Keynote and Featured Speakers

The Palm Beach Technology Conference Steering Committee is happy to announce that our full lineup of featured speakers has been finalized. Once again this year our teachers will be able to hear from leading voices in the field of educational technology as well as from representatives of the companies that provide so much of the technology that we use in our classrooms. Here’s our stellar lineup for this year!

Adam Bellow, Opening Keynote Speaker


Adam Bellow began his career in the classroom as a High School English teacher. He has worked as a technology training specialist, Director of Educational Technology, and is now considered one of today’s leading speakers on educational technology and infusing technology to aid school reformation. He is the founder of the websites eduTecher, eduClipper, WeLearnedIt, and eduGames. In addition to these free resources, Adam launched the popular charity “Change the World” student-focused charity campaigns.

Adam is a dedicated educational technologist and father. In addition to creating webtools like eduTecher and eduClipper, Adam also serves as a board member for the EdCamp Foundation and speaks internationally about education and the power of technology to enhance learning.

Adam’s Presentation Schedule:

Opening Keynote Address: One More Thing… | 
Opening Session in the Auditorium, beginning at 8:00 am.

Session Title: Double-Click to Edit: Hacking Keynote

Session C (1:05 pm – 1:55 pm) in the Lecture Hall
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(Adam will also present a special session for school principals and other leaders during Session A.)

Steve Dembo, Closing Keynote Speaker


As a former kindergarten teacher and school Director of Technology Steve Dembo is a pioneer in the field of educational social networking. Currently serving as Discovery Education’s Director of Social Media Strategy and Online Community, Steve was among the first educators to realize the power of blogging, podcasting, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 technologies in connecting educators and creating professional learning communities. 

Steve is the co-author of the book Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching.  In 2013 he began serving the Skokie/Morton Grove District 69 as a member of the School Board. Dembo is a course designer and adjunct professor for Wilkes University where he serves as class instructor for the Internet Tools for Teaching course within the Instructional Media degree program.

Steve  has delivered keynote and featured presentations at dozens of conferences including ISTE, TCEA, FETC, MACUL, GaETC, METC, CUE, ICE, TEDxCorpus Christi, #140Edu, EduWeb and the Social Media Masters Summit. Dembo also participated in Nokia Open Labs as an expert on mobile phone integration in education.

Steve’s Presentation Schedule:

Session Title: 50 Ways to Use Board Builder in the Classroom
Session A (10:00 am – 10:50 am) in the Little Theater
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Session Title: Untangling the Web: Free Tools to Power Up Your Teaching
Session B (11:05 am – 11:55 am) in the Lecture Hall
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Closing Keynote: Bill is Digitally Literate. Be Like Bill. | 
Conference Closing Session at 3:15 pm in the Auditorium


Cyrus Mistry, Google Senior Product Manager


Cyrus Mistry is currently the Lead Product Manager at Google responsible for Devices and Content in Education worldwide and has a team of product managers across 5 offices in Europe and North America.  He works with Country Ministers and Secretaries of Education, Superintendents, District CIOs, principals, teachers, and students from around the globe to develop education technologies that directly improve student engagement and learning outcomes.  

Cyrus was recently chosen to work with the White House on the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative. He has also managed the consumer, education and enterprise sides of several products at Google including Android, Chrome, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Tasks, and the Google Search Appliance business.

Cyrus has 26 years of software experience with roles in software development, consulting, program management, product management, marketing, and business development.  Cyrus has four degrees from Johns Hopkins with post-graduate work in Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.

Cyrus’ Presentation Schedule:

Session Title: Chromebooks: Now and Tomorrow
Session B (11:05 am – 11:55 am) in the Auditorium
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Dr. Ginno Kelley, Microsoft Director of Teaching and Learning

Ginno-KelleyDr. Ginno Kelley is Director of Teaching and Learning for Microsoft. In this role, he works with Ministries of Education around the world on large-scale education transformation initiatives. Prior to his career in the technology industry, Ginno worked for the state of Florida’s Digital Educator Program. The program served educators from the state of Florida and provided professional development for the creation of technology-rich curricula and the integration of 21st century tools.

Ginno also served as a high school teacher for mathematics and technology for many years. During his teaching career, he developed innovative projects for helping elementary and high-school students in mathematics. He has also worked with disadvantaged youth developing multimedia environments that promote student voice and achievement. He regularly presents at national and international conferences on the effects of technology on learning environments, professional learning, and student learning.

