SETDA 2022 Emerging Trends Forum

Featured Speakers

Emily Anhalt HeadshotDr. Emily Anhalt
Coa, Co-Founder and CCO
Dr. Emily Anhalt is a psychologist, emotional fitness consultant, and the Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Coa, your gym for mental health. She studied psychology at the University of Michigan and attained Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology in Berkeley, California. For the past thirteen years, Dr. Anhalt has been working clinically with executives, founders, and tech employees, and has conducted extensive research with prominent psychologists and entrepreneurs about how leaders can improve their emotional fitness. Dr. Anhalt has matched more than 600 people into therapy, and has collaborated with some of the fastest-growing technology companies in the world including Google, Asana, NBCUniversal, TEDx, Github, NASDAQ, Unilever, Bloomberg, and Salesforce.

Julie Evans HeadshotDr. Julie Evans
Project Tomorrow, CEO
Dr. Julie A. Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow ( and is the founder of the heralded Speak Up Research Project which annually collects and reports on the authentic views of 400,000 K-12 students, parents and educators on key education issues each year.  Dr. Evans serves as the chief researcher on the Speak Up Project as well as leading research efforts on the impact of innovative learning models and interventions in both K-12 and higher education.  Dr. Evans is the longest serving woman executive in the education technology nonprofit sector.

Prior to this position, Dr. Evans enjoyed a successful career in national and regional sales and marketing management with Unisys and two education technology startups.  As a thought leader and influencer, she brings to new discussions insights from her experiences within the technology industry, entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and education research.  Dr. Evans is a graduate of Brown University and earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, San Diego and California State University San Marcos.  She serves on several boards and advisory and is a frequent speaker and writer on new learning models within education, most notably around digital learning. Among her many accolades and awards, Dr. Evans was named in April 2020 as the winner of EdTech Digest’s National Leader award.

Kristina Ishmael headshot

Kristina Ishmael
U.S. Department of Education, Deputy Director of the Office of Ed Tech
Kristina Ishmael is an educator, learner, advocate, and agent of change. She is the Deputy Director of the Office of Ed Tech and brings a wide variety of experience to actively change teaching and learning to provide more equitable access and opportunities for every learner.

Ishmael most recently worked as an educational consultant where she supported educators, schools, and nonprofits as they navigated new learning environments. Additionally, she was the Sr. Research Fellow on New America’s Teaching, Learning, & Tech team where she advised on the inclusive technology portfolio that picked up her prior OER work, and incorporated digital equity and culturally responsive and sustaining education.

Prior to leading the #GoOpen project at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Ed Tech, she was the Digital Learning Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education where she led professional learning and advocated for school librarians. This experience granted her a unique perspective on leveraging educational technology in urban, suburban, and rural school systems. Kristina started as an early childhood and elementary teacher of emerging bilingual students in Omaha, Nebraska.

Sylvia Martinez
Invent to Learn, Co-Author
Sylvia Martinez, a former aerospace engineer, is co-author of the book, Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, called “the bible of the classroom maker movement.” Sylvia speaks to and works with schools around the world and is president of Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, creating books and professional development advocating using modern technology for learning. Sylvia is also the principal advisor to the NSF-funded FabLearn Fellows program at Columbia University. Prior to that, Sylvia ran the educational non-profit Generation YES, designed and programmed educational software and video games, and designed GPS navigation and high frequency receiver systems.

Gary StagerGary Stager
Invent to Learn, Co-Author

Gary Stager is a journalist, teacher educator, consultant, professor, software developer, publisher, and school administrator. An elementary teacher by training, he has taught students from preschool through doctoral studies. In 1990, Dr. Stager led professional development in the world’s first laptop schools and played a major role in the early days of online education. Gary is the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute for educators.

Dr. Stager is co-author of Invent To Learn – Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, called the “bible of the maker movement in schools,” by Larry Magid of CBS and The San Jose Mercury News. Invent To Learn has been translated into nine languages. Dr. Stager’s most recent book is Twenty Things to Do with a Computer Forward 50: Future Visions of Education Inspired by Seymour Papert and Cynthia Solomon’s Seminal Work.

When Jean Piaget wanted to better understand how children learn mathematics, he hired Seymour Papert. When Dr. Papert wanted to create a high-tech alternative learning environment for incarcerated at-risk teens, he hired Gary Stager. This work was the basis for Gary’s doctoral dissertation and documented Papert’s most-recent institutional research project.

