Rob Mancabelli is a speaker and author in the field of educational technology. He’s the co–author of the book Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, a medal winner for Education Book of the Year. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Rob describes in vivid detail how technology is dramatically changing the way teachers and students learn in the 21st Century, and he outlines specific ways educators can make these changes happen in their schools.
Rob has fifteen years of experience working in schools, working as a teacher before accepting roles as a Chief Technology Officer. He sits on the Educational Advisory Boards of Dell Computer and Acer Corporation, and he is a columnist for leading education publications. Rob is also an education entrepreneur, and he has earned an MBA in innovation and global leadership from MIT.
Rob Mancabelli has spent over a decade developing 21st-Century learning environments. He’s the co-author of Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, and he writes a column for District Administration magazine. Rob also inspires audiences with insights into 21st-Century learning, strategies for engaging stakeholders, and methods for transforming organizations.
Rob’s expertise comes from a deep background in education, planning, and leadership. He received his MBA from MIT and earned his international certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP). Rob worked in public and private schools for fifteen years, as a teacher and then technology director, directing dozens of large-scale projects that used technology to improve learning outcomes. He served on the state-level task force for New Jersey High School Redesign, and he was chosen by Apple as one of the first five K-12 content contributors to ITunes University. Rob serves on educational advisory boards for Dell Computer and Acer Corporation.
The Power of Learning in a Networked World: Implications for Our SchoolsIf you’re connected, the Internet has delivered to your fingertips the ability to learn anytime, anywhere with anyone. The transformative power of this learning network challenges many of the fundamental assumptions about schools that we’ve held for over a hundred years. This dramatic presentation explores why this network transforms learning as we know it, and what the implications are for you, your students and your schools. Along the way it guides you along easy-to-follow paths for redefining how you learn, and for changing your classrooms and schools.
Creating 21st Century Schools: Five Steps to TransformationOne of our toughest challenges is moving beyond the early adopters and getting everyone in your school to embrace a modern vision of learning. This engaging presentation explores in five steps the art and science of “change” and delivers concrete advice about how to build 21st Century schools. Learn what assumptions that we need to rethink in order to build modern classrooms, and how to use techniques that engage everyone, not just a few, in the process. Whether it’s in your classroom our throughout your district, walk away better prepared to take on the challenge of change!
Who am I Online? — Creating Your 21st Century Internet PresenceIn this hands-on session, each participant answers the question “Who am I online?” by exploring the tensions of creating an effective online profile – private vs. public, personal vs. professional and consumption vs. contribution. Attendees leave with an understanding of the important guidelines for building an online presence and a plan for continuing theirwork. The session is a must-attend for any educator who hasn’t spent time crafting their online profile. Now’s the time to start!
Crafting the Compelling Case for Technology in the ClassroomIn an era of tight budgets and competing priorities, school leaders need a powerful case to garner support for technology in our schools. This session empowers participants to build a technology message that will attract budgetary funding, professional development and board support. Attendees will leave with an understanding of what’s needed for he audience. This session is a must-attend for anyone trying to create a content of the message, the form of delivery and the selection of the technology-rich school.
The AMCO Conference, Madrid, Spain
Brilliant, Mexico City, Mexico
Education Week — Philadelphia and Chicago
AuthorSpeak Conference, Chicago
International Society for Technology In Education (ISTE),
San Diego, CA
Learning and the Brain Conference, Washington, DC
Schools of the Future Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii
Bill and Melinda Gates Leadership Conference
“Finally a speaker who is telling what to do and not just what is wrong!”
