Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

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Keynote Address: Schooling for the 21st Century: Unleashing Student Passion

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Adjunct Instructor of Educational Technology, College of William and Mary & Educational Consultant, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Keynote Abstract

A passionate student is a learning student. As the people of the world are becoming increasingly connected, the nature, use, ownership, and purpose of knowledge are changing in profound ways. Our goal as educators is to leverage these connections and changes as powerful means to improve teaching and learning in our schools. Using digital media and web-based tools, students are building their own learning experiences, constructing meaning, and collaborating in teams to solve authentic content-based problems. Many teachers who use these empowering technologies are now discovering we can have rigor without sacrificing excitement. The secret: Focus on student passion and interest, not the machines and software.

Come listen as Sheryl stirs a sense of urgency for shifting classroom practice toward more engaging approaches that unleash the passion that lies within each learner. Sheryl invites you to discuss this and (other 21st Century teaching and learning topics) on her blog:

Workshop: Congratulations! You are the Time magazine "Person of the Year."

That's right- the person of the year is "You," as in YouTube and MySpace, as in the World Wide Web - We're looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it's just getting started in our classrooms. Never before has it been easier to create and publish digital media to the Internet. Not only is it easier, but it is virtually free.

Join Sheryl to examine a myriad of classroom examples that help create a learning ecology where learners form global connections and learning communities to create, publish and collaborate around content-based objectives.


Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, a 23-year educator, has been a classroom teacher, school principal, district administrator, and digital learning consultant. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at The College of William and Mary (Virginia, USA), where she is also completing her doctorate in educational planning, policy and leadership.

Sheryl has published journal articles, book chapters and magazine pieces and is currently under contract to write a book about 21st Century teaching for U.S. publisher Eye on Education. Sheryl has spoken to audiences throughout the U.S., Europe, and Central America on topics of teacher leadership, virtual community building, 21st Century learning, and homelessness.

Currently, Sheryl is co-leading a statewide 21st Century Skills initiative in the state of Alabama, funded by a major grant from the Microsoft Partners in Learning program. She recently served as an organiser and convener of the inaugural 2006 K-12Online Conference, "Unleashing the Potential," which sought to help educators around the world contextualise and integrate emerging technologies into their schools and classrooms.

Sheryl lives near the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach with her four children, all of whom are avid bloggers.