She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Here we are, rolling into August—hard to believe. The Snoop is running these days—I hope your week has not been as crazy as mine! Summer is drawing to a close, and here in Texas, many teachers are reporting back to school in the next week or so, with students to follow. I don't know where summer has gone, but we now look now forward with optimism and anticipation of good times in the coming months for our schools, our businesses, and our careers and personal growth. And, as always, we remain a community, and I am privileged to be in a position to help keep us connected. So please read on for this week's (many!) scoops....

Colleagues and friends in new roles....

Kevin Capitani, based in Austin, has been appointed President of Pearson North America, bringing over 20 years of high level sales and strategic leadership at SAP, to continue Pearson's ongoing transition from analogue to digital, and from products to services. At SAP, he held roles including general manager and chief operating officer for the western United States and national vice president for utilities.

Kevin will oversee Pearson's K-12 and higher education learning services in the U.S. and Canada, a K-12 virtual school, online services, and workforce development. Additionally, he will oversee supply chain operations, procurement, facilities, and customer service. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in political science.

Don Kilburn will move into a senior business development role.

Congratulations to Kevin on his new role!

Jeff Angle is the new CMO and Executive Director for EdPlus at Arizona State University. The talented Jeff is a senior marketing executive with over twenty years of proven results in accelerating growth in the B2B and B2C SaaS, digital, and print education markets. He has held executive level positions with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Pearson, Evans Newton Incorporated (ENI), and Educational Testing Service (ETS). As CMO and Executive Director of EdPlus at ASU, he oversees marketing for EdPlus and its services including ASU Online, Global Freshman Academy, and EdPlus Alliance, including ASU's Starbucks partnership.

Congratulations, Jeff, on your new role! They are lucky to have you! Many of us look forward to seeing you at EdNET next month and to hearing your presentation.

Kerry Hatch has joined DeSilva + Phillips as Managing Director. Kerry was most recently Chief Operating Officer, Global Client Services at Acxiom, the global enterprise data, analytics, and software-as-a-service company that provides interactive marketing services to over 7,000 global clients. At DeSilva + Phillips, she will lead the firm's efforts in Information, data, and analytics.

Kerry has held a number of senior executive roles, including President of American Express's OPEN, CEO of QSP, CEO of GoodTimes Entertainment, and President of St. Regis & Luxury Collection for Starwood Hotels. At American Express, she created, launched, and operated OPEN, the small business network, and built its revenues to over $2.5 billion.

Kerry is a board member of Plastiq, a San Francisco-based fin tech company, and is a former board member of Vistage International, the world's leading peer advisory organization for CEOs.

Congratulations, Kerry, on joining the great DeSilva + Phillips team!

David Dickinson has joined the C. Blohm & Associates, Inc. (CB&A) team as Digital Marketing Manager. In this role, he oversees digital services while working with clients to develop marketing strategies that achieve visibility goals.

Before joining CB&A, David performed multiple digital roles at prominent organizations. He most recently served as the online manager for Wisconsin Public Television, where he created and implemented online strategic plans for the organization. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in journalism with an emphasis in public relations.

Congrats, David, on joining the terrific CB&A team!

Dr. Larry Johnson has formed a new organization called, where he serves as Founder and CEO. According to Larry, is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 not-for-profit with a focus on education across the globe. The company continuously charts new ideas and emerging technologies, looking for those that could have far-reaching impact on learning - and especially those with high potential for positive disruption or strategic advantage. The mission is to help education leaders, institutions, and ministries worldwide to understand the implications of these developments and to apply that knowledge in four key areas: strategic leadership, research, policy, and practice.

Larry adds that is in the midst of a soft launch, with a larger event planned for September 1st in Singapore. We will continue to see meaningful work come from Larry's efforts, and you should be sure to catch him as one of the speakers at EdNET 2016 next month. Congrats, Larry, on your new venture!

Ian Bryan is moving in a new direction. He is focusing on writing a book and dedicating his life to community projects. He posted a very candid and personal narrative of his next steps in a LinkedIn article, "Why I Dropped Out...Again."  I respect his passion and authenticity in sharing his thoughts on where he has been and where he is going. Check it out for yourself!

