Ed-Tech Symposium

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Technology and the Future of Education is and invitation-only event sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank and Square Panda, and hosted by the Design Program at Stanford University.


Thursday, May 12, 2016
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Opening poster session withcontributions from both industry and academia.

Keynote speaker Bruce McCandliss will kick off the event with research on the impact of neurology upon the future of curriculum, followed by keynote speakerJessie Woolley-Wilson of Dreambox.

Panel talks with ed-tech leaders, including: Andre Agassi, LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow,) Jaime Casap (Google), Andy Butler (Square Panda) and Mark Wolf (CEO RRKidz.).

Interactive Q&A session.


Keynote Speakers

Bruce McCandliss

Professor and Researcher of Educational Neuroscience, Stanford University 

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Jessie Woolley Wilson

President, CEO, and Board Chair, Dreambox
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Andre Agassi

Founder, The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

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LeVar Burton

Co-Founder, Curator-in-Chief, RRKidz, Inc.

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Jaime Casap

Chief Education Evangelist, Google

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Mark Wolfe

CEO/Co-Founder, RRKidz, Inc.

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Andy Butler

CEO, Square Panda

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Bill Burnett

Executive Director, The Design School at Stanford

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To request an invitation, contact: info@squarepanda.com

For press inquires, please contact Connie Zheng at press@squarepanda.com

Andre Agassi

Chairman and Founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and Chairman & CEO of Agassi Ventures

After turning pro at the age of 16, tennis prodigy Andre Agassi rose to international fame, earning 60 men’s singles titles, including eight Grand Slam singles championships, over a 20-year career. A former World No. 1 player, Agassi is the only male player ever to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. On July 9, 2011, Andre was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011.

While his tennis career took him all over the world, Agassi always stayed connected to his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1994, at the age of 24, he created the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

Over 20 years, the Foundation has honed its mission to focus on transforming public education. In 2001, the Foundation opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition free K -12 public charter school, in historical West Las Vegas with approximately 1,200 students. Recognized as a model charter school, Agassi Prep graduated its first senior class in June 2009 with a 100 percent college acceptance rate, as were the graduates in the class of 2010 and 2011.

Since the inception of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education in 1994, $185 million dollars has been raised to benefit the mission of the Foundation including $118 million from the Grand Slam for Children fundraising event. The Grand Slam for Children served as the Foundation’s primary fundraising vehicle and brought together international stars to raise awareness and money.

After retiring in 2006, Andre Agassi has increased his focus on his Foundation and on promoting education reform. He is also building a lifestyle business through endorsement relationships, joint venture investments and real estate development. In November 2009, he released his autobiography Open, which reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and continues to hit record sales internationally.

In June 2011, as part of an effort to expand his impact on education, Andre partnered with Turner Impact Capital on an innovative new real estate fund – the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund – to promote the success and growth of best-in-class charter schools in urban communities across the United States. By the fall of 2015, the fund had developed 70-75 schools, serving 35,000 students.

Most recently, Andre launched BILT by Agassi & Reyes to provide the public with the actual fitness machines hand-developed by him and his strength and conditioning trainer, Gil Reyes. Andre won eight Grand Slam titles and dominated the world of tennis throughout his long career by recognizing the importance of strength, conditioning and safety through the use of these innovative machines.

He is married to tennis superstar, philanthropist and businesswoman Stefanie Graf. The couple resides in Las Vegas with their children, Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle.

Levar Burton

Host and Chairman, Reading Rainbow Kidz

LeVar Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. Cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series “Roots,” at 19 he found himself on the cover of Time Magazine. A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to do so in dramatic fashion, achieving further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series and in feature films. But it has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow” that he is most proud of. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest- running children’s television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed, earning over 200 awards including 26 Emmys and a Peabody.

Always committed to improving children’s education through innovative uses of storytelling, in 2012 Burton launched RRKidz, a children's educational media company, with business partner Mark Wolfe. As their first endeavor, they licensed the right to reimagine Reading Rainbow for new generations.

Burton then turned to Kickstarter to garner support to bring his ideas to life. The campaign wildly exceeded its initial $1 million goal in less than eleven hours. It became the most popular Kickstarter campaign ever with over 105,000 backers and a final tally of over $6.4 million. In May 2015, Burton and RRKidz fulfilled their Kickstarter promise by introducing Skybrary, an interactive digital library featuring over 500 books & videos. A year later, an educator specific version, Skybrary School, was launched. The Skybrary platform inspires kids to read, creating confident, self directed learners.

Burton’s first children’s book, THE RHINO WHO SWALLOWED A STORM, a powerful and uplifting story to help children cope with the difficulties of everyday life, was published in fall 2014 by Reading Rainbow.

The honored recipient of 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards, and a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame, Burton has demonstrated in his career that he can do it all -- acting, directing, producing, writing and speaking. He is often invited as a keynote speaker at leading education and technology events, most recently speaking at NASA, ISTE, The National Headstart Association, FAST COMPANY’s Innovation Series and many more.

