One reason why Constructing Modern Knowledge is gaining a reputation for being the premiere learning event for educators is the opportunity to work with world-class experts and an amazing faculty. Award-winning filmmaker and digital story-telling genius, Casey Neistat is one of the spectacular guest speakers participating in  CMK 2012.

Casey creates several super creative short films per week using consumer-level cameras and iMovie (samples). His films, entertain, inform, inspire and mobilize.

Today, Casey published a film he made documenting this week’s police raid on Occupy Wall Street. The film is arresting (pun intended), disturbing and deeply moving. Despite its simplicity, the film’s climax will take your breath away. In fact, Casey’s film may document this moment in history the way that The Execution Of Nguyễn Văn Lém mobilized Americans against the War in Vietnam or the photos from the Edmund Pettus Bridge led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Don’t you deserve four days of creative and intellectual stimulation this summer?

Super early-bird registration for Constructing Modern Knowledge 2012 ends December 1st. Register today and save $75 per person.

The PBS documentary, Steve Jobs – One Last Thing, contains video (I believe from 1994) in which Steve Jobs offers the following advice.

“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact and that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you.

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually, if you push in, something will pop out the other side – you can change it. You can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing.” (Steve Jobs)

(Photo credit: Johnathan Mak)

The International Society for Technology in Education is once again seeking nominees to be the keynote speaker at their annual ISTE Conference, June 2012 in San Diego, CA.

I would be most grateful if as many of you as possible would nominate me by November 13, 2011. I am confident that I possess the experience, skill, courage and humor to make you proud while contributing to the progress of an academic field I care so much about. You may read my bio here and watch video of recent presentations here.

Here are some reasons why I, Gary Stager, should be a keynote speaker at ISTE 2012.

  1. Three anniversaries:
    1. ISTE 2012 will be the 25th NECC/ISTE Conference I have presented at.
    2. 2012 marks my 3oth anniversary of working in the field of educational computing.
    3. I met my spectacular significant other 20 years ago at NECC (now ISTE).
  2. I estimate that I have made more than five dozen presentations at NECC/ISTE conferences over 25 years. No school district or university has ever paid my expenses.
  3. I was a signatory to the charter establishing ISTE (see below).
  4. The father of educational computing, Dr. Seymour Papert, was never invited to keynote NECC/ISTE. As someone who worked with Dr. Papert for decades and continues to promote his work on a daily basis (constructionism, robotics, Logo programming, school reform, 1:1 computing), I can bring his powerful ideas to a new generation of ISTE attendees.
  5. During these dark days for public education, ISTE needs a keynote speaker who can give voice to the concerns of creative educators, regardless of political whim or corporate interests.
  6. Too few ISTE keynote speakers have anything to do with the purpose of the conference, to advance learning through the appropriate use of digital technology. I have dedicated my life to using computers and related technology to amplify human potential while making schools more productive contexts for learning. The keynote speaker should galvanize discussion, offer a potential direction for the field and do so in an entertaining fashion. At a time when school budgets are tight and it is difficult for educators to attend conferences, organizers have a sacred obligation to feature speakers who will inspire, challenge and provoke the audience. I promise to do my best to be a great keynote speaker.
  7. I have always done anything ISTE ever asked of me from editing The Logo Exchange journal for several years as a volunteer, contributing articles and a willingness to speak anytime, anywhere, in any format.
  8. Just a few days before the 2009 NECC conference, a speaker scheduled to be part of the keynote debate canceled. ISTE asked me to fill-in. I did so at my own expense and for no compensation. People often tell me that my participation contributed some of the most memorable ideas in NECC/ISTE keynotes.
  9. My keynote address will not be an excerpt from a get-rich quick book or a recitation of a TED talk. It will be original and crafted for the ISTE audience.
  10. In addition to teaching children and teachers from pre-k to the doctoral level, I work in classrooms around the world regularly. This allows me to see patterns and gain a unique perspective on the state of educational practice while helping educators keep their eyes on the prize.
  11. I am a professional speaker who has keynoted many state conferences, national and international conferences around the world. You may watch some recent talks here.
  12. At at a time when many stress the importance of S.T.E.M., I hold a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education, work as a school S.T.E.M. coordinator and can demonstrate innovative S.T.E.M. practices rooted in the best traditions of progressive education.
  13. While thought leaders speak of the importance of creativity, I have led well-known efforts to promote creative computing and educational practices in real schools and with real educators.
  14. My work with public, private, international, urban, suburban, rural and homeschools is well-chronicled.
  15. Too many edtech conferences, including ISTE, feature speakers of varying quality who have have written pop businesses books, been sponsored by vendors or driven a car into a tornado. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a keynote speaker from the community served by the conference?
  16. My career has been distinguished by many milestones:
    1. Created one of the world’s first computer camp programs for children in 1982
    2. Started the New Jersey Educational Computing Conference and chaired the first seven
    3. Led professional development at the world’s first laptop schools in 1990
    4. Began organizing online collaborative projects in the late 1980s
    5. Created one of the world’s first online Masters degree programs in the mid-1990s
    6. Formed the Constructivist Consortium to promote creativity, computing and constructivism
    7. Published hundreds of articles for District Administration Magazine and other publications
    8. Recently launched the first school in the world with a laptop for every child from first grade onward
  17. Awards
    1. Lifetime achievement award from the NJ Educational Computing Cooperative
    2. NSBA – Twenty Leaders to Watch
    3. Tech & Learning Magazine – “One of today’s leaders who are changing the landscape of edtech through innovation and leadership.”
    4. Was the new media producer for a multicultural album that won a Grammy Award.
  18. I am fearless and willing to speak truth to power when the quality of life or welfare of children is at stake.
  19. ISTE 2012 is in my home state.
  20. Being the keynote speaker at ISTE would be a great honor and a whole lot of fun.