Alvin Crawford, most recently CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems, also posted in social media this week about his next chapter. He has left KDS and is looking for his next adventure. Read Alvin's LinkedIn post, "New Day. New Dimensions. New Destiny." to hear more about the next steps of his journey. I know you join me in wishing Alvin every continued success!

Our friend Lisa O'Masta has been appointed CEO of Illustrative Mathematics. She will assume responsibilities on August 15th.

Lisa is an innovative change agent and leader in the K-20 for-profit education market. She has held executive positions with several education industry leaders, including McGraw-Hill Education and K12, and brings nearly 20 years of experience in product management, marketing, product development, team development, profit and loss management, customer experience, and operational excellence to dynamic organizations seeking to change and grow.

Illustrative Mathematics is a discerning community of educators dedicated to the coherent learning of mathematics. Founded in 2011 at the University of Arizona, they have operated since 2013 as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. They collaborate at, sharing carefully vetted resources for teachers and teacher leaders to give children an understanding of mathematics and skill in using it. They provide guidance to states, districts, curriculum writers, and assessment writers working to improve mathematics education.

I am a huge fan of Lisa's and wish her every continued success at Illustrative Mathematics! I know you join me in congratulating her on her new role!

And The PreK-12 Learning Group, a division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), has announced the leaders in the learning resource industry who will serve on the Executive Council for the 2016-17 membership year. The Executive Council helps to set the strategic goals for the division and advises Learning Group staff on trends and issues impacting the market. Executive Council representatives, who serve three-year terms, are nominated and voted on by the members of the PreK-12 Learning Group.

The new officers of the 21-member Executive Council are:
  • ChairHanna Bauer, American Book Company
  • Vice ChairTim McHugh, Saddleback Educational Publishing
  • Immediate Past ChairCorinne Burton, Teacher Created Materials & Shell Education
New members of the Executive Council are:
  • David Beacom, National Science Teachers Association
  • Debra Kerr, Age of Learning
  • Linda Koons, Scholastic Inc.
  • Dan Mullaney, Pearson
  • Will Reycraft, Benchmark Education
  • Todd Scheffers, Goodheart-Wilcox
  • Trisha Thomas, Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
  • Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
  • David Weiner, Social Studies School Service
Council members already serving:
  • Todd Brekhus, myON
  • Eric Cantor, EMC (New Mountain Learning)
  • Neal Goff, Egremont Associates, LLC
  • Michael Jay, Educational Systemics
  • Paula Maylahn, Paula Maylahn Consulting
  • Jim McVety, First Step Advisors
  • Heath Morrison, McGraw-Hill Education
  • Bonnie Vance, Macmillan Higher Education and Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group
  • Ira Wolfman, POE Communications


Our friend Robert Martellacci, Founder and President, MindShare Learning Technology, is off to Norway to accept a wonderful honor for his company. MindShare Learning Technology, Canada's leading EdTech strategy, news, and events company was named the recipient of the Special Chair's Global Best Partnership Award 2016. The announcement was released by the Conference Board of Canada and the International Education Business Partnership Network (IPN). The award recognizes MindShare Learning Technology and its strategic partner 21st Century Learning Associates for its innovative approach to bringing key partnership stakeholders together. This approach achieves meaningful learning impacts on a national and international scale with the creation of C21 Canada-Canadians for 21st Century Learning & Innovation.

A bi-annual event, the Global Best Awards celebrate outstanding and effective business, education, and community organization partnerships that have a significant impact on the communities in which they operate. The awards ceremony takes place at the 2016 International Partnership Network conference in Oslo, Norway, September 14th-16th. Here, MindShare Learning will accept the award at the Global Best Awards ceremony, as well be spotlighted in a roundtable discussion presenting the partnership to other delegates and other Global Best Award winners.

Look for Robert at EDNET next month following his trip. I know you join me in congratulating him on his accomplishments and this honor!

And Dr. Bruce Wexler was honored this week at the 2016 The Brain IDEAS Symposium with the Invisible Disabilities Association's (IDA) 2016 Innovation Award for his work at Yale and C8 Sciences creating an evidence-based cognitive skills training program that improves focus, self-control, and memory in elementary school students. Dr. Wexler's work was previously recognized with an NIH Director's Award for "high impact, high innovation, paradigm-changing research."