Dr. Stager’s work has earned a Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education and he collaborated on a project that won a Grammy Award. Gary is one of a few Americans invited by Fondazione Reggio Children to teach and lead a public seminars on education in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Gary is also on the advisory board of the NSF-funded project, BJC4NYC: Bringing a Rigorous Computer Science Principles Course to the Largest School System in the US. Dr. Stager also maintains the world’s largest archive of text and multimedia by Seymour Papert at The Daily Papert. You may reach him at


Jason Bailey
SETDA, Director of Innovation and Design
Before joining SETDA, Dr. Jason Bailey was the Senior eLearning Strategist for the Indiana Department of Education. His work provided leadership and support in digital innovation to Indiana classrooms. A former teacher, technology specialist, and district administrator, Jason’s work at the district level included leading a talented team of eLearning Coaches and Technology Specialists in integrating a wealth of technology, including 1:1 computing for more than 14,000 students in 2009. At the state level, Jason developed the Summer of eLearning conference series, designed and published the Indiana Tech Plan Survey, and authored Indiana’s educational cybersecurity initiative.

Derek E. Baird HeadshotDerek E. Baird
The Gen Z Frequency, Author

Derek E. Baird, M.A is a leading kidtech expert & author who helps brands, educators & parents connect to kids & teens through culture, social media & technology. He is the author of The Gen Z Frequency (Kogan-Page, 2018), which was translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, and German editions. He has worked on social media, edtech, cultural strategy, and emerging technology projects for Yahoo! Southeast Asia, Facebook, HBO, The Walt Disney Company (TWDC), Disney Yellow Shoes, Yahoo!, and The Museum of Tolerance and published in numerous international peer-reviewed education technology journals. Derek has also worked as an adjunct instructor in education technology at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) and was the recipient of a Disney Inventor Award for a patent focused on child privacy technology. Derek can be found online at

Ed Campos
Kings County Office of Education, Educational Consultant
Ed is a part time consultant with Kings County Office of Education who also consults independently for schools throughout the US. He taught high school Math and CS for 15+ years in Central California where he re-imagined the math class to be a creative learning space that allows his students to express themselves and share their learning in a variety of ways.  Now as a consultant, Ed continues to advocate for brain friendly spaces, student centered learning experiences, social emotional learning and infusing hip hop pedagogy and youth culture into the classroom.  Ed has a passion for chalk art, charcuterie, Hip Hop, and traveling. He loves solving problems with technology, and empowering students and colleagues with skills and strategies that bring joy to learning & teaching.

Doug Casey Board

Doug Casey
Connecticut State Commission for Educational Technology, Executive Director
Doug Casey serves as the Executive Director for the Connecticut State Commission for Educational Technology. In that role, he designs and manages strategic plans that help ensure the successful integration of technology in Connecticut’s schools, libraries, universities, and towns. The Commission has direct oversight of statewide programs including the Connecticut Education Network (CEN, the state’s research and education network), its OER repository (Go Open CT), and other initiatives.

Prior to joining the CET, Doug served for 10 years as the Director of Technology for the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) in Hartford, which operates a network of 25 themed magnet schools.

Bart Epstein headshotBart Epstein
EdTech Evidence Exchange, Founder and CEO
Bart leads a nationwide effort to dramatically improve the impact of more than $45 billion in annual education technology spending. As founder and CEO of the EdTech Evidence Exchange, Bart brought together researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, and educators to build national consensus on how we can collective measure the ways in which our schools’ implementation environments vary from each other. The EdTech Evidence Exchange is now working to collect feedback from hundreds of thousands of educators who are each receiving cash stipends in exchange for describing their implementation environments – as well as their experiences implementing and using specific edtech tools.  Bart previously spent a decade helping to build and sell the world’s largest online tutoring company.  He founded and ran the first edtech accelerator focused on efficacy research, and managed its companion venture fund.  Bart is a former Master Teacher for the Princeton Review and traveled the country opening new company offices in college towns. Bart currently serves on the board of ASCD and serves as a judge for the XPRIZE Digital Learning Challenge. He holds a faculty appointment as a research associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. Bart is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and former civilian test pilot for NASA research.

Julia Fallon
SETDA, Executive Director
Julia Fallon is the Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), where she works with U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders to empower the education community to leverage technology for learning, teaching, and school operations.

Involved with learning technologies since 1989, her professional interest lies in making the case for public school systems wherein educators are able to optimize technology-rich learning environments to equitably engage the learners who fill their classrooms.

