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About the digital conference

During the digital conference held January 30th, inspiring educators and thought leaders shared their ideas during the Hack the Classroom digital conference. Sign in to view a recording of the digital event.

Educators who attended the Hack the Classroom digital conference were inspired by new ideas and tools for the classroom after hearing from Hadi Partovi (founder of  and Dale Dougherty (founder of MAKE Magazine) who have hacked learning spaces across the globe to provide experiences for students that allow them to improve computational thinking, critical thinking skills, and creativity

Rafranz Davis (Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin ISD) shared how she uses Minecraft to hack what teachers think about student learning through critical thinking and collaborative creativity driven by the imaginations of students. Find out how Minecraft can empower your students to:

  • Think more deeply and holistically on a concept
  • Improve cognitive reflection from creating, collaborating, and teaching each other
  • Learn alongside the teacher

Find out how Jeff Kash, middle school social studies teacher, hacks his classroom to:

  • Gain back instructional time at the beginning of class by using tools that allow his students to be self-starters
  • Organize content so his students can focus on the learning
  • Provide real-time feedback so that students can work to mastery
  • Easily revise units and lessons for the following year:

See how Leah Obach went from not knowing anything about coding, to hacking her grade 1 classroom so that her students can:

  • Practice multiple subject areas to improve literacy skills
  • Demonstrate leadership and inspire global and digital citizenship
  • Develop tenacity and grit as they persist working on a difficult task and requires multiple attempts to complete successfully

During the event you will be able to interact with the speakers and ask them questions so that you can implement what you learn in your classroom immediately.

Be part of something bigger…join the live global web-event and hack your way into a more innovative learning environment for your students.

Hadi Partovi

About Hadi:  

Hadi Partovi is an entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of, an education non-profit dedicated to growing computer science education. A graduate of Harvard University, Hadi began his career during the browser wars in the 1990s, when he was Microsoft’s Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer. Hadi was also General Manager of where he helped deliver 30% annual growth and MSN’s only year of profit. As an entrepreneur, he was on the founding teams of Tellme (acquired by Microsoft) and iLike (acquired by MySpace). As an angel investor and startup advisor, Hadi’s portfolio includes Facebook, Zappos, Dropbox, Airbnb, OPOWER, Flixster, Bluekai, TASER, and many others.  

Dale Dougherty

About Dale:  

Dale Dougherty is the founder and Executive Chairman of Maker Media, Inc. which launched Make: magazine in 2005, and Maker Faire, which held it’s first event in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006. Dale’s vision and mission continue to be the guiding force for the family of brands. “The maker movement is contributing to a thriving market ecosystem, serving the needs of makers as they seek out product support, startup advice, and funding avenues. Make: plays an important role as a collaborator and resource for makers as they transition from hobbyists to professionals.” As Executive Chairman, Dale is involved in editorial and content strategy, and both business and product development. As part of this process, he forges strategic partnerships in support of maker education, and global, cultural, and economic initiatives. Make: began at O’Reilly Media where Dale was a co-founder and the first editor of their computing trade books. When not in the office, Dale can be found making award-winning wines with his family in Sebastopol, CA.

Rafranz Davis

About Rafranz:  

Rafranz Davis is the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin ISD. In this role, she supports the growth of district leaders, teachers and students through the lens of personalized learning, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Rafranz takes great pride in drawing upon her love of gaming and coding to challenge thinking of how kids learn thus creating multiple pathways of opportunities for those that need it most.

Jeff Kash

About Jeff:  

Jeff Kash is an educator in the Kindle the Passion Academy at Madison Middle School in North Hollywood, CA. Jeff has been teaching World and US History since 1997 at Madison. Jeff has worked with computers in his classroom for over ten years using iMacs, eMacs, iPads, and now in the last two years, Windows devices using OneNote with all his students.

Leah Obach

About Leah:  

Leah Obach is a Canadian early years teacher from rural Manitoba.  She is passionate about improving teaching and learning.  She strives to engage her students in meaningful learning experiences, while fostering the development of important 21st century skills.  She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Fellow and the recipient of the 2012 CDW Canada Teaching with Technology Award and the 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum First Runner Up in Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom with colleague Devon Caldwell. Follow her on Twitter @LeahO77 or read more on her classroom blog

Anthony Salcito

About Anthony:  

Anthony Salcito is vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft where he works to inspire educators and empower students around the world to achieve more. During his more than two decades at Microsoft, Anthony has helped launch many of the company’s cornerstone education initiatives including the School of the Future – a pioneering partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and the first of many Microsoft Showcase Schools around the world. With a belief that educators will forever be the heroes of the classroom, Anthony authors Daily Edventures which highlights the inspiring stories of educators, students, education thought leaders and school leaders from around the world. He regularly tweets at @AnthonySalcito.

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