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Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Plenary Panel: "Technology Revolution in Education and Learning" - Speaker Bios

Technology-supported education, when used appropriately and sustainably, holds great promise for advancing quality educational outcomes in low- and high-resource settings. From their utilization for education data collection, assessment, teacher professional development, and/or direct learner instruction a range of convergent technologies are and can be scaled to profoundly impact these education landscapes. Ubiquitous mobile devices are capable of delivering stimulating content to aspiring students of all ages anywhere in the world. How can these and other platforms connect to current and future repositories of online resources, such as those available through Massive Online Open Courses and Open Education Resources, promote equity of educational access to learners regardless of geography or economics? How might virtual classrooms and highly engaging educational games stimulate students to connect with each other, learn, and have fun at the same time? Join us for an examination of how technologies have, can, and should profoundly impact traditional learning methods, enabled educators to adjust their teaching methodologies, and create stimulating learning environments.

 

Ian Klaus (Moderator) - U.S. Department of State
Ian Klaus is a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff at the State Department, where his portfolio includes education and technology, as well as public diplomacy, energy security, international organizations, and Jordan and Iraq. He is the author of Elvis is Titanic: Classroom Tales from Iraqi-Kurdistan (Knopf), as well as a forthcoming history of the free market to be published by Yale. A Rhodes Scholar, he has taught at Harvard and Salahaddin University in Iraq. He holds a PhD in international history.

 

Tony Bloome - USAID

Anthony Bloome is USAID's senior education technology specialist. He provides guidance for Agency support for and investments in a broad range of technologies to advance quality educational outcomes. For USAID, he serves as the Director of both the All Children Reading Grand Challenge for Development and the Mobiles for Education Alliance, an international consortium of organizations dedicated to improving access to appropriate, scalable and low-cost mobile technologies to help improve learning outcomes, especially in low-resource and developing country contexts. Prior to joining USAID, he served as Peace Corps' global technology for development specialist and as a distance education specialist for the World Bank working in Washington, D.C. and Zimbabwe on technologies for education, HIV/AIDS, and youth and workforce development among other topic areas. He has an M.A. in International Telecommunications.

 

John Katzman - Noodle

John Katzman is the founder and CEO of The Noodle Companies, an education startup whose eponymous search engine helps students and parents find educational resources and schools.

Prior to Noodle, Katzman founded 2U (originally 2tor), and served as its CEO and Chairman until 2012. 2U works with research universities to create high-quality online degree programs; partners include the University of Southern California (USC), Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Washington University, Duke, Emory, and Northwestern.

Prior to founding Noodle and 2U, Katzman founded The Princeton Review, and served as its CEO and Chairman until 2007. At that time, the Review helped over 50% of students applying to US colleges and universities each year find, get into, and pay for school. Further, it worked with hundreds of colleges and K-12 school districts to help them improve educational outcomes and university admissions.

Katzman is the co-author of five books and many articles. He serves on the Boards of Directors for several non-profits, including the National Association of Independent Schools and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He has helped launch several start-ups, mostly in the area of education technology, and has invested in many others.

Katzman is married to Alicia Ernst; they have a son (18) and daughter (16). His personal interests include ice hockey, running, skiing, and architecture.

 

Allyson Knox - Microsoft

Allyson Knox is Director of Education Policy and Programs in Microsoft’s Washington DC office.  She works on STEM education and workforce issues at the federal and state levels.  She is co-manager of Microsoft’s YouthSpark grant to CityBridge Foundation's Innovative Educator Fellows program.  Since joining Microsoft in 2004 she has launched several new national education programs, including InterroBang, Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts, START program with the Corporation for National and Community Service, Scaling Education Success, C2i Gaming Challenge with the NEA Foundation, and CareerForward.  At the state level, she helped deploy Microsoft’s IT Academy, which is now available for NC, VA, GA, LA, and WA high school students.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Allyson managed Workforce Innovation Networks as a senior program officer at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Workforce.  She directed Michigan State University’s Young Spartan Program – a university-urban elementary schools partnership, taught leadership and entrepreneurship courses to urban youth and community members as an economic development agent for Michigan State Extension, trained community leaders on building service coalitions at the Michigan Community Service Commission, secured federal grants and managed industry committees as Director of Workforce Development at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and directed a nationally recognized community outreach program at Michigan’s largest independent bookstore. Allyson received her BA from University of Michigan, MA from Michigan State University, and Ed M from Harvard University.

 

Gretel Truong - A World at School

Gretel Truong specializes in social and multi-media projects and strategic partnerships for A World at School and the Global Business Coalition for Education.  She launched A World at School in April of this year and has grown it's constituency to over 100 organizations in 100 countries and in July, helped produce #MalalaDay at the United Nations. 

Truong graduated from the University of Virginia and spent the previous four years in Washington, DC as a media producer.

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