Keynote Speaker Series

Sugata MitraSugata ​Mitra ​is ​an ​educator, ​innovator, ​and ​professor ​of ​Educational ​Technology ​at ​the ​School ​of ​Education, ​Communication, ​and ​Language ​Sciences ​at ​Newcastle ​University ​in ​England. ​In ​2013, ​he ​delivered ​an ​award-winning ​TED ​presentation, ​“Build ​a ​school ​in ​the ​cloud”. ​His ​ideas ​of ​students ​as ​self-organized ​learners ​are ​embraced ​globally. ​His ​presentation ​titled ​’Schools ​in ​the ​Cloud ​- ​glimpses ​of ​the ​future ​of ​learning’ ​offers ​a ​refreshing ​look ​on ​the ​power ​of ​playful ​learning. ​(Thursday ​March ​14, ​8 ​AM) 

Stephen NachmanovitchStephen ​Nachmanovitch ​is ​an ​improvisational ​violinist, ​educator, ​and ​computer ​artist. ​He ​is ​the ​author ​of ​Free ​Play: ​Improvisation ​in ​Life ​and ​Art. ​At ​the ​conference, ​he ​will ​offer ​his ​insights ​on ​Free ​Play ​and ​excerpts ​from ​his ​“soon-to-be-published” ​book ​– ​The ​Art ​of ​Is: ​Improvising, ​Impermanence, ​Imperfection. ​His ​address ​is ​aptly ​titled ​“This ​is ​Play.” (Workshop ​on ​Thursday ​March ​14th ​& ​Keynote ​address ​at ​8 ​am ​on ​Friday ​March ​15th, ​2019) 

Lenore SkenazyLenore ​Skenazy ​who ​has ​earned ​the ​dubious ​title ​of ​“America’s ​Worst ​Mom” ​is ​a ​New ​York ​City ​columnist-turned ​reality ​TV ​show ​host. ​She ​will ​describe ​the ​notion ​of ​raising ​Free ​Range ​Kids. ​Her ​message ​creates ​the ​much-needed ​space ​for ​true ​play. ​ ​Please ​visit ​Let ​Grow: ​Future-Proofing ​Our ​Kids ​and ​Our ​Country ​for ​more ​information. ​(Friday, ​March ​15, ​1:30 ​PM)

Jenny ​Mills ​is ​an ​advocate ​for ​the ​importance ​of ​access ​to ​play ​as ​a ​human ​right ​for ​all ​children. ​She ​serves ​as ​the ​Director ​of ​Limitless ​Child ​International ​works ​with ​children ​in ​orphanages ​throughout ​the ​world. ​Her ​presentation ​on ​the ​Role ​of ​play ​for ​vulnerable ​children ​reflects ​her ​passion ​to ​give ​marginalized ​children ​a ​childhood ​and ​bring ​play, ​learning, ​and ​social ​connections ​to ​extremely ​vulnerable ​children. ​Please ​visit ​Limitless ​Child ​International ​to ​learn ​more ​about ​their ​vision ​and ​creative ​programming. ​(Thursday ​March ​14, ​1:30 ​PM)

Anna ​Yudina ​is ​director ​of ​marketing ​initiatives ​at ​the ​Toy ​Association, ​has ​been ​a ​champion ​of ​The ​Genius ​of ​Play ​program ​to ​educate ​parents ​about ​the ​benefits ​of ​play ​to ​child ​development. ​She ​will ​talk ​about ​attitudes ​towards ​play ​among ​millennial ​parents ​and ​the ​impact ​of ​integrated ​communications ​on ​helping ​parents ​understand ​the ​connection ​between ​play ​and ​learning. ​Please ​visit ​the ​Toy ​Association ​to ​learn ​more ​about ​the ​advocacy ​and ​research ​conducted ​by ​the ​Toy ​Association. ​(Saturday ​March ​16 ​8 ​AM) 

Walter DrewWalter Drew is the President of The Association for the Study of Play. Walter F. Drew, Ed.D., is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Self Active Education. For more than 40 years, he has researched and conducted hands-on adult play experiences with open-ended materials as a process for awakening creativity, strengthening early childhood practice, and as a way of generating hope and optimism across the human life span. He is the creator of Dr. Drew’s Discovery Blocks, chosen Best Toy of the Year by the Parents Choice Foundation in 1982. He co-authored an exciting new book published by NAEYC, titled, “From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers Play with Children’s Learning“. He is the recipient of Patricia Monighan Nourot Award in 2009 Dr. Drew will deliver the Presidential Address on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM