Leadership Forum: OER and the Learning Resource Industry - Blended or on the Rocks?

2016 Leadership Forum
Wednesday, December 7
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY

Thank you to all of the speakers and attendees. If you would like information about future Leadership Series, please contact us.

OER is in every classroom now - or should be according to legislators, education advocates, and community members. It is often heralded as not only a way for schools to save money, but also as the answer to perceived problems with materials from traditional learning resource developers. But as with any instructional materials, the impact of OER on student learning depends on a variety of factors from the quality of the content to teacher implementation. At this forum we will demystify OER, exploring how it works, what educators are looking for when they use OER in the classroom, the changing dynamic between educators and content developers, and the potential business models for success.

View the schedule and see the speakers.

The Leadership Forum is being presented by the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group in conjunction with the Center for Innovation & Digital Learning.


Registration

  • AAP Members: $299
  • Non-members: $499

Registration is full. For questions about future events, contact Rachel Burgos.

*Cancellation Policy
All cancellations must be made in writing to Rachel Burgos. (Email is acceptable.) Any cancellations received before November 14, 2016, will be refunded minus a $50 administrative fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received on or after November 14.


Schedule

9:30 - 10:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

10:00 - 10:15 am

Welcome and Lay of the OER Landscape
OER isn’t just teachers sharing lesson plans anymore. There are now companies, foundations, and state legislatures funding and developing comprehensive PreK-12 curriculum. The products align to standards, include assessments, and offer data on student progress. We’ll start the day with an introduction to the current OER marketplace, an outline of the current players, and an overview of the topics for the day. 

10:15 - 11:00 am

Keynote Address
Richard Culatta, former Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Dept. of Education and current Chief Innovation Officer for Rhode Island, will offer his expert insights into the relationship between educators, OER, and traditional publishers. He’ll discuss:

  • What the expectations are for OER in the classroom
  • The perceived needs of educators versus their real needs
  • What publishers should be doing instead of what they are doing now
  • What business models truly make sense for publisher/OER developer partnerships

Presentation will be followed by Q&A.

11:00 - 11:45 am

Partnerships for the New Education Market
Hear from OER developers and traditional publishers working and partnering in the OER space, what business models have brought success, and where they have encountered problems. The presenters will address what demands they have received from educators regarding OER, how they are responding, and where they think the educator-publisher relationship is headed.

Moderator

Speakers

11:45 am - 12:00 pm

Legislative Update
The growth of OER isn’t an accident. Get an update on state and federal laws supporting the use of OER and government initiatives to increase the use of OER in schools

Jay Diskey, AAP PreK-12 Learning Group

12:00 - 12:45 pm

Lunch

12:45 - 1:30 pm

Educators Talk the Ins and Outs of Using OER
Just because teachers can use OER, doesn’t mean it fits every learning need. Find out about the challenges and benefits of using OER from our panel of OER experts, including: 

  • How they monitor pedagogical consistency in the classroom, throughout the school, and across the district
  • Methods for ensuring quality content
  • Subjects/grade levels where OER works better than others
  • What PD looks like in an OER environment
  • Pitfalls to avoid

Moderator

Speakers

1:30 - 2:15 pm

New Business Models for OER

Producing and distributing quality content costs money – it doesn’t matter if it’s published under an open license or a proprietary one. But with much of the conversation around OER wrapped up in the language of free, how do developers continue to create and support effective learning resources? This session will examine business models from both sides: the models open license companies are using and the kinds of models proprietary publishers can use when working with OER organizations. Most important, we’ll address the issue of sustainability and how these models may need to evolve for long-term success. The session will also include insights from the recent election and how it could impact the OER market.

Speaker

  • Rita Ferrandino, ARC Capital Development & Education Design Studio, Inc. GSE, University of Pennsylvania

2:15 - 3:30 pm

OER Demos
We hear and read about it every day: OER is the answer to funding problems for instructional materials. But how does it really work? Does it really save money? What ancillary services and products have been developed to enhance OER materials? See demos from key OER providers, as well as publishers providing openly licensed materials via learning platforms, and find out how they work with educators to provide quality content for learners. 