Prior to joining SETDA as the executive director in 2021, Julia worked for Washington’s K-12 education agency, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) as the Title II, Part A Program Lead, where she provided operational leadership and oversight of the federal program designed to improve the quality of instruction and administration.

RitaFerrandinoHeadShotRita Ferrandino
Arc Capital Development, Founding Partner
University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Innovation Consultant [email protected]
Rita Ferrandino has built an international reputation as one of the most effective strategist and coalition-builders in the education entrepreneurship community.  She is a proven dedicated high-energy leader with a focus on motivating teams to perform at optimal efficiency to create social change. She is a nationally recognized STEM education expert and an authority on US education policy and politics, education entrepreneurship and innovation.

Rita is the founding partner at Arc Capital Development where she operates and advises companies in the education and corporate training markets and in over 150 clients in the US, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Turkey, Israel & India.

Mindy Frisbee headshotMindy Frisbee
ISTE, Senior Director of Learning Partnerships
Mindy Frisbee, ISTE’s Senior Director of Learning Partnerships, leads a variety of programs and initiatives, each highlighting the power of meaningful partnerships to help advance best practices in the marketplace. Much of Mindy’s work focuses on fostering research to practice and systems-change, and developing critical partnerships and strategies for addressing key issues in edtech such as product design and strategy, procurement, and innovation. Prior to ISTE she served as senior research faculty at the University of Oregon where she led the development and testing of edtech products for effective use in the classroom, particularly for students with variable language and learning needs. Mindy brings over 15 years of experience in edtech and product development, has a Masters in Educational Measurement, Policy and Leadership, and a passion for supporting effective decision-making, informed product design, business strategy, and innovation in education.

Rick Gaisford
Utah State Board of Education, Educational Technology Specialist
Rick Gaisford has 32 years in education and has been involved with educational technology for over 29 years at the classroom, school, district and state levels. He has been an elementary school teacher, school technology specialist, district technology specialist and trainer, state Internet specialist and state education technology specialist. In his current state responsibilities he works with districts and schools on how to effectively integrate technology tools and resources into teaching and learning. He helps oversee the Digital Teaching and Learning program implemented by the Utah State Legislature in 2016. This legislation has provided $45 million to implement a comprehensive program to effectively bring technology into all classrooms in the state.

Melissa Greene
SETDA, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Melissa is SETDA’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and brings over 20 years of experience in education, including eight years of experience working as a sales consultant and representative in educational publishing. While at both Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Teacher Created Materials, Inc., Melissa was known for her excellent customer service and relationship building skills, as well as her creative and customized marketing strategies for all of the New York school districts that she served. Ms. Greene’s career has focused on increasing the quality of education for all students as an educator, in the private sector and most recently via New York’s state education agency. Prior to joining SETDA, Melissa was a project coordinator in the Higher Education Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness at the New York State Education Department. From 2013 through 2015, Melissa coordinated grants, teacher and leadership events and meetings, professional development projects, created presentations for the Board of Regents meetings, and participated in policy-making groups and conferences in order to improve teacher and leader quality in New York State.

Brad Hagg HeadshotBrad Hagg
Indiana Department of Education, Director of Educational Technology
Brad Hagg currently serves as the Director of Educational Technology in the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) in the areas of E-Rate, Cybersecurity, Connectivity, and Ed-Fi Data Modernization.  He has worked in Indiana schools for over 22 years, serving as Director of Technology and Chief Technology Officer for two public school districts.

Hagg has served as a board member, chairman, and president of the Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators (HECC) organization.  He has also been an active member of the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) organization as well as its Indiana CTO Council chapter.  He has been selected as the Technology Coordinator of the Year in Indiana and was also recognized by National School Boards Association (NSBA) as part of its “20 to Watch” Educational Technology Leaders program.

Victor Karkar HeadshotVictor Karkar
Scrible, Cofounder and CEO
Victor Karkar is Cofounder and CEO of Scrible, an ed tech firm tackling the massive college readiness skills crisis among America’s students. He started Scrible, the most advanced research and writing platform ever built, to address his own frustrations working with online information. Victor has presented on the challenges and best practices of the research and writing process at state and national education conferences (e.g. AASL, IATE, NJASL). He’s led and grown Scrible from concept to use by thousands of educators and their students. Scrible has received recognition at SETDA, ISTE, SXSW EDU, FETC and elsewhere.

reg leichty headshotReg Leichty
FLP Advisors, Founder and Partner
With over two decades of legal, policy, and lobbying experience, Reg advises education leaders, national associations, and other stakeholders about the federal laws, regulations, and programs that directly impact and support efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities. Among other laws, he counsels clients about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Universal Service provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. His recent work has included a specific focus on federal requirements and programs related to education technology, early learning, accountability and assessment, data use, and educator professional development and preparation.

