Invited Speakers 2021

NDLA is pleased to announce these engaging speakers for the 2021 conference:

Thursday Keynote

Marci PowellMarci Powell—Futurist. Consultant. Author. Speaker.

Navigating and Leveraging a Changed Reality

Description: COVID propelled the inevitable. Digital transformation has been exponentially driven forward. A majority of students have now experienced fully online digital learning. The same is true for the workplace. Prior to the pandemic, experts predicted that artificial intelligence and automation would dramatically change the landscape of the workplace by 2025 and that working remotely would be commonplace. Jobs and skills needed would forever be changed. Then, COVID hit, and what was expected to happen in five years was thrust into fast motion. Yesterday is indeed gone and must faster than anticipated. In this keynote, we will navigate the future of work and digital learning, emerging technologies, and leveraging innovative approaches to make our future better than before.

Bio: Marci Powell is the President/CEO of Marci Powell & Associates and has been at the forefront of many pioneering advancements in education and the workplace for the last 25 years. Marci’s futurist mindset and thought leadership have enabled her to provide strategic guidance to countless educational institutions, ministries of education, and companies on how to revolutionize the way people learn, work, adapt, and do business in the next generation learning and workplace environments.

From the classroom to boardroom, Powell’s service in education has earned her a place in the U.S. Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame, TxDLA Hall of Fame, and to be named European Distance and E-Learning Network Fellow. Her work with Drexel University Online to create the Virtually Inspired: Showcasing Innovations in Online Learning resource earned the 2019 USDLA Innovation Award & 2018 Campus Technology Impact Award for education futurists. Her new book, R.E.M.O.T.E., Leverage the Distance and Achieve Excellence When Working Remotely, provides those working from home or anywhere with strategic and practical methods to be highly productive while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

As an internationally renowned keynote speaker, business consultant, and author, Marci has worked remotely enjoying an award-winning and successful career with leadership roles in finance, education, telecommunications, and manufacturing. She has managed globally diverse teams and inspired over 100,000 leaders, employees, and students across six continents.

Friday Keynote

Flower DarbyFlower Darby—Instructional Designer, Educator, Author, Speaker

Stronger Than Before: Resilience and Joy in Post-Pandemic Teaching

Description: The Covid-19 pandemic required us to teach in new formats, using technology (some familiar, some less so) in new ways to help our students learn. While at times challenging, and while we’re all looking forward to returning to in-person classes, our collective experience has shown that we’re willing and able to adapt our teaching methods to overcome such challenges. We’ll reflect on what we’ve learned in this season while exploring how the approaches we’ve gained only strengthen our practice, no matter what format we’re teaching in. And we’ll come to see that we can create rewarding teaching and learning interactions that welcome and support today’s students, providing both flexibility and rigor for all.

Bio: Flower Darby (she/her) celebrates and promotes effective teaching in all class formats to include, welcome, and support all students as they learn and succeed. As faculty and an instructional designer, she’s taught community college and university classes for over 25 years in a range of subjects including English, Technology, Leadership, Dance, and Pilates. A seasoned face-to-face and online educator, Darby loves to apply learning science across the disciplines, and to help others do the same.

Flower speaks, writes, presents and consults on teaching and learning theory and practice both nationally and internationally. She has helped educators all over the world become more effective in their work. She is the author, with James M. Lang, of Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes, and she’s a columnist for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Her new book on emotion science and teaching with technology is forthcoming from West Virginia University Press.