Moderator

Presenters

3:30 - 4:15 pm

How Does Large-Scale OER Work?
OER was dismissed as competition until recently because many publishers didn’t believe the products could compete with their materials. But OER has entered the mainstream and become a viable part of the community. Find out how OER companies handle the important needs of the education market, such as teacher support, differentiation, accountability, interoperability, funding, and upgrading and support.

Moderator

Speakers

  • David Rust, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network
  • Larry Singer, Open Up Resources (formerly the K-12 OER Collaborative)

4:15 - 4:30 pm

Wrap-up


Speakers

Andrew Campana, Copyright Clearance CenterAndrew Campana
Director, Business Development
Copyright Clearance Center
Session: OER Demos

Andrew Campana is business development director at Copyright Clearance Center and has worked extensively on developing creative licensing solutions in support of educational markets. Prior to joining CCC, Andrew worked at PBS and WGBH – Boston licensing television to international markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He began his profession career as a member of the founding staff at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum developing educational technology and exhibits. Andrew holds a masters’ degree in Contemporary European History from Tufts University and an MBA from the IESE, the graduate business school of the University of Navarra, in Barcelona, Spain.


David Ciulla, ReadWorks
David Ciulla
Executive Director
ReadWorks
Session: Partnerships for the New Education Market

David Ciulla is the Executive Director of the nonprofit ReadWorks. Prior to ReadWorks, David co-founded Sports Basement, a successful San Francisco-based retail company; was a consultant advising U.S. and international business clients; and was an analyst with Chemical Bank in New York.

As a classroom teacher for five years, David taught middle school ELA, math, and science and coached basketball and baseball. David has also led development projects in the Navajo Nation and the Amazon region of Brazil. He received a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


Richard Culatta, Chief Innovation Officer, State of Rhode IslandRichard Culatta
Chief Innovation Officer
State of Rhode Island
Session: Keynote Address

Richard Culatta is a leader in innovation and education, and has worked in government, non-profit, and the private sector. Prior to becoming the Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Rhode Island, Culatta was the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education where he focused on using technology to close equity gaps in schools across the country. Prior to joining the Department of Education, he served as policy advisor to US Senator Patty Murray and as Chief Technology Officer at CIA University.  Before his work with the federal government, Culatta was the learning technologies advisor for the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University and the Director of Operations for the Rose Education Foundation. He began working with instructional technology at the University of Rhode Island where he co-taught the universitiy's first technology integration workshops for faculty.  Culatta is a certified Spanish teacher and active in promoting bilingual and arts education in public schools.


Jay Diskey
Executive Director, PreK-12 Learning Group
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Session: Legislative Update

Jay Diskey is Executive Director of the AAP’s PreK-12 Learning Group. In that role he directs the group’s operations, public policy development and operations. Diskey has worked in government relations and policy communications for more than two decades. Prior to joining AAP in June 2006, he headed Diskey & Associates, a public affairs consultancy specializing in education.

Diskey has served as Communications Director for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce, and as Vice President of the education practice at Hager Sharp Inc., a Washington-based public relations firm. In the early 1990s, he was Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander. Diskey earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

Diskey is headquartered in AAP’s Washington office. In April 2014 he was elected to serve a two-year term as chair of the International Publishers Association's Education Publishers Forum, which is the education committee of the IPA.​


Dr. Mark A. Edwards, Discovery EducationDr. Mark A. Edwards
Senior Vice President of Digital Learning
Discovery Education
Session: Educators Talk the Ins and Outs of Using OER

A visionary educator acknowledged worldwide for his innovative digital conversion model, Dr. Mark A. Edwards serves as Discovery Education’s Senior Vice President of Digital Learning.  In this capacity, Dr. Edwards works with school systems around the globe to successfully implement similar digital transitions supporting the success of each learner.  He also leads the continued evolution, expansion, and implementation of Discovery Education’s strategic vision for transforming teaching and learning through its unique combination of professional development, award-winning digital content, and educator community.  Discovery Education serves 3 million educators and over 30 million students around the world, and is transforming teaching and learning in half of U.S. classrooms, approximately 50 percent of primary schools in the UK, and in more than 50 countries. 

Dr. Edwards also provides strategic guidance and support across all aspects of the organization including, educational partnerships, state outreach, product development, partner success, and corporate partnerships.  His deep expertise in managing district-wide digital transitions, implementing successful 1-to-1 programs, designing effective professional development initiatives, and purposefully integrating digital content into classroom instruction enhances Discovery Education’s efforts to support educators and students worldwide.

