The onset of courseware, tablets, and social media sites is being addressed cautiously in some educational environments and ravenously in others. Will mobile devices, iPads, and social platforms truly transform the way students learn and teachers teach? Will new technology platforms revolutionize classrooms across the country?
Rehema Ellis is an education correspondent for NBC News and was an integral part of NBC’s first annual Education Nation Summit that focused on the strengths and weaknesses of America’s education system. She joined NBC in 1994 as a general assignment correspondent, and her reports appear on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” and MSNBC. Ellis was part of the NBC Emmy award-winning coverage of the plane crash in the Hudson River called “Miracle on the Hudson.” She also won an Emmy for her reporting on the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama and his historic inauguration. Ellis has been part of other headliner stories, including the attacks on the World Trade Center. She has distinguished herself as a lead correspondent and received numerous awards, including local and national Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards, Associated Press awards, and awards from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Miles Gilburne is chairman and CEO of ePals, a K-12 education company connecting approximately 800,000 classrooms in 200 countries into a global community of online learners. Gilburne has been active for more than 25 years as a venture capitalist focused on the media, communications and technology industries. During the growth period of AOL, he ran Strategy and Corporate Development, was elected to the board of directors of AOL in 1999, and continued to serve on the board of directors of Time Warner until stepping down in 2006. Gilburne currently serves as chairman of the board of BrainScope, a medical device company focused on diagnosing concussion in sports and the military, and sits on the boards of various other companies focused on technology and media markets.
Ted Mitchell is president and CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy organization committed to improving public education, especially for the underserved. From 2008 to 2010, he served as president of the California State Board of Education. Prior to taking the helm at NewSchools in 2005, Mitchell was president of Occidental College, vice chancellor and dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the UCLA, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College. He has served on a number of policy commissions, including chairing the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence and the Commission on Teacher Effectiveness for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of Khan Academy, New Leaders for New Schools, The Teaching Channel, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, and The McClatchy Company.
Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. The AFT champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and communities. The AFT and its members advance these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through members’ work.
Joanne Weiss is chief of staff to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. She joined the Education Department in 2009 to direct the Race to the Top Fund, its $4.35 billion program designed to encourage and reward states making system-wide, comprehensive education reforms. Prior to joining the administration, Weiss was partner and chief operating officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she focused on investments and management assistance for a variety of charter management organizations, human capital solutions providers, and academic tools and systems designers. Prior to her work at NewSchools, Weiss spent 20 years as CEO, and before that as vice president, for companies providing technology-based products and services to underserved students in K-12 and higher education.
Joanne Weiss, chief of staff to US Secretary of Education, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, discusses the importance of the local schools as centers of community.