If this appears to be an exercise in vanity, I apologize. I care a great deal about educational computing and remember when conferences like NECC/ISTE organized educators around revolutionary principles that would make the world a better place for children. I fear that we have lost our way.

I take the responsibility of being the ISTE keynote speaker seriously and pledge to do my best to honor the aspirations of the children we serve.

Please nominate me on this web site provided by ISTE.

Ask colleagues to do so as well.

Thank you so very much for your kindness and support!

Click for PDF of iSTE Charter

The following videos are a good representation of my work as a conference keynote speaker and educational consultant. The production values vary, but my emphasis on creating more productive contexts for learning remains in focus.

  • For information on bringing Dr. Stager to your conference, school or district, click here.
  • For biographical information about Dr. Stager, click here.
  • For a list of new keynote topics and workshops by Dr. Stager, click here
  • For a list of popular and “retired” keynote topics by Dr. Stager, click here.
  • For family workshops, click here.
  • To learn more about the range of educational services offered by Dr. Stager, click here.

View Gary Stager’s three different TEDx Talks from around the world

Gary Stager: My Hope for School from Gary Stager on Vimeo.

2016 short documentary featuring Dr. Stager

Learning to Play in Education: Joining the Maker Movement
A public lecture by Gary Stager at The Steward School, November 2015

Dr. Gary Stager Visits the Steward School, 2015

A Broader Perspective on Maker Education – Interview with Gary Stager in Amsterdam, 2015

 Choosing Hope Over Fear from the 2014 Chicago Education Festival

This is What Learning Looks Like – Strategies for Hands-on Learning, a conversation with Steve Hargadon, Bay Area Maker Faire, 2012.

Gary Stager “This is Our Moment “ – Conferencia Anual 2014 Fundación Omar Dengo (Costa Rica)
San José, Costa Rica. November 2014


Gary Stager – Questions and Answers Section – Annual Lecture 2014 (Costa Rica)
San José, Costa Rica. November 2014

TEDx Talk, “Seymour Papert, Inventor of Everything*

Ten Things to Do with a Laptop – Learning and Powerful Ideas
Keynote Address – ITEC Conference – Des Moines, Iowa – October 2011

Plenary Talk at Construtionism 2014 Conference
Vienna, Austria. August, 2014


Children, Computing and Creativity
Address to KERIS – Seoul, South Korea – October 2011


Gary Stager’s 2011 TEDxNYED Talk
NY, NY – March 2011


Gary Stager Discusses 1:1 Computing with leading Costa Rican educators
University of Costa Rica – San José, Costa Rica – June 2011


Progressive Education and The Maker Movement – Symbiosis or Mutually Assured Destruction? (approx 45:00 in)
FabLearn 2014 Paper Presentation
October 2014. Stanford University

Keynote Address: Making School Reform
FabLearn 2013 Conference.
October 2013. Stanford University.

Making, Love, and Learning
February 2014. Marin County Office of Education.

Gary Stager’s Plenary Address at the Constructionism 2010 Conference
Paris, France – August 2010


Gary Stager Excerpts from NECC ’09 Keynote Debate
June 2009 – Washington D.C.

For more information, go to:


Dr. Stager interviewed by ICT Qatar
Doha, Qatar – Spring 2010


Learning Adventures: Transforming Real and Virtual Learning Environments
NECC 2009 Spotlight Session – Washington, D.C. – June 2009
More information may be found at


© 2009-2016 Gary S. Stager – All Rights Reserved Except TEDxNYED & Imagine IT2 clip owned by producers

On October 5, 2011, I had the privilege of addressing leading education policy-makers and educators in Seoul, South Korea as a guest of the Korea Education Research & Information Service.

I presented in a “classroom of the future” complete with horrific card readers with True/False-type buttons (response systems) affixed to wooden desks. Given the orthodoxy associated with the staid nature of the Korean education system, I decided to go all-in and offer learner-centered progressive alternatives.

I wish they had included the Q&A period following my talk. I hope to get a copy in the future and will share it if I do.



I recently enjoyed the privilege of being the opening keynote speaker at the annual ITEC Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The topic of the keynote address was, “Ten Things to Do with a Laptop: Learning and Powerful Ideas.” It is one my most popular keynote addresses.

Despite the video quality, this is one of my best recorded presentations in recent years.

Ten Things to Do with a Laptop – Learning and Powerful Ideas
Keynote Address – ITEC Conference – Des Moines, Iowa – October 2011

For more information, check out​shortbios.html,​blog or​stagerdifference