National Thought Leaders Discussing Topics Impacting Educational Technology

Challenging Unconscious Bias in Tech

Paula Ioanide, PHD

Paula Ioanide, PHD - Author, Associate Professor Ithaca College

Unconscious bias sometimes produces unintended adverse effects through technology. This presentation will offer current research on the role of unconscious bias in developing technology platforms and what we can do about it.

Presenter Bio: Paula Ioanide, PhD is an associate professor of comparative race and ethnicity studies at the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, Ithaca College. Her teaching and research focuses on the negative effects of present-day inequalities and injustice. She also conducts workshops on increasing racial and gender equity in higher education and employment settings. Ioanide believes in creating social justice cultures and movements that foster healing, interdependence, dignity and freedom.  For more information, please visit, risetoequity.com


Top 10 Trends In Higher Education

Robert Yanckello

Robert Yanckello - Sr. Director Analyst Higher Education, Gartner

What are the top business trends shaping higher education in 2020 and what are the strategic technologies that universities should be implementing to respond to these trends? In this session we will cover analysis of both the higher education business trends and strategic technologies and show that they reflect a broader set of themes or meta-trends affecting higher education today. Identifying and understanding the themes across the broader ecosystem enables CIOs to see the forces of change and the opportunities currently impacting higher education.

Presenter Bio:  Bob Yanckello is a Sr. Director Analyst in Gartner Research where his focus is higher education technology strategies, including administrative systems, enterprise application suites, cloud/SaaS in higher education and business systems, with focus on student information systems.

Prior to joining Gartner, Bob had over 27 years of experience in higher education. Most recently he was the CTO at the University of Central Florida and served an 18-month interim role at UCF College of Medicine & UCF Health. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, the ITLL framework as well as ERP support and implementations. Prior to that, he served as the CIO at Central Connecticut State University. Initially, he worked in Planning and Institutional Research for 11 years. As a former CIO and CTO he managed diverse information technology environments and directed a broad spectrum of integrated administrative and academic applications. He has direct experience working with senior leaders developing strategy and delivering operational results. He holds a M.Ed. from Pennsylvania State University.


Esports in higher education

Charles Murray III

Charles Murray III - SUNY Canton Esports Coordinator

Esports in higher education has become a cultural phenomenon that is taking college campuses all across the world by storm. SUNY Canton has established itself as a leader in collegiate esports for the North East U.S. with two ECAC championship titles, a varsity program with dedicated full-time staff, and a burgeoning esports population that is beginning to rival the size of traditional athletics on their campus. Attendants can learn how SUNY Canton created partnerships to evolve its program from 18 students playing three games to about 100 students playing 8 titles.

Presenter Bio: Charles Murray is the coordinator for the SUNY Canton esports program and also oversees operations at the esports arena on campus. He is the coach for the Overwatch teams at Canton and has extensive esports experience. Murray is a grandmaster-rated Overwatch player maintaining a top 500 role in North America with a peak of top 200 last season. As a former K-12 educator he has the unique experience of having managed both High School and Collegiate programs at varying levels.


VR Will Transform Learning (and nearly everything)

Adam Blumenthal

Adamn Blumenthal, Associate Professor - Brown University, VP Nucco Brian Studio

Yes, it really will. We don't know when, but we'll talk about why, where things stand now, and how you can start exploring (or go deeper) with this transformational technology.

Presenter Bio:  Adam Blumenthal is a professor of the practice at Brown University with a specialty in VR. He's also vice president at Nucco Brain, a Unit9 Studio based in London. Adam works with universities and enterprises to design and build innovative learning experiences. Adam was a sophomore at Ithaca College in 1990 when he was first exposed to VR. 


Expanding Adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER)

Tony DeFranco

Tony DeFranco, Director of User Support Services, SUNY OER Services

The State University of New York (SUNY) and its campuses have been engaged with open educational resources (OER) in various capacities since 2011.  With direct funding from the New York State budget beginning in 2017, SUNY was able to formalize an approach to OER rooted in excellence in teaching and learning.  SUNY’s OER framework is focused on student success by utilizing content and learning tools that are data-informed for excellence. Within that framework, opportunities are available to increase access to learning materials for all SUNY students, decrease the cost of those learning materials, and introduce significant pedagogical changes.

SUNY and SUNY OER Services are able to provide attention to all of these concentration areas and our framework thanks to a networked ecosystem of internal and external partnerships. Each of these partners brings specific expertise to bear in efforts to scale and sustain OER. These partners are all also closely attuned to SUNY’s larger responsibilities as a leading public higher education system.  Since 2017, over two thousand SUNY faculty have begun using OER and hundreds of thousands of SUNY students have saved $47 million dollars in course material costs. Perhaps more importantly, SUNY and SUNY OER Services are sharing important learned lessons for any OER initiatives that are under consideration.

Presenter Bio:  Tony DeFranco is Director of User Support Services for SUNY OER Services. Tony works with faculty, staff, and campus leaders to help them adopt, scale, and sustain OER initiatives at their institutions. Previously, Tony served in various leadership roles around technology support, distance learning, and OER efforts at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Prior to academia, he worked for many years a broadcaster and manager in the media. Tony earned his AAS from SUNY Canton, BS and MBA from SUNY Empire State College, MS in Information Design and Technology from SUNY Polytechnic, and is pursuing his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at University at Buffalo.


Leveraging Microsoft Teams for EDU

Josh Reynolds / Chris White

Learn how to use Microsoft Teams to bring professionals together and empower all learners. Microsoft Teams is a desktop, mobile, and web-based communication and collaboration platform for Office 365 that brings everything together into a shared workspace. Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, conduct virtual meetings, work with business applications, and collaborate and share files with your team.

Presenter Bio - Josh Reynolds:  Josh Reynolds is the account manager supporting k12 and higher education customers across New York State for Microsoft. In his role, he supports education and non-profit customers in all things Microsoft, including STEAM, accessibility, and pedagogical implementation of O365/Office applications.

Presenter Bio - Chris White:  Chris White is the K12 Specialist supporting customers across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York City for Microsoft. In his role, he supports learners at all levels in how to successfully implement all things Microsoft.  Chris is also an IC alum and was a co-captain of the '91 National Champion football team.