- 26th Annual TIE Conference Attendee
“Being in a room with someone who is so forward-thinking is very inspiring and challenging.”- Digital Learning for 21st Century Catholic and Private Schools Conference Attendee
“Rob is an extremely motivating speaker. He challenges the status quo and inspires his audience to take action. He is very generous in sharing his thoughts and experiences with fellow educators and always willing to assist when presented with an opportunity or a challenge.”- Nidhi Tassone, Marketing Manager, Acer America
District Administration, November 2012 Educators pursuing professional development can learn anytime, anywhere, using personalized global classrooms with hand picked “teachers” and “textbooks.” You have an open Tuesday night? Take up a live chat with Australian educators about math curriculum. What about a long commute?..Read more
District Administration, September 2012 I recently asked a group of middle school students to name their favorite use of technology for learning. An eager eighth-grade girl said, “My work has gotten so much better since we started using Facebook to do homework at night in my math class. We’re all online together, so if I have questions, I get them answered while doing my homework, instead of the next day or even later...Read more
District Administration, June 2012 Have you ever dreamed of experiencing a watershed moment in your field? Moments like the splitting of the atom or man landing on the moon? If you’re an educational leader, buckle up because your moment is here. Schools are still experiencing the shockwaves of the Internet, a transformative global network that is radically changing how we think about learning and schooling...Read more
District Administration, April 2012 The textbook, the lecturer, and the classroom are three pillars of modern-day schooling that date back hundreds of years. Each was invented to solve a problem. The textbook was invented because information was scarce, the lecturer because teachers were few, and the classroom because learning was local. These enduring icons persist into the Internet age, shaping our view of learning and driving the popularity of their digital grandchildren, things like iPad “textbooks” and the Kahn Academy “lectures.” There’s just one catch – these problems don’t exist anymore...Read more
District Administration, March 2012 We haven’t seen this big a change in education in 500 years. Every learner with an Internet connection can build a personalized, global network of people and information. It’s a shift that Robert Darnton, a Harvard University history professor, compares to watershed moments like the invention of the printing press. To stay current, every educator needs to dive into these networks ASAP...Read more
District Administration, Nov/Dec 2011Time and money can be large roadblocks on the path to school innovation, but big budgets and flexible calendars are powerless in the face of “This is the way we’ve always done it.” The psychological term for our desire to keep things the same is “consistency,” and for the most part, it’s a useful trait. Your morning commute, for example, is a consistent routine that frees you up to think about the day, to listen to music or to call a friend—all good stuff. We need consistency because it stops us from investing precious time and energy in things not worth changing. But it also stops educational innovation in its tracks...Read more
District Administration, September 2011“Yeah, but I don’t have enough time.” “Yeah, but I can’t do that and cover my content.” “Yeah, but what if it doesn’t work?” “Yeah, but that’s not how it was when I went to school.” What do you hear when people say, “Yeah, but?” Resistance? If you listen differently, you can hear opportunity. To most leaders, “Yeah, but” sounds like the end of change, but it’s actually the beginning...Read more
“This book is unique in that it combines a clear systematic process with a common sense approach, inspiring personal stories, and examples that will bolster confidence and empower each reader.” -Amazon.com review
“This book is chock-full of useful information and highlights numerous practitioners who are ‘walking the walk.’ A fantastic resource for administrators, teachers, policy-makers, and others who are trying to lead their organizations into the digital, global world in which we now live.”-Scott McLeod, Director and Associate Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Technical Leadership in
Education, Iowa State University
“… an essential book for educators, students, and anyone concerned about the future of education. Personal Learning Networks provides the perspective and the processes we need in order to become educated, empowered, and ready for the global economy.”-Jason Ohler, Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology, University of Alaska, Juneau
Over the past five years, Rob has become increasingly interested in the intersection of entrepreneurship and education. He believes that the path to student-centered business solutions that truly impact learning can only be paved by educators who have experience in schools. When it comes to thinking about teachers’ and students’ needs, there’s just no replacement for time spent in classrooms and hallways.
Rob took several steps to increase his understanding of entrepreneurship so that he could share this knowledge with other educators. Foremost among these was completing an MBA at MIT’s Sloan School, a program known for its emphasis on global innovation and entrepreneurship. He also graduated from the Startup Leadership Program (SLP), a highly selective, world-class training program for outstanding founders, leaders, and innovators. Finally, he began writing the New Directions column for District Administration magazine, a space that focuses on how educators can use research on organizational change to drive transformation at their schools.
Most recently, Rob co-founded BrightBytes, an organization dedicated to improving student learning outcomes through the use of technology. Rob’s role at the company includes ensuring that BrightBytes’ products and services meet the needs of school administrators, technology personnel, and curricular and instructional leaders. Rob’s work as an entrepreneur has been featured in several online spaces, including TIE Boston and BetaKit.