George Lucas Educational Foundation

Laura Fleming & Billy Krakower

Library Media Specialist/Computer Technology Instructor and Gifted & Talented Teacher

Billy Krakower is the Computer Technology Instructor and Gifted & Talented Teacher for grades three and four at Beatrice Gilmore Elementary School in the Woodland Park Public School District. For the past ninety years, he has served as Special Education Teacher, an Inclusion, and Resource Room, Teacher. He enjoys preparing his students for the 21st century by teaching them how to use web 2.0 tools such as Edmodo, Skype, Google Hangouts, Google Docs, and Social Media.

Billy has an Advance Certificate in Educational Leadership from Long Island University and a dual Masters Degree in Special Education & Elementary Education from Long Island University. Billy is also a Microsoft Office Specialist and Google Certified Educator.

Billy Krakower has presented at various conferences on Technology in the Classroom including ISTE 2014, ISTE2015, New Jersey Association of School Administrators Techspo, New Jersey Association of Educational Technology Annual Conference, Edscape, NJEA Teacher Conference. Along with a few unconferences that include edcampNJ, edcampPhilly, edcampNYC, edcampNOLA (Skype), edcampBoston (Skype) NJECC Annual Conference and the NJEA Technology and Learning Conference. Billy has presented on such topics as Connecting Beyond the Classroom, Twitter & You, Tech Tools to use for the PARCC, Google Hangouts, Edmodo and The Science Behind a Mystery Location Call.

Billy is one of the lead organizers of edcampNJ. He is co-moderator for the #njed (New Jersey Educators) & #satchat (School Leaders) chats. He is a member of the NJASCD Executive Board, Technology Committee Chair and the Immediate Past co-director of NJ-ASCD Northern Region. Billy is the co-author of three books, "Connecting Your Students with The World", "Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities", and "140 Twitter Tips for Educators."

Laura has been an educator in the state of New Jersey for 20 years. She has been both a classroom teacher and media specialist in grades K-8 and currently as a Library Media Specialist for grades 9-12. Laura is a strong advocate of using New Media and Vanguard Techniques for Interactive and Transmedia (multi-platform) Storytelling. She has played a prominent role in education as a writer and speaker for events that focus on next-generation teaching methods and tools. Laura has also consulted on transmedia properties, working with producers to help maximize the value of their creations and toolsets for teachers and students. She is also the author of the best-selling book, Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School.

Laura's goal is to create learning experiences that empower and equip students with necessary skills to effectively produce and consume content across multiple media platforms. She is also driven to enable educators and cohorts in applying these innovative methods and cutting-edge technology in their fields of expertise.

Recently, Laura created a digital badge-based professional development platform which can be found at Her library makerspace has garnered national attention and has served as an inspiration for schools across the country. She is also a recipient of the National School Boards '20 to Watch' in Educational Technology Leadership for 2014.

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    Makerspaces and Equal Access to Learning

    Makerspaces can democratize learning, create a culture of participation, allow for teaching with visual cues, offer thematic planning opportunities, and facilitate differentiated instruction.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation