LD Innovation Symposium

Diverse Technologies for Diverse Minds

Friday, October 3, 2014
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium
Landmark College
Putney, Vermont

View the agenda for the day
View the Technology Playground program

Thank you to all those who attended our second annual day-long symposium on new and emerging technologies for people who learn differently. This event is part of Landmark College's celebration of LD Awareness month each October.

The keynote speaker was Ben Foss, the author of the new book The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan and the founder of Headstrong Nation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the LD community. Two other speakers, Dr. Jon Landis from Apple, Inc., and Dr. Mark Hakkinen from Educational Testing Service (ETS), talked about the transformative power of technology in education. The event also included technology demonstrations and a panel of Landmark College students discussing how they use technology in academics.

Landmark College offered a special one-day Professional Visit Day on Thursday, October 2, for high school and college professionals who work with students with LD, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A stipend was available for travel and accommodations during the Visit Day. Professionals who wished to attend both events needed to register for the Symposium as well as for the Professional Visit Day.

View or download the LD Innovation Symposium program.

Keynote Address by Ben Foss
"A Blueprint for Learners: Using Technology to Support Students Who Learn Differently"

In his keynote address, "A Blueprint for Learners: Using Technology to Support Students Who Learn Differently," Ben Foss will discuss assistive and mainstream technologies that can help students thrive in an academic environment. Through innovation and accommodation, every classroom and workplace can be focused on people's strengths. Foss will provide participants with concrete recommendations for tools that can enhance the path to success for all students. Perhaps most importantly, these technologies help students feel included and enable them to move past a legacy of shame that can hold them back.

Foss is the former Director of Access Technology at Intel Corporation and a nationally recognized disability advocate. He draws on his own experiences as a person with dyslexia in exploring the strategies that can enable anyone to become a higher performing version of themselves.

Dr. Mark Hakkinen
"Accessibility and Current and Emerging Technologies"

Dr. Mark Hakkinen will discuss how advances in technology are energizing contemporary learning, teaching, and assessment. The possibilities afforded by technologies such as mobile devices, 3-D printers, and apps are making us rethink the traditional notion of "assistive technology.” Some of this sounds like science fiction, yet these new and emerging technologies are not so far away. Come to this session to learn about the possibilities of new technologies and their uses in the classroom.

Dr. Mark Hakkinen is a research scientist at Educational Testing Services (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey. He is an expert in accessibility and assistive technology and has worked in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Hakkinen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

Dr. Jon Landis
"Why Mobility Matters"

Dr. Jon Landis will discuss mobile pedagogy stemming from the fundamental shift in how we access content—in the classroom and out. This is not about technology fads or the latest gadgets. This is about creating scaffolding to give all learners a pathway to academic success and personal expression. Participants will explore the challenges and possibilities of a connected classroom. In addition to exploring the dynamics of a mobility-based education paradigm, the practical implementation strategies, hardware, and support necessary to improve learning opportunity will be examined. This session will cover three areas:

  • WHY do education institutions need to explore mobility theory?
  • WHAT does a mobility rich environment look like?
  • HOW are schools around the world doing this?

Dr. Landis is the U.S. Development Executive with Apple Inc. He is a former professor in the College of Education from Millersville University, where he was the graduate coordinator of the Leadership Program and the Coordinator of the CyberSafe Institute. Jon holds a Ph.D. in Sociology, a Master’s in Education Leadership, and a B.S. in Chemistry.  He has served as a chemistry instructor, principal, curriculum director, and IT Director. Dr. Landis speaks nationally on the opportunities associated with mobile technology in education.

Education professionals who would like to combine the Symposium with the Professional Visit Day on Thursday, October 2, can register for the Professional Visit Day here.

Need accommodations in the area? Check out places to stay near Landmark College.