In 2014, with educational groups, business organizations and media clamoring to recognize him for the record-setting Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign, Burton was named Geek of the Year in the annual Geekie Awards, was listed as one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 100, and earned the World Tech Award for Education, awarded by the World Technology Network.

And in 2015, he earned the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Innovator’s Award and the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Award.

He now enters his fourth decade in the industry, highlighted in the coming months by his role as Co-Executive Producer of the re- envisioned production of “Roots,” airing in 2016 on the A&E Networks.

With millions of fans throughout the world, Burton continues his mission to inspire, entertain and educate.

Bruce McCandliss

Professor & Researcher, Stanford University

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Jessie Wooley Wilson

Founder, Dreambox

Jessie supports the broader K12 industry by serving on the boards of several educational organizations including the International Association for K12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Camelot, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and Islandwood. Jessie has been a featured speaker at international events including TEDx Rainier, SXSWedu, and DENT. She was awarded the 2015 Executive Excellence Award in the CEO of the Year category by Seattle Business magazine; she was also on the Forbes “Impact 15” list for being a disruptor of education, and was honored as a “Woman of Influence” by Puget Sound Business Journal for making an impact in the EdTech industry.

Jessie has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in English from the University of Virginia. She is a 2007 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Jessie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of Virginia. She is also a 2007 Henry Crown Fellow and moderator of the Aspen Institute.

Learn more at dreambox.com

Jaime Casap

Chief Education Evangelist, Google

Jaime Casap is the Chief Education Evangelist at Google. Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of the web, technology, and Google tools as enabling and supporting capabilities in pursuit of fostering inquiry-driven project-based learning models. Jaime collaborates with educational organizations and leaders building innovation and iteration into our education practices. He speaks on the subject of technology, education, and innovation at events around the world.

In addition to his role at Google, Jaime serves on a number of Boards, including the Arizona Science Foundation, Seed Spot NEXT, and Inquire Schools. He serves as an advisor to dozens of organizations focused on education, technology, and equity. Jaime is also an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes on policy, innovation, and leadership.

You can read Jaime’s education blog at www.jcasap.com and can reach him on Google+ You can also follow him on Twitter at @jcasap

Mark Wolfe

Co-Founder & CEO, RRKidz

Still in Hollywood 30 years after film school, Mark has been all over the world making movies and is now the co-owner and CEO of a great educational and entertainment brand, RRKIDZ, the Home of Reading Rainbow. Business partnered with LeVar Burton in RRKIDZ and Burton/Wolfe Entertainment; together they are making the next act of their careers one that really matters. They are educating and entertaining.

Mark has written and directed over 200 video field trips for Reading Rainbow, which really surprises him since he never expected to have any talent doing that. Maybe he doesn’t and everyone is afraid to tell him. Producing has always been his forte. Go figure.

Prior to co-founding RRKidz in 2011, Mark served as a producer/executive in charge of production of several high-profile films, where he supervised all aspects of preproduction, production and post.

Mark has worked and filmed all over the world, in places such as Morocco, Israel, India, Toronto, Bulgaria, Halifax, Moscow, Paris, Winnipeg, St. Petersburg, London, Rome, New York, Munich, Vancouver and so many others he can’t remember them, but knows he has a drawer full of old Lira, Euros, Pounds, Shekels, Rubles, and a shelf full of Virgin Atlantic pajamas.

Throughout the years Mark has worked with various charity groups that are near and dear to him.

Mark guest lectures at various producer programs including ones at USC, and the international film producers program Inside Pictures and Breakthrough Brits, a UK diversity program, both sponsored by the British Film Commission.

Mark lives in Southern California with family.


Andy Butler

CEO, Square Panda

Andy is CEO at Square Panda, an education technology startup that designs connected learning toys to fuel the curiosity of early learners. A Stanford alumni, he solo-sailed a home-built 26-foot sailboat from San Francisco to Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Rarotonga and worked in the French Polynesia as a carpenter and professional sea-going gypsy.

Bill Burnett

Executive Director, The Stanford Design Program, Stanford University

After years of drawing cars and airplanes under his Grandmother’s sewing machine, Bill Burnett went off to the University and discovered, much to his surprise, that there were people in the world who did this kind of thing everyday (without the sewing machine) and they were called designers. Twenty five years, five companies, and a couple of thousand students later Bill is still drawing and building things, teaching others how to do the same, and quietly enjoying the fact that no one has discovered that he is having too much fun.

Bill Burnett is a Consulting Assistant Professor and the Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford. He directs the undergraduate and graduate program in design and teaches at the d.school. He received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Product Design at Stanford and has worked in start-ups and Fortune 100 companies, including seven years at Apple designing award-winning laptops and a number of years in the toy industry designing Star Wars action figures. He holds a number of mechanical and design patents and design awards, and, in addition to his duties at Stanford, he is on the board of VOZ, a socially responsible fashion start-up, and advises several other start-up companies.

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