LearnLaunch - Marty GeogheganMarty Geoghegan, principal of the John T. Nichols, Jr. Middle School in Middleborough, MA and the president-elect of the MASCD Board of Directors, is one of Massachusetts’ leading edtech educators. We had the privilege to ask Marty a few questions regarding education, technology, and the upcoming 2015 LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference where he will moderate the panel Principal Hot Seat. Who is Marty and why is he excited to meet other education innovators next week? Find out below!

What is your favorite thing about working in education?
My favorite thing about working in education is knowing that I have a chance to make the future brighter for the students I interact with. I am trying to make school and learning fun, and if I can do that maybe life-long learning is possible.

What are you looking forward to most about the LearnLaunch 2015 conference?
The LearnLaunch 2015 Conference is excellent from top to bottom. There is not one thing that isn’t impressive. From the keynote speakers to the breakout sessions to the panels, the only thing I am upset about is that I can’t go to all of them. There is so much to learn from so many great educators; it is going to be sensational.

What advice would you give to someone who has never attended the LearnLaunch conference?
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, miss the Digital Natives Speak: High School Student Hot Seat panel. This is why we are doing what we do: for the students. To hear from them what they like, dislike, need, want, and deserve is absolutely fantastic. My experience attending this panel at last year’s conference changed many of the ways I look at, investigate, and want to do the job I have.

Why should someone get excited to attend the Principal Hot Seat panel you’re moderating?
I believe we have invited some excellent principals who are doing the work in the trenches with their staffs to get the necessary technology into the hands of their students. Principals have to support the work of their teachers when it comes to technology, and in order to do that, they have to be out in front in helping them with this risky endeavor.

As a principal myself, I help support my teachers by getting them the training, support, and tools they need in order to help their students succeed at a higher level. Many times that means finding the financial means to get the materials, giving teachers time to get accustomed to a new device, and making sure they know that I understand that there may be mistakes made along the way, but I appreciate their willingness to give it a try.

During this panel, we will be discussing all these steps as well as hurdles and roadblocks these principals have met along the way. Come and hear how principals are making the tools students need to achieve in the world accessible.

What panel/speaker/person aside from your panel are you most excited to see? Why?
Again, the Digital Natives Speak: High School Student Hot Seat panel is first and foremost the panel I am most excited to see, and then The Rise of Personalized & Blended Learning in K-12 panel, which is being moderated by Alan November. Aside from hearing Mr. November’s ideas, the panelists, including Suzy Brooks, a teacher utilizing technology on a daily basis with her students, are going to be awesome to hear.

What do you think is one of your biggest challenges in delivering on edtech’s promise? What do you think would help you solve this challenge?
Our biggest challenge in delivering on edtech’s promise is changing how education is done. Everyone is an expert when it comes to education because they have all gone through school, but we need to start acknowledging that education is, and should be, totally different than it currently is. While our world has completely changed, education has not. We need to be out in front making this change happen.

If we can all get in front and start making this change happen, it will help make school a true place of learning.

What is one prediction for something new you see happening in education technology within the next 10 years that we should be aware of?
I would love to see more hybrid schools be built. We are not thinking outside the box when we continue to build traditional brick and mortar schools. If we really are going to change how school should be in this century, we should really start thinking about changing everything about school, including the idea of the building itself. I hope this starts to become a reality in the next 10 years.

Anything else you’d like us to add that relates to the conference, education, technology, etc?
The students are the ones we have to think about with everything we do, and each day we don’t push to make education the best it can be is a day wasted for them.


Meet Marty Geoghegan and other education innovators at this year’s 2015 LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference on January 23-24 in Boston! Over 600 attendees, including educators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, students, and investors, will attend 4 keynote sessions and 21 panels and workshops designed to foster conversation around the greatest challenges in delivering on edtech’s promise. A complete list of speakers and other conference details can be found on the conference website.