A 38-year veteran of public education, Dr. Edwards previously served for nine years as North Carolina’s Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) Superintendent, where he oversaw the creation of authentic digital learning environments that engage all students and improve academic outcomes. Under his leadership, MGSD was an early adopter of digital content as a core instructional resource, which helped drive dramatic increases in test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.

Dr. Edwards has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career.  A former Virginia State Superintendent of the Year and eSchool News Tech Savvy Superintendent, in 2013 he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and in 2014, received the North Carolina Public School Forum’s 2014 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. 

Before coming to Mooresville, Dr. Edwards served as dean for the University of Northern Alabama’s School of Education, and superintendent of Virginia’s Henrico Public Schools and Danville Public Schools. Edwards is also an accomplished author whose works include Every Child, Every Day: A Digital Conversion Model for Student Achievement.

Dr. Edwards holds a Ph.D. in education from Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in administration and supervision from Tennessee Technical University, and a B.S. in education from the University of Tennessee.  He is based in Discovery Education’s office in Charlotte, N.C. 


Rita Ferrandino, ARC Capital DevelopmentRita Ferrandino
CEO, Education Design Studio Inc.
Founding Partner, Arc Capital Development
Session: New Business Models for OER

Rita Ferrandino has built a reputation as one of the most effective strategist and coalition-builders in the education community. She is a nationally recognized STEM education expert and authority on education policy and politics. 

Rita is the founding partner at Arc Capital Development, a global private equity and advisory firm. Arc invests in and operates companies in the K-20 education and special needs markets and has served over 80 clients in the US, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Turkey, Israel & India. Arc clients and portfolio companies provide products generating over a billion dollars a years to schools worldwide.

Rita currently serving as the CEO of Education Design Studio Inc. (EDSi), a private seed fund/incubator. EDSi helps education entrepreneurs jumpstart new ventures and was created in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.


Neal Goff, Egremont AssociatesNeal Goff
President
Egremont Associates
Session: How Does Large-Scale OER Work?

Neal Goff is President of Egremont Associates, LLC, a consultancy that provides strategic advice and execution support to publishers and educational technology companies, with a focus on marketing, partnership development, digital product strategy, and other business-critical issues. He is also Past-President of the Board of Directors of the AEP.

Prior to forming Egremont Associates, Neal was President of the Weekly Reader Publishing Group. In this role, he oversaw Weekly Reader’s 12 classroom magazines, its Curriculum and Custom Publishing businesses, the FactsforLearning database business and Weekly Reader’s other digital activities.

Neal has been in publishing for most of the last three decades, much of that time working in children’s and educational publishing. From 1982 to 1993, he worked at Time Inc., where he held senior positions at Time-Life Books and Book-of-the-Month Club. While there, he led the start-up of Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club, which he managed through its initial launch to profitability. He later became President of Prentice Hall Direct, then the direct marketing division of Simon & Schuster, and President of Scholastic Library (formerly Grolier) Publishing.

Neal was a co-author of MDR's State of the K-12 Market reports in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and also authored MDR's report on school libraries called School Libraries in the Digital Age: The Changing Role of Media Specialists in the Era of Technology and the Common Core. In addition, he was the author of a white paper published by Digital Book World entitled Demystifying the Common Core: How Trade Publishers Can Profit from the New Curriculum Standards.

Neal graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and has an MBA from the Columbia Graduate School of Business. He is a former board member of the Association of American Publishers, the Book Industry Study Group, and AuthorHouse, the leading self-publishing company. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ReadWorks, a leading provider of online reading comprehension materials.


Michael Jay, Educational SystemicsMichael Jay
President
Educational Systemics
Session: OER Demos

A long time educator, Michael taught Physics and Chemistry in California where he also worked in developing the first set of Technology in the Curriculum materials for the State of California. In 1986, he joined Apple Computer's Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) research and development project and later served as Apple’s Education Competitive Analyst where he lead major curriculum related marketing initiatives. He remained a contributor to science education through many projects including being one of the authors of California's ground breaking Science Framework of 1990.