The IDA's Innovation Award is given to thought leaders pioneering research, making scientific discoveries, and applying new technologies to help individuals with brain disorders. Dr. Wexler was selected as this year's recipient for his ingenuity as the founder of C8 Sciences and the development of its ACTIVATE program. Through C8 Sciences' research-validated ACTIVATE program, students with and without attention-related disorders are able to improve core cognitive functions, leading to significant academic gains across the board.

Dr. Wexler is professor emeritus of psychiatry and senior research scientist at Yale School of Medicine and director of the Neurocognitive Research Laboratory at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. He has spent the past 35 years leading innovation in computer-presented brain exercises to treat cognitive deficits in people with psychiatric illnesses. His research came to fruition with the development of ACTIVATE cognition-training program for children from C8 Sciences.

Developed in 2015, the Innovation Award recognizes those who have displayed leadership in innovating the field of brain health. Dr. Evian Gordon was the first recipient of the award, and was selected for his leadership as the Chairman and CEO of the Brain Resource.

Congratulations, Dr. Wexler, on your work and this much-deserved recognition!

He's back....

You may remember from my May 27th column that Thor Prichard, President & CEO of Clarity Innovations, was planning to participate in the 50th anniversary of the VicMaui sailing race as crew aboard Starblazer, a Beneteau 40.7 sailboat. The race started in Victoria, BC, and ended in Lahaina, Maui. Thor checked in this week to let me know they successfully made it to Hawaii intact and unharmed. They finished the trip in 14 days, 53 minutes, and 23 seconds, and their boat was 5th in their division, 12th overall (out of 22 boats total). And, Thor is pleased to report that he survived without access to the Internet the whole time! He added that after a shower (or two) and several days relaxation in Hawaii, he's back online and wading through a backlog of email. Welcome back, Thor—great job!

Your company can still receive benefits of EdNET 2016 sponsorship!

You can still get all of the benefits that EdNET sponsors enjoy before, during and following the conference—but not for long! Be sure to get in touch with me at if you want to know more about sponsorship opportunities and benefits. And be aware the deadline to confirm sponsorship is August 19th.

Check out all of our terrific EdNET 2016 sponsors! We love them all!

Check out the EdNET 2016 keynotes!

We have two awesome keynoters headlining this year's conference.

Jim Carroll, global futurist, trends, and innovation expert, will kick off the conference with his presentation, The Future of Education-Rethinking Opportunity in the Era of Knowledge Velocity. Jim will challenge the EdNET audience to think about innovation in the education sector that takes on bold goals to deal with a reality that has rapid knowledge obsolescence and emergence, the disappearance of existing careers and the emergence of new careers, an ongoing need for continuous knowledge replenishment, and the migration of knowledge generation further away from academia.

And Tuesday morning, we will be honored to hear from Rishi Dave, Chief Marketing Officer for Dun & Bradstreet. Rishi is a rock star in the marketing world who has brought his skills in social media, content marketing, and mobile to transform D&B's marketing team into a more digitally focused organization. He will bring his storytelling skills to EdNET participants, sharing practical ideas to drive growth and talking about key learnings realized that can be applied to any company seeking to transform itself to a modern machine.

You are going to want to join us in Dallas for EdNET, and I will most surely hope to see you there!

Participate in the EdNET Community

In addition to using the attendee directory, stay connected with friends and colleagues, follow the conversation, and join in the fun! Check out the EdNET Community page. 

I hope you're already following the EdNET conversation on Twitter at EdNETbiz and #ednet16, on the EdNET Community Page on Facebook, and in the EdNET Community Group on LinkedIn.

Be sure to also check out the EdNET Flickr albums. Take a stroll down EdNET's memory lane and please send photos you'd like to see added to our community.

See, I told you—stay connected and join in the fun!

Hurting for our enormous losses....

I'm sad to share that a beloved marketing and technology champion has left us too soon. Christopher Ziemnicki, formerly of MDR, passed away unexpectedly last week in Connecticut. So many of his friends, teammates, and industry colleagues remember Chris, affectionately known as Chris Z, for his focus on what customers really need, his drive to expand marketing technology offerings, and his insight to the next market opportunity. Through hundreds of regular marketing webinars, articles, reports, and live presentations, meetings, Chris was the face of education digital marketing for more than a decade. A well-known and well-liked partner to many education marketers, his quick wit and ready smile also made him great fun to work with.

