership

Description: Water is amazing and seemingly always finds a way. It has the ability to form, replenish our system, power equipment, and can wipe out entire cities. Leaders have the same properties. Some end up conforming to their environment as water would with a cup or bowl. Some have the power to wipe out entire populations and others lift the level of the land. The best leaders take little openings and create space for those they lead. They find the smallest cracks of opportunity and create a path that was not there before. They shape the land. They find a way. Hacking leadership is about finding innovative solutions to issues that have plagued the system for years, and implementing them tomorrow. The focus is on practical application. We all know the problems exist, but knowledge of problems does not make our daily life in schools easier. Utilizing the tools in Hacking Leadership will allow you and your team to find the openings and create space for those you lead. Space to learn. Space to teach. Space to thrive.

Location: Plaza F
Thursday, 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM

Featured: Be a Social Media Superhero

Description: Every school needs a Social Media Superhero. The use of social media meets families, community members, and decision makers in a place where they live daily. Find out how to maximize your school’s social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more) in order to lead, inspire and inform all stakeholders. Social media is a new literacy and our schools’ leaders have to model that literacy appropriately.

Location: Plaza F
Thursday, 2:25 PM – 3:15 PM

Alice Keeler

Friday Keynote
November 17, 2017
12:15PM – 1:20 PM

Alice Keeler holds a Masters in Educational Media Design and Technology and is a Google Certified Teacher, New Media Consortium K12 Ambassador, Microsoft Innovative Educator and LEC Admin & Online and Blended certified educator. She is Co-Author of the books 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom and 50 Things To Go Further With Google Classroom, A Student-Centered Approach both of which continue to be top sellers on Amazon in the Computers and Technology Education section.

She taught high school math for 14 years and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology at California State University, Fresno. Alice Keeler has developed and taught online K12 courses, as well as the course for Innovative Educator Advanced Studies Certification. She has participated on collaborative teams for Google working on projects such as YouTube teachers and Google Play for Education. She is passionate about reaching all students and using technology to change the way we approach learning and grading. Alice tweets @alicekeeler and blogs at

Keynote: (In the Future??) Cars Drive Themselves

Description: The future is now, cars already drive themselves so what does that mean about the possibilities for our students? Technology influences how we live our everyday lives, so it should be a part of the everyday classroom. Students now have technology and Google Apps at their fingertips, let’s embrace these tools and use them in innovative ways to create amazing learning environments for our kids!

Location: 2nd Floor Ballroom
Time: Friday, 12:15 PM – 1:20 PM

Featured: You Can Code!! Google Apps Scripts for Noobs

Description: When using Google Docs have you ever wished it would do _____. Google Apps Script allows you to create custom applications for Google Docs and Drive. This session is for computer users who feel comfortable with copying and pasting. You will be AMAZED at what YOU can do! In this session you will write your own scripts and be able to brag to all your friends that you can code.

Location: Plaza F
Time: Friday, 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM

Featured: Using Badges in the Classroom

Description:  Gamification and badges can help motivate students, aide in differentiation and just make the classroom more fun. This session will go over creating badges in Google Draw, how to publish them and a system for using them to provide choice and differentiation for students.

Location: Plaza F
Time: Friday, 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM

2017 Featured Speakers

Kim Darche

Featured Speaker
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Kim Darche is a learner above all else and enjoys sharing her learning discoveries with other teachers, students, and administration! As a Digital Learning Coach from Lemont School District 113A and through past experiences, she has been lucky enough to spread that learning with others. Kim has discovered a joy in teaching and learning with adult learners. It is where her passion, mission, profession, and vocation all intersect!

Not only has Kim received two advanced degrees in both Educational Technology and Administrative Leadership but she is also a Level 2 Google Certified Trainer. Also, she is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Francis, a 2017 recipient of Midwest Spotlight Educator Award and most recently she has been chosen to be part of the Chicagoland Google Educators Leadership Group. She is more ready than ever to collaborate with leaders, learners, and leaps & bounders!

Workshop: Impactful Professional Development

Description: We will explore professional learning strategies to engage, inspire and build community. The following four pillars will serve as the framework: inviting investment, pushing possibilities, interesting interactions and maintaining momentum. This session is jam-packed with hands-on and minds-on activities that will allow participants to transform theory into practice.