Michael left Apple Computer in 1993 to pursue the development of a technology that dynamically indicates the relationship between curriculum, curriculum standards, and instructional resources for which he received patents in 1998. As founder of Mediaseek Technologies, Inc. he laid the groundwork for many of the innovations in standards implementation and instructional resource integration that followed. He continued the development of tools for children and educators as Director of Education Business Development at N2H2 and VP and GM of Brainium Technologies.

Michael served on the Board of the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) Association for thirteen years playing a central role in the development of data specifications around teaching and learning. He served on the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) Education Board for 10 years, three as co-chair. Michael is in his third year of chairing the Content in Context conference that is now under the auspices of the pK-12 Learning Group of the AAP. Most recently he and his organization have been tasked with helping managing adoption of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) by publishers under contract to the AEP.

Michael and his associates create lasting change in how we learn and educate through their work with corporations and educational institutions. Their diverse expertise representing educational and corporate leadership, market analysis, development, instructional design, and tested knowledge of all facets of K-12 education are married with a vision that generates success for their clients while advancing their vision for education.

Michael regularly participates in conferences where he addresses challenging education topics. Michael is an education evangelist committed to bringing intriguing and controversial topics to the table for those working toward improving education for all children. As part of his commitment to effecting thoughtful and systemic change in pK-12 education, Educational Systemics has a monthly Internet radio show, Education Table Talk, in which education leaders discuss important serious topics in an approachable manner.

family hooked an Apple II to their fancy new color TV set, and he's been a shameless geek ever since.


Dee Kanejiya, CogniiDee Kanejiya
Founder and CEO
Cognii

Dee Kanejiya is founder and CEO of Cognii, a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence technology to education industry. Cognii’s award-winning Virtual Learning Assistant provides automatic assessment of students' open-response answers along with personalized tutoring. 

Dee has 16 years of experience in AI, speech recognition, consumer web and the education industries. He was part of the core technology team at Vlingo (now Nuance) that pioneered the virtual personal assistant technology for smartphones. He studied PhD in Electrical Engineering at IIT Delhi and post-doc research at CMU. 

He is passionate about improving the quality and affordability of education with the help of advanced technologies.


Mel Lee, McGraw-Hill EducationMel Lee
Director of Assessment
McGraw-Hill Education
Session: OER Demos

Mel Lee is the Director of Assessment at McGraw Hill Education. Prior to McGraw Hill, Mel worked at the College Board and Wireless Generation on different assessment products designed to help students achieve their academic goals.

Mel’s experience in education started in the Peace Corps where he taught Math and Science  and helped LEAs understand their assessment data to inform resource allocation decisions. He received a B.S. and M.S. from the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science and an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.


Paula Maylahn, Paula Maylahn ConsultingPaula Maylahn
Principal
Paula Maylahn Consulting
Session: Partnerships for the New Education Market

The principal at Paula Maylahn Consulting, Paula is an education industry consultant working for companies and organizations across the K-20 spectrum. Paula’s articles on the industry have been published in The Experts’ Guide to the K-12 School Market and The Experts’ Guide to the Postsecondary Market. Paula authored the “Enterprise Systems” chapter of MDR’s 2015 publication State of the K-12 Market and authored the EdNET Insight report Interoperability: Definitions, Expectations, and Implications. Paula also wrote the 2015 and 2016 editions of CoSN’s K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report.

Prior to establishing her consultancy in 2008, Paula was a senior vice president at Pearson, where she oversaw cross-company strategic communications and international marketing for school products. In addition to her K-12 work, Paula held a variety of management roles in Pearson’s Higher Education Division and helped established digital publishing standards for their STEM division.

Paula is an executive council member of the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group, a former board member for the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Education Division, and currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Education Council for the Art Directors’ Club of New Jersey (ADCNJ).


Matt Miller, Mentor Public SchoolsMatt Miller
Superintendent
Mentor Public Schools (OH)
Session: Educators Talk the Ins and Outs of Using OER

Matt is the superintendent of Mentor Public Schools. He has spent the last 22 years serving Ohio communities as an educator and the last 11 in the role of superintendent. Matt is actively involved in the prestigious and nationwide League of Innovative Schools through Digital Promise, also serving as an elected member of their advisory committee. He was selected as one of 100 superintendents nationwide to attend and present at the #FutureReady National ConnectED Superintendents Summit at the White House in 2015, was named to the National School Boards Association Top 20 to Watch in the Nation, and conducted his first TEDx Talk entitled: Don’t Buy the Book: Cultivate, Curate and Go Open in 2016. Matt is transforming his K-12 school district through the use of open educational resources and blended learning, along with emphasizing student and teacher voice through innovation. He completed his undergraduate coursework and master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati and was selected for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Leadership Institute for Superintendents. Matt and his wife, Kristy, and have two children.