Former MDR president Fady Khairallah shared these thoughts: "The legacy of a man is not the number of years he spends on this earth, but the positive impact he has on the people around him and on his profession. By this measure, Chris Z has lived 100 years. I will always remember him as an innovator-always a step ahead of the industry. But most of all I will remember him as a dedicated father who loved his two daughters above all else. I will miss him, along with so many of his former co-workers and friends."

When he wasn't building forward-looking digital products for clients or building his own PCs outside the office, Chris was wholly focused on his daughters, for whom this loss is most tragic. An avid off-road cyclist, Chris was always planning something fun and athletic for them to do together, from ziplining, to stand up paddleboarding, to building igloos in the snow, to eating Thai and sushi together. Our hearts go out to his family. Details about a memorial service for Chris are available with his online obituary. As a way to preserve memories for his young daughters, I encourage those who remember and worked with Chris to share experiences in the online guest book. May you rest in peace, Chris—you will be missed by many.

And Seymour Papert, whose ideas and inventions transformed how millions of children around the world create and learn, died July 31st at his home at the age of 88. (Much of this post is taken from the MIT News - please read the full piece.) His career traversed a trio of influential movements: child development, artificial intelligence, and educational technologies. Based on his insights into children's thinking and learning, Seymour recognized that computers could be used not just to deliver information and instruction, but also to empower children to experiment, explore, and express themselves. The central tenet of his Constructionist theory of learning is that people build knowledge most effectively when they are actively engaged in constructing things in the world.

As early as 1968, he introduced the idea that computer programming and debugging can provide children a way to think about their own thinking and learn about their own learning. He made a huge mark on my thinking and that of countless others in those heady early days of instructional computing, and he continued to do so.

Seymour was among the first to recognize the revolutionary potential of computers in education. In the late 1960s, at a time when computers still cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, he came up with the idea for Logo, the first programming language for children. Children used Logo to program the movements of a "turtle"-either in the form of a small mechanical robot or a graphic object on the computer screen. In his seminal book Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas (1980), he argued against "the computer being used to program the child." He presented an alternative approach in which "the child programs the computer and, in doing so, both acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology and establishes an intimate contact with some of the deepest ideas from science, from mathematics, and from the art of intellectual model building."

Seymour was the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Education at MIT from 1974-1981. In 1985, he began a long and productive collaboration with the LEGO company, one of the first and largest corporate sponsors of the Media Lab. His ideas served as an inspiration for the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit, which was named after his 1980 book. In 1989, the LEGO company endowed a chair at the Media Lab, and Seymour became the first LEGO Professor of Learning Research. In 1998, after he became professor emeritus, the name of the professorship was modified, in his honor, to the LEGO Papert Professorship of Learning Research.

In the late 1990s, Seymour moved to Maine and continued his work with young people there, establishing the Learning Barn and the Seymour Papert Institute in 1999. He also set up a Learning Lab at the Maine Youth Center, where he worked to engage and inspire troubled youths who had received little support at home or school, and were grappling with drugs, alcohol, anger, or psychological problems. He was also integral to a Maine initiative requiring laptops for all 7th and 8th graders. Following the Maine initiative, Papert joined Nicholas Negroponte and Alan Kay in 2004 to create the non-profit One Laptop per Child (OLPC), which produced and distributed low-cost, low-power, rugged laptops to the world's poorest children. The organization produced more than three million laptops, reaching children in more than 40 countries.

Seymour's work inspired generations of educators and researchers around the world. He received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980, a Marconi International fellowship in 1981, and the Smithsonian Award from Computerworld in 1997. In 2001, Newsweek named him "one of the nation's 10 top innovators in education."

The Media Lab will host a celebration of the life and work of Seymour Papert in the coming months. Our industry, our teachers, and our students will forever benefit from the legacy of his accomplishments and work.

That's it for this week, friends, and the Snoop is ready for the weekend! My highlight will surely be the fun we will have celebrating grandson Logan's 4th birthday—this year, it is all about Super Heroes. It is hard to end the week sharing sad news of special people. Please find some special times and memories in your weekend. Till next week....Vicki, the Snoop

[Send me your scoops at and be sure to follow me on Twitter @Snoops4Scoops #SheSnoops]