Ginno’s Presentation Schedule:

Session Title: #FOMO and What Technology Has Taught Us
Session A (10:00 am – 10:50 am) in the Auditorium
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Session Title: Top 10: Free Tools to Spice Up Your Classroom
Session D (2:10 pm – 3:00 pm) in the Lecture Hall
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Kelly Hines, Discovery Education

Kelly-HinesKelly Hines began her career as an elementary school teacher in North Carolina, where she spent fifteen years in classrooms.  As a NC Kenan Fellow and Teacher Academy Trainer, Kelly has worked to build and share content and curriculum that meaningfully ties digital media to hands-on engagement and student mastery of content. Kelly has served as a presenter and featured speaker at dozens of state, regional, and national conferences, including ISTE, NCTIES, the K12 Online Conference, Discovery Education Virtual Conferences, and many other learning events.

As a Community Engagement Manager with Discovery Education, Kelly works with schools, districts, and teachers across the Southeast United States to grow awareness of the impact of being globally connected. Her passion for Community and its impact on student learning began as a classroom teacher, where she saw firsthand the influence of her own connections on the experiences, engagement, and achievement of her students. Now, along with the Discovery Education Community, she helps educators connect with their most valuable resource… one another

Kelly’s Presentation Schedule:

Session Title: Diving Into Digital in the Non 1:1 Classroom
Session A (10:00 am – 10:50 am) in the Lecture Hall
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Session Title: SOS Strategies
Session C (1:05 pm – 1:55 pm) in the Little Theater
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Billy Jack Garren, eInstruction


Billy Jack Garren is very excited to be back here in Palm Beach to offer up his expertise as a featured speaker. He is currently eInstruction’s Director of Premier Account Development of Professional Development. His fusion of experience and expertise makes him a highly sought-after speaker, trainer, and professional developer. In his current role as Director, he works closely with teachers and district leaders from the largest school districts across North America to ensure they have the technology and expertise to help drive student engagement and learning.

In 2004, Billy Jack began his teaching career here in Palm Beach County as a middle school math teacher and school-based professional development leader. At that time, he was named the City of Boca Raton’s Teacher of the Year. It wasn’t long before he sought to have a larger impact on the field of teaching when he became a District Instructional Technology Specialist.

Over the years, he has presented on student engagement and formative assessment at NCCE, NETA, NASA, ESC 1, SPLASH, iPad Palooza, TCEA, FETC, ISTE, BETT, as well as (his favorite) SDPBC Tech Conferences.

Billy Jack’s Presentation Schedule:

Session Title: Session Cancelled


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One More Thing…
Let’s explore how far we have come and where we are headed with our mobile technology. This keynote will look at the evolution of education, culture, design, and ways we have and can further influence all three with our increasingly amazing mobile technology.

Every one of us have sat through or perhaps subjected others to terrible presentations. Never again! This session will go over tips and tricks for fine-tuning your presentation style and helping you tell a better visual story in the classroom and beyond.

Think Discovery Education is just about playing videos? Think again! Board Builder is a power multimedia content creator that lets students demonstrate their learning by mashing up Discovery Education’s videos, images, and audio with their own work. We’ll demonstrate 50 different ways to engage your students and kickstart their creativity.

Web 2.0 has brought online versions of most of the programs you use on a daily basis. Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint, Photoshop and others are available for free! Based on the book of the same name, we will demonstrate the sites every educator should know about and how you can use them to power up your own teaching.
Bill is Digitally Literate.  Be Like Bill.

If your definition of digital literacy is more than a year old, then it’s probably out of date already.  We’ll explore what literacy in the digital world means for our students and how to cultivate it in your students.  From digital storytelling to communicating through memes, you’ll be amazed by the creative ways educators are fostering innovation in classrooms!

Please come and listen to Google’s Cyrus Mistry, (Sr. Product Manager) and David Harrington (Adviser) as they discuss the history and future of the Chromebook. Specifically, they will be presenting and answering questions on:
  • How Design Thinking was used to create the first Chromebook
  • The key features that teachers requested – The maturity of the Chromebook as a platform
  • How Google determines what updates are necessary

In addition, live feedback will be taken to help shape the Chromebook of tomorrow

FOMO, or the “Fear of Missing Out” has made technology an integral part of students’ lives. Being connected has helped them get easier access to information, but is that enough? We will explore some new trends that have shaped how educational technology is used and can be used to augment instruction in interesting ways and the impact these skills have on our future workforce.

This session will feature a collection of free tools you can use to make your lessons come alive. We will explore tools like OfficeMix, Sway, OneNote, and Snip that make the creation of lessons more efficient and interactive. And did I mention they were free?

We know that digital resources are a great way to personalize learning, maximize student engagement, and offer meaningful content and creation opportunities for students. But, how do we make the most of digital tools in the non 1:1 classroom? We’ll explore practical strategies for engaging students, increasing possibilities for personalization, and making learning fun and meaningful!

Are you looking for creative ways to utilize digital media and increase student engagement with learning? We have heard your SOS call! Join us to learn how Discovery Educators from around the globe are engaging their students with videos, images, audio files and more through the Spotlight on Strategy series. Walk away with ready to use integration strategies to incorporate into your classroom.