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Plenary Session October 7, 2020

Alicia Bolton - Collaborate to Innovate

With over 15 years of diversified experience, Alicia is passionate about connecting the dots between data and trends to develop and implement strategies and programming. Spanning K-12 education, real estate, and banking institutions, she brings a unique blend of skills and experiences that all map to her passion for building solutions that drive impact for youth and adult learners.

Alicia currently serves as the director of IEL's Adult Career Pathway Design Challenge, which is part of the organization’s Minds that Move Us initiative. Through this challenge, ten cross-sector teams of educators, employers, community organizations, and adult learners from around the country were selected to design innovative career pathway programs for adults 26 and over who do not have any formal postsecondary training or education and lack the skills necessary to put them on a career path. Over the course of the project, teams will partake in a Design Camp, ongoing coaching, and a Career Pathways Festival to pitch their proposed solutions with a chance to win prize money for their creativity.

Alicia is a thoughtful leader with a track record of strengthening policies and educational programs on both the national (U.S. Department of Education) and district (D.C. Public Schools) levels. In addition, she has a variety of experiences successfully managing complex projects, designing older youth and adult career programming, overseeing intricate budgets and grants, leading and developing teams, and partnering with a variety of stakeholders to build buy-in and diversify funding sources.

Daquanna Harrison

Plenary Session November 18, 2020

Daquanna Harrison - Bringing Your 'Whole Self', Discussions on Diversity in Adult Education

Daquanna Harrison is the founder of Elevation Educational Consulting Group, a minority woman-owned company based in the Maryland metropolitan area with a national and international reach. Its mission is to elevate the effectiveness of educators, workforce professionals, and organizations in the field of education.

Daquanna, has an M.A. in psychology and is an alumna of Howard, American, and Duke Universities. She is also a graduate of the Education Policy Fellowship Program from the Institute for Educational Leadership. She is an honoree of the Forty Under 40 award for Excellence in Education by PGCSIF. Her areas of expertise include evaluating and creating curriculum and learning tools; developing, implementing, and managing educational programs; and leadership development that will further the mission of quality education and learning for all. She had a vision of bringing talented experts from numerous fields together under one umbrella. She believes that this 'cross pollination' of ideas, skills, knowledge, and expertise expands our ability to strengthen systems and lift people. Through Elevation Educational Consulting Group this belief is a reality.

Jorge Valenzuela

Plenary Session January 13, 2021

Jorge Valenzuela - Make Remote Learning Engaging for Students by Focusing on Project-Based Learning

Jorge Valenzuela is an education coach, author, and advocate. He has years of experience as a classroom and online teacher, a curriculum specialist, and a consultant. His work focuses on improving teacher preparation in project-based learning, computational thinking and computer science integration, STEM education, and equity-based restorative practices. Jorge is an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, lead coach at Lifelong Learning Defined, and a PBLWorks national trainer. His book Rev Up Robotics: Real-World Computational Thinking in the K–8 Classroom is available from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Make Remote Learning Engaging for Students by Focusing on Project-Based Learning

For virtual Project-Based Learning (PBL) to be engaging for all learners, educators must also consider the academic, career, and social and emotional learning (SEL) of their students. This requires savvy lessons that focus on equity, incorporate sound teaching strategies, and be social enough for the most digitally connected students.

Join education coach Jorge Valenzuela for a session that will provide you pro tips, resources, and actionable steps to help you 'level up' both your virtual and face-to-face PBL units by focusing on blended learning, career skills, and equity and SEL in tandem with academics.

Handouts will be made available prior to the event.



Plenary Session April 15, 2021

DJ ENFERNO, Mix Major Electronic Music School

DJ Enferno has been a music professional since 1991 & has performed for over 3 million people in 36 countries including touring with Madonna in the 2008-2009 Sticky & Sweet World Tour. He has produced concert music for Madonna, Shakira, Rihanna, & the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil shows.

Beyond the stage and studio, DJ Enferno is an evangelist for music technology education. At his brick-and-mortar music technology school, Mix Major (in Herndon, VA), he teaches kids & teenagers (Grades 3-12) as well as adults how to compose, produce, & record their own music. Mix Major empowers these students with 21st-century creative technology skills. DJ Enferno has collaborated with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Educator's Team to design & create lesson plans geared toward elementary, middle, & high school students. As well, he creates & publishes free educational video content for traditional music educators with his Teacher TV YouTube videos. Music teachers from London, to New Zealand, to Zambia, & the USA have used DJ Enferno's tutorials to craft music technology curriculum for their schools.

Keynote Address: Connecting to Create Emotion & Inspire Action

Bring your creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, & communication skills to this interactive session as DJ Enferno leads us in an online statewide team building experience. Equipped with Electronic Dance Music (EDM) industry- standard software, DJ Enferno will engage with attendees & lead us in identifying our core values & articulating our unified mission through music. At the end of this session, we will have together created beats, melodies, & chords to arrange and produce our Virginia Adult Education anthem that we can then share with the world. Believe it or not, no music training or music production experience is required. You don't want to miss this one-of-a-kind learning event!