This session is device neutral. Bring your own device and come ready to have some fun!

Location: TBA
Time: Wednesday, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Featured: Re-Think Your Bell Ringers

Description: Participants will explore how to leverage technology & digital learning to increase the engagement as we explore bell ringers & morning work.

Location: Plaza F
Time: Thursday, 8:30 AM – 9:20 AM

Featured: Unlock Innovative Thinking with Questioning


How do we support Innovative Thinking in our classrooms and in our culture? Time, support, inspiration, mentorship but at the core of all these supports is the capacity to formulate questions. And then question your own questions! What are the questions we ask in our classrooms? Are we supporting our student learning by teaching students how to ask questions during

What are the questions we ask in our classrooms? Are we supporting our student learning by teaching students how to ask questions during genius hour or in Makerspace or a book group? The fine art of asking questions which once seemed as simple as A,B,C at the age of 3 somehow loses its intensity and vigor as we grow older. Let’s start a renaissance of questioning to unlock our Innovative Thinking!

Participants will learn how to grow the art of questioning in students and colleagues while practicing techniques that can be simply integrated into instruction. We will explore questions that speak to our core: “What is your ‘stake in the ground?’” “How do you challenge your own beliefs?” “What is a successful conversation?” In this minds-on session, learners will ask the questions, explore how to leverage responses and build upon them as we flex our questioning muscles! We will modify traditional discussion techniques, understand innovative phrasing and practices that support a culture of thinkers.

Location: Plaza F
Time: Thursday, 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM

Featured: Field Trips without Permission Slips

Description: Field Trips with your students have never been so simple. We will dig into Google Maps, VR Viewers and bringing far away places into your Classroom!

Location: Plaza F
Time: Thursday, 1:25 PM – 2:15 PM

Featured: Super Secrets of G Suite

Description: Think you know everything there is to know about G Suite and its Goodness? Well, then this is the session for you! After our time together even the advanced users going – WHAT!? This fast-paced session is not for the faint of heart. We will move and groove through a multitude of Google Tools and their most hidden goodies. Attendees will leave this session feeling like they have experienced the super secrets of the G Suite!

Location: Plaza F
Time: Thursday, 3:25 PM – 4:15 PM

Zack Gilbert

Featured Speaker
Friday, November 17, 2017

Zack Gilbert is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a B.A. in History with a secondary teacher certificate and he has an M.S. in Instructional Technology and Design from Illinois State University. His master’s research looked at the impact of educational games and how the knowledge gained through these games is stored into long term memory. Zack is in his 23rd year of teaching and is currently teaching 5th/6th grade social studies at Thomas Metcalf School in Normal, IL. Thomas Metcalf is the K-8 laboratory school through the College of Education at Illinois State University. Zack was the host of the EdGamer podcast, a source of cutting edge interviews and resources on Games and Learning. He is the Project Lead for the Games and Learning initiatives within IlliniCloud/K12 Federation, a non-profit tech cooperative of school districts across the country that provides schools with the means to operate smoothly, efficiently, and safely. Zack is a chapter co-author in the book “TeacherCraft: A Guide for Teaching and Learning with Minecraft.” He is also providing and supporting safe environments for playful learning through esports and game clubs in Illinois and throughout the country. Games are an important part of Zack’s life, in and out of school.

Featured: When We Stop Playing, We All Lose

Description: We should all enjoy what we do, we should engage in meaningful learning, we should learn from and with others. That’s the whole purpose of education, that’s what we want to do in our classrooms, and that’s what you will learn from this session. This is an introduction to the FLO pedagogy. (Fun – Learning – Others)

Location: Plaza F
Time: 8:00 AM – 8:50 AM

Featured: We Learn Best Through Play

Description: We learn best through play and that is what we will do in this session. I have gathered some of my friends to help demonstrate some games that you can use with your students. This two hour session will be divided into three parts. Part 1 will describe the games that will be played. In part 2, you will play some games that fit your learning targets. In part 3, we will gather back and share our thoughts. This will not be your typical conference session. If you like to laugh, be loud, and have fun, then this is the place for you. The only thing I ask in return, is that you share what you have learned with your students and your school. Game on!

Location: Plaza F
Time: Friday, 10:20 AM  – 12:10 PM