David Rust, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications NetworkDavid Rust
General Manager - Education
Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network
Session: How Does Large Scale OER Work?

David Rust is General Manager-Education at the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, the nation’s first nonprofit 24/7 Spanish language broadcaster serving Latinos nationwide. Rust directs the expansion of HITN Learning, which began with major funding from a Ready To Learn grant and is expanding into apps and other resources serving Latino children in the early childhood range. Previously at Sandhill Consulting Group Rust worked with nearly 40 for-profit and nonprofit clients serving the PreK-12 educational media space on their business development and organizational needs, based on his experience as president or lead exec for units of Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic and School Specialty. The clients who were Common Core curriculum grantees gave Rust many opportunities to explore and leverage efforts at state and national levels to make curriculum resources “free” and alterable, while charting parallel commercial paths.


Larry Singer, Open Up ResourcesLarry Singer
CEO
Open Up Resources (formerly the K-12 OER Collaborative)
Sessions: How Does Large Scale OER Work?OER Demos

Larry Singer is the Chief Executive Officer of Open Up Resources, a not-for-profit collaborative of 10 state governments and several other non-governmental organizations assembled to publish Open Educational Resources for English Language Arts and mathematics and to distribute them widely to public schools across the United States. 

Larry has over 30 years experience in both the public and private technology sectors, with expertise and leadership roles across functions as diverse as: general management, information technology, public policy and administration, corporate strategy, engineering, sales, marketing, business development, procurement, and services functions.

Larry was recently the Executive Vice President of K-12 Education at Pearson, the world’s largest education publisher.  Larry joined Pearson in January 2013 with the mission of pulling together all facets of the K-12 business into an aligned go-to-market strategy benefiting customers, including curriculum, assessment, technology, and services and left Pearson in 2015.

Prior to joining Pearson, Larry was Vice President of U.S. State and Local Government, Education and Public Health Care Sales (SLED), responsible for driving growth in this important segment of HP’s North American business. 

A former senior vice president at Sun Microsystems, where he was a member of the Executive Management Group, Larry served as CIO in residence and strategic insights officer. He also chaired Suns Global Sourcing Council. He was the company’s principal spokesperson on strategy, briefed industry analysts each quarter, and led all corporate executive engagement programs. Previously he was appointed by the governor of Georgia as that states first CIO and first executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority, responsible for developing a statewide IT policy and strategy. He has been a frequent columnist and contributing editor to both Government Technology Magazine and to Public CIO Magazine

Prior to that, Larry was chairman and CEO of Public Interest Breakthroughs, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) entity that he founded to work with state and local governments in health and human services. He also served as a research fellow in the Technology and Telecommunications in the Public Sector program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where his work included training public officials on press relations. His early experience includes sales management positions with Texas Instruments and Computer Associates International.

A graduate of the University of Redlands (Johnston College) in Redlands, California, Larry completed the Senior Executive Fellows public policy program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he was subsequently appointed and employed as a Research Fellow.

He lives with his wife and two of his five children in White Salmon, Washington.


Jane Stavem, Lincoln Public SchoolsDr. Jane Stavem
Associate Superintendent for Instruction
Lincoln Public Schools (NE)
Session: Educators Talk the Ins and Outs of Using OER

Dr. Stavem started her career in 1990 in St. Paul, MN where she taught K-6 music, fifth and sixth grades, gifted education, and served as a building curriculum coordinator.  In 2001, she returned to Nebraska and assumed the roles of Elementary Principal and Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Columbus Public Schools. In 2009, she was named Superintendent of Blair Community Schools in Blair, Nebraska where she served for three years. She is currently the Associate Superintendent for Instruction for Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska, a rapidly growing district of 41,000 students in the capital city of Nebraska. 

Dr. Stavem received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. She received her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership in 1993 from Bethel University and her administrative certification degree in 2001 from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, MN. In 2008, she received her doctorate in Educational Administration & Supervision from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Dr. Stavem is the author of Student Mobility: Creating an Environment for Social and Academic Success, Rowman and Littlefield (2014).  


