Keynote / Sessions

Instruction Before Construction   April 15-17, 2020
Instruction Before Construction
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
200 West 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105

Tom Vander Ark

Author & CEO, Getting Smart

Tom Vander Ark Tom Vander Ark is an advocate for innovations in learning. As CEO of Getting Smart, he advises school districts and networks, education foundations and funders and impact organizations on the path forward. A prolific writer and speaker, Tom is author of Getting Smart; Smart Cities That Work for Everyone; Smart Parents; and Better Together. He has published thousands of articles, co-authored and contributed to more than 50 books and white papers. He writes regularly on GettingSmart.com, LinkedIn, and contributes to Forbes.

Previously, Tom served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also served as a public school superintendent in Washington state and has extensive private sector experience. Tom co-founded the first education venture fund, Learn Capital. Tom is a board member for Education Board Partners, Director for 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, and eduInnovation and Advisor for One Stone, Teton Science Schools and Whittle School & Studios.

Tom has presented at a variety of national conferences, including SXSWEdu, iNACOL’s Blended & Online Learning Symposium, ASU/GSV, National Charter Schools Conference and AACN Annual Meeting. He has also presented at international conferences including The World Bank, The Digital Education Show Middle East and Bett Show.

Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver, and continues his education online.

Designing the Future of Learning

In three design sprints, participants will articulate learning goals for the new innovation economy, explore the nature of real world learning, and design learning experiences and environments for the future. A4LE is thrilled to welcome Tom to Kansas City to help reinforce our conference focus of Instruction Before Construction.
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