Robert Martellacci
MindShare Learning Technology, President
Founder and president of International award-winning MindShare Learning Technology, Robert is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost EdTech thought leaders and was honoured by EdTech Digest as a Top100 Global Influencer. He’s a champion for igniting student success to help all students thrive through innovative solutions and partnerships in Canadian schools. Often referred to as the ‘connector,’ Robert specializes in forging mutually beneficial partnerships between education and technology solution providers.

A passionate life-long learner, Robert pursued a transformational learning journey earning a master’s in educational technology from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Psychology and Education. His Pepperdine experience inspired the creation of the MindShare Learning Report—Canada’s Learning & Technology eMagazine.

Robert’s innovative spirit and desire to see an accelerated pace of change in education, led to the creation of C21 Canada–Canadians for Learning and Innovation. A not-for-profit he co-founded and currently serves as its CEO.

Sean McDonough
NYSCATE, Corporate & Member Engagement Coordinator
Sean McDonough is the Corporate & Member Engagement Coordinator for NYSCATE, New York’s premier educational technology member association and affiliate to SETDA.  Sean works with members and partners on ways to enhance technology’s role in supporting teaching and learning.  He has 30 years of educational technology leadership experience in the public and private sectors as a teacher, district, regional, and state technology administrator, and consultant.  Sean is an active leader in various educational technology organizations including ISTE and CoSN. He is the former Bureau Director of Educational Technology for PA Department of Education and served as a SETDA member while at PDE.  Sean holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Government and a M.S. in Instructional Technology.

Luis Perez photo, male in black shirtLuis Pérez
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials, Specialist
Luis Pérez is a technical assistance specialist for the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center) at CAST. In this role, he promotes the creation, delivery and use of high quality accessible educational materials and technologies to support equitable learning opportunities for all students. He holds a doctorate in special education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from the University of South Florida. Luis is Past President of the Inclusive Learning Network of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), which named him its 2016 Outstanding Inclusive Educator. Luis has published three books on accessibility, mobile learning and UDL: Mobile Learning for All (Corwin Press), Dive into UDL (ISTE) and Learning on the Go (CAST Publishing).

Evo PopoffEvo Popoff
Whiteboard Advisors, Senior Vice President
Evo Popoff most recently served as Chief Innovation Officer and an Assistant Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education. Prior to joining the Department, Popoff served as the Senior Vice President of Achievement Solutions at EdisonLearning, Inc., where he supported public schools and districts across the country by developing and implementing innovative solutions to improve outcomes for students. When Mr. Popoff joined the Edison Learning organization in 2004, he helped to develop and manage the organization’s school improvement, turnaround and online learning and assessment solutions. Over the course of his employment, he devoted much of his time to working closely with states, districts and schools to help them develop and implement effective school turnaround, after-school, online and blended-learning programs.

Before beginning his career in education, Mr. Popoff practiced law at McDermott, Will & Emery where he worked on labor and employment, antitrust and general corporate issues. Mr. Popoff holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

Laurie Roberts
West Contra Costa Unified School District, EdTech Coach

Current EdTech coach, 25 year teacher of kids and teachers, anti-racist teacher in progress, Instagram enthusiast and t-shirt collector

Stan Silverman NYStan Silverman
NYS Teacher Center, Technology Committee, Chair
Stan Silverman specializes in the application of instructional technologies to enhance teaching and learning in K–12 settings. He currently serves as the chair of the NYS Teacher Center Technology Committee, as a member of the NYS Board of Regents Technology Council, with the Professor Garfield Foundation, and is serving as a mentor in the Intel Education Accelerator. Silverman also runs the Technology Based Learning System Department that supports numerous grants and contracts supporting K–12 education throughout the United States, as well as coordinating the establishment of public/private partnerships in New York State. He received his degree in Physics from SUNY Stony Brook and his administrative degree from C.W. Post (LIU).

Bruce Umpstead HeadshotBruce Umpstead
IMS Global Learning Consortium, Director of Statewide and Regional Engagement
Bruce Umpstead is Director of Statewide and Regional Engagement at IMS Global Learning Consortium, which is rebranding as 1EdTech. He enjoys working with state agencies, state virtual schools, regional service agencies, and K-12 university centers in the important world of data interoperability, regularly sharing his passion for digital learning ecosystems, digital credentials, and education innovation.

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