Doug Stein, metacogDoug Stein
Chief Technology and Business Development Officer
metacog
Session: OER Demos

Doug has been working on creating and scaling technology-enabled personalized learning for the better part of the past 22 years. The tools didn’t really exist in 1994 when he established an interactive software simulation business unit at Pearson Addison-Wesley aimed at higher ed math, economics, and hard science. They existed (only if you were Amazon or a similar behemoth) in 2003 when he built a team at Learning.com to create a multi-publisher learning and assessment platform. From 2007 to 2013 he consulted to a number of leading adaptive learning companies and was also a board advisor to DreamBox Learning.

For the past three years, he’s been focused on building the metacog (short for metacognitive) learning analytics platform as an internet-scale utility for ingesting, analyzing, and visualizing detailed learner behavior – not only to score open-ended learning games and experiences, but also to detect learner affect (boredom/engagement, deep/shallow learning, clueless vs. transgressive play, etc.).

Doug has been a physicist, high school teacher, developer on large scale computational systems (Mathematica), CTO for a quantitative asset manager with $5 billion in pension funds, and other things. He keeps coming back to education (the “coal face”) to keep chipping away and make it what it could be.


Randy Wilhelm, KnovationRandy Wilhelm
CEO and Co-founder
Knovation

“I believe that all children are born with the innate desire to know new things. To learn.”

Randy wasn’t the only person who saw that technology would change how students learn. But he was the one who understood the role free learning content could have in delivering results and serving both teachers and students if it was professionally curated, organized and maintained.

Randy is the K-12 industry expert in curating OER (Open Educational Resources), inspiring others to consider the value a comprehensive collection of free digital content brings to teaching and learning. 

The Knovation Content Collection is sought after by publishers, online content providers, and school districts nationwide. Using a proprietary certification process, Knovation selects and organizes the best educational resources in a collection that can be delivered through LMS’s or through one of Knovation’s award-winning applications, netTrekker or icurio.

Living in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife and children, Randy serves on education and youth-related boards and committees. A TEDx speaker, he has received awards and recognition for entrepreneurship, community and industry involvement.


Chris Willig, McGraw-Hill EducationChristine Willig
President, McGraw-Hill Education School
McGraw-Hill Education
Session: Partnerships for the New Education Market

Christine Willig serves as president of McGraw-Hill Education’s K-12 group. Previously, she served as the K-12 group’s senior vice president of product, leading all product development and managing the portfolio of PreK-12 curriculum and instructional materials. Christine joined McGraw-Hill Education in 2011 as the K-12 group’s senior vice president of STEM, a role in which she headed up product development and marketing for all STEM disciplines.

Prior to joining McGraw-Hill Education, Chris served as president and chief executive officer of Math Solutions, the leading provider of mathematics teacher professional development in the U.S. In her time with Math Solutions she improved their technology offerings to drive the highest quality professional support in mathematics with partner states, districts, and schools. She led Math Solutions through a successful acquisition to Scholastic, Inc., in 2010. 

Willig was an early member of the netTrekker internet start-up team, building a Codie award-winning product while growing the business as President.

Chris graduated from the University of Notre Dame and was a member of the Executive Education Program at Columbia University.

She resides in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband John. She is the proud mother of a blended family of seven children.


Denise Wydra, Branch IdeasDenise Wydra
Principal
Branch Ideas
Session: Partnerships for the New Education Market

Denise Wydra is the principal at Branch Ideas, where she works with publishers, schools, edtech companies, and other innovative organizations to make effective change in education. 

Denise’s educational publishing experience includes almost two decades at Bedford/St. Martin’s (part of Macmillan Learning), a highly successful publisher for college and AP courses in writing, literature, history, and other skill-based and humanities disciplines. As editorial director and then president she oversaw the development and launch of new generations of digital and print/digital products, many of which became bestsellers in their markets—and also oversaw the evolution of the internal teams and digital platforms from traditional publishing to 21st-century media company.

In her business development role at leading edtech companies and now at Branch Ideas, Denise has worked with publishers, assessment companies, and others interested transforming their content, products, and business models to take full advantage of the new interactivity and data-generation possibilities afforded by digital innovations.