Top K–12 Education Influencers You Need to Know

Educational technology is changing rapidly for K–12 schools. From teachers and school leaders to policy makers, education content creators act as voices of authority. We've done our homework, check out the top 12 K–12 education influencers you need to know:

1. Will Richardson | Big Questions Institute

Will is a co-founder of The Big Questions Institute which was created to help educators use "fearless inquiry" to make sense of this complex moment and an uncertain future. A former public school educator of 22 years, Will has spent the last 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Be sure to check out the Big Questions Institute's monthly thought leadership series. 


2. Homa Sabet Tavangar | Big Questions Institute

Homa Sabet Tavangar works actively with K-12 schools and universities to build global, racial and cultural competence, through holistic programs engaging teachers, leaders, parents and students, as well as by offering keynotes, workshops, coaching and professional development across the life cycle of learners. Co-founding the Big Questions Institute represents a natural extension of her work, especially during a time of unprecedented global challenges.


3. Peter Baron | Enrollment Management Association

Peter is the Chief Member Relations Officer at EMA. He oversees EMA's marketing and communications, member recruitment and retention, and outreach functions, as well as its leadership training programs, research, and other related strategic initiatives. Check out Peter on the UC20 Ignite session about creating a sustainable tuition and financial model.


4. Tom Vander Ark | Getting Smart

Tom Vander Ark is an advocate for innovations in learning. As CEO of Getting Smart, he advises schools, districts, networks, foundations and learning organizations on the path forward. Tom is the author of Getting Smart, Smart Cities That Work for Everyone, Smart Parents, Better Together, and The Power of Place. is a media channel that provides a place for edleaders to share innovations in learning and build a community driven by equity and access.

5. Jeffrey Shields | NBOA

Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE, has served as president and CEO of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) for over ten years. The NBOA focuses on supporting independent school business officers and business operations staff while fostering financial and operational excellence among independent PK-12 schools.



6. Donna Orem | NAIS

Donna Orem is the president of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). NAIS is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,800 schools and associations of schools. She is co-author of the NAIS Trustee Handbook and contributes regularly to Independent School magazine, the Independent Ideas blog, the NAIS Trendbook, and Looking Ahead. 


7. Dr. Ashley Cross | ATLIS

Ashley is the Director of Membership at Atlis. The Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) addresses the unique challenges of independent school Technology Directors. Ashley's research has explored makerspaces in K-12 schools as an application of constructivist learning.   


8. Brendan Schneider | SchneiderB Media

Brendan currently serves as the Director of Advancement at Sewickley Academy, and is the creator or SchneiderB Media, a blog and podcast focusing on marketing for schools, social media for schools, and SEO for schools. Check out Brendan on the UC20 Ignite session about marketing the school and how to sustain enrollment amidst COVID-19.



9. Greg Bamford | Leadership + Design

Greg Bamford is a co-founder and Senior Partner at Leadership+Design, a non-profit collaborative of educators, strategists, and experience designers committed to transforming the work of school leaders. He was previously the Head of School at the Watershed School in Boulder, Colorado. Greg is also a co-founder of the Traverse Conference, a conference on experiential and place-based learning, and he writes and speaks nationally.


10. Alex Inman | Educational Collaborators

Founder of Educational Collaborators with over 20 years experience as teacher, tech director and senior administrator. Educational Collaborators help schools save time by providing relevant edtech and professional learning services to help them achieve their maximum potential.



11. Rob Abel | LTI/IMS Global

Dr. Rob Abel is the Chief Executive Officer of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a nonprofit collaboration of the world's leading universities, school districts, government organizations, content providers, and technology suppliers, cooperating to accelerate learning technology interoperability, adoption, and impact. Rob is a recognized expert on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for learning with over 35 years high tech and education market development experience.


12. William Bullard | EdChanges 

William Bullard is the founder of EdChanges, a marketing services firm that offers schools, colleges, and universities a wide variety of strategic marketing services. Be sure to check out William's Maximizing the Five Stages of Enrollment Marketing



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