U of A Education Innovation Office, State Team Up to Offer Annual Summit

August 9, 2017

Darryl Adams, from left, James Rickabaugh and John Spencer
Darryl Adams, from left, James Rickabaugh and John Spencer

The theme of this year's Education Innovation Summit on Sept. 26 and 27 in Little Rock is "Inside the Leader is the Design" with keynote speakers Darryl Adams, James Rickabaugh and John Spencer. The Office of Innovation for Education at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Education will present the third annual summit for educators.

Individuals have until Aug. 15 to register at a reduced price for the summit, which will take place at the Statehouse Marriott in Little Rock. A reduced price for groups is also available until Sept. 15. Registration may be done online.

Adams recently retired as superintendent of the Coachella Valley (California) School District in and was recognized by former President Obama as a Top 100 Innovative Superintendent. He is known as the "rock and roll, hip hop and soul superintendent." His district was the first in the nation to provide an iPad for all 20,000 students and he created the 24/7 internet Wifi-on-Wheels initiative. He will talk about digital access for all students, teachers and parents.

Rickabaugh is a senior advisor at the Institute for Personalized Learning, an education innovation lab dedicated to the transportation of public education. He will talk about the drivers of a new era for learners and learning. He was formerly a school superintendent of several districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

He wrote Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning: A Roadmap for School Leaders that helps principals and other educational leaders engage their staffs in designing and implementing personalized learning ecosystems.

Spencer is an assistant professor of instructional technology at George Fox University. Formerly a middle school teacher, he co-wrote Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student. He spoke at the White House in 2009, sharing a vision for how to empower students to be ready for the future through creativity and design thinking. He will talk about using technology beyond as a consumer device.

Additional speakers include other school leaders, teachers, national education innovation consultants, state education officials and some local experts such as Sarah McKenzie, executive director of the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas, and Blaine Alexander, the program leader for the School Support and Organizational Development programs at the Arkansas Leadership Academy.

The Arkansas Department of Education worked with the University of Arkansas to establish the Office of Innovation for Education in 2013. It is based in the College of Education and Health Professions. Denise Airola, formerly a research specialist with the Arkansas Leadership Academy, directs the office.

spotlight on faculty scholarship

  • Preparing Teachers of Color to Teach

    Christian Goering, co-author Sense Publishers

  • Impact of Diversity on Organization and Career Development

    Claretha Hughes, Palgrave Macmillan

  • A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core

    Lynn Koch, co-author Springer

  • Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings

    William F. McComas, co-author Arcadia

  • The School Choice Journey

    Robert Maranto, co-author Palgrave Pivot

  • American Indian Workforce Education

    Carsten Schmidtke, Routledge