February 2022Archived home page of the February 2022 event
A One-Day Teaching & Learning Opportunity
Join us for a day of fun, networking, and inspiration for educators. Part of the joy in education is learning, growing, and being part of a supportive community. Over the past two years, that experience has been replaced with unrealistic expectations, stress, and trauma for many. IPDX aims to bring folks together again to inspire new ideas about the changing landscape of education and build practices together that can better support educators, students, and families.
Formerly a high school English teacher and a new teacher coach in Palo Alto Unified School District (Palo Alto, CA, USA), Jennifer Abrams is currently a communications consultant who works with educators and others on new teacher and employee support, being generationally savvy, effective collaboration skills, having hard conversations and creating identity safe workplaces.
Jennifer’s publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate & Create Community, Hard Conversations Unpacked – the Whos, Whens and What Ifs, and Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives. Her newest book is Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work.
Jennifer has been invited to keynote, facilitate and coach worldwide from the USA to Africa, from Asia to Europe, from Australia to South America, and she is honored to have been named one of the “18 Women All K-12 Educators Should Know,” by Education Week’s ‘Finding Common Ground’’ blog. More about Jennifer’s work can be found at her website, www.jenniferabrams.com.
RACIAL EQUITY STRAND
Ken (He/Him/His) currently holds an M.A. in Education with a specialization in Educational Technology as well as New Media Design and Production. He has worked as an Educator for over 20 years and spent most of his classroom experience teaching technology at the Middle School level. As a part of his active involvement within the Educational Technology community, Ken is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and a Google Certified Innovator. Ken has worked extensively at the policy level with a number of State Departments of Education, Ministries of Education, non-Profits, and was appointed to the Education Technology Task Force formed by a previous California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Ken regularly gives keynotes, presentations, consults, and leads workshops, covering a wide variety of Educational Technology, Equity and Inclusion, Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist, Multimedia Literacy, Cultural Intelligences, Visual Storytelling, and Instructional Design topics.
Maria a former teacher and building principal is currently serving as the Executive Director of Academic Planning and Implementation in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Her role includes planning for and helping to implement our District’s Vision for Learning and Teaching. This includes working with principals and their leadership teams to identify the best instructional practices and school models to fit their students and how to coach and support their teachers on the implementation of those strategies. Maria was part of the team that planned and implemented the Summer Learning Experience for CMSD. This experience for students received national attention as an innovative approach to summer learning following the shutdown of schools. Her role in this endeavor was to develop Project-Based Learning experiences with student-driven demonstrations of learning for all grade levels in the areas of Humanities, STEM, Arts, Career Tech, and I Love the Land (social justice), and train teachers on the implementation of the projects. She is now scaling that experience out to the entire district as a safe practice opportunity that teachers can opt into. This includes a focus on supporting teachers through co-analysis of instructional strategy implementation and action planning.
DR. RAJNI SHANKAR-BROWN
SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING STRAND
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is the Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education, recipient of the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a recipient of the Hand Award for Distinguished Faculty Achievement at Stetson University. She serves on Executive Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless and is the Co-Chair of the Equity and Justice SIG for the International Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. She is also the Founder and Director for the Poverty and Homelessness Conference, Hatters University Scholars, and the Acts of Kindness and Justice Movement, as well as the Faculty Advisor for the Student Homeless Coalition. She began her career as a public school teacher and has worked with schools PreK-12 in urban, rural, and suburban communities in a variety of leadership roles including serving as a literacy and technology coach.
As a civically engaged educational leader who is deeply committed to advancing intersectional equity, Dr. Shankar-Brown actively works to confront systemic oppression, build inclusive learning spaces, and advance educational excellence for diverse communities. She has presented and facilitated professional learning workshops around the globe, as well as published in leading peer-reviewed journals and books. Her current series with Information Age Publishing includes two edited books, Bending the Arc Towards Justice: Equity-Focused Practices for Educational Leaders and Re-Envisioning Education: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Social Justice. In addition, her recently published collection of poetry Tuluminous has been praised as “a marvelous and meaningful testimony of the power of language to heal and transform” by the Presidential Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco, and she is described as the “Poet Laureate of the just society” by NYU’s Moral Courage Project Founder, Irshad Manji.
In addition to being a passionate teacher-scholar and human rights activist, Dr. Shankar-Brown is a devoted mother and artist. She resides in Central Florida with her family and their two English lop rabbits, Hazel Basil and Maple Sage.