Technologist’s Perspective: Breaking the Software Glass Ceiling for Educators—Where is the “Innovative” Software Infrastructure for Education?

Turning Vision into Value

If you are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, or if you’re visiting, please invite your friends and colleagues and join us for the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute’s Innovation Society 2010 Series…

SVII “First Wednesday” Innovation Society Meeting Topic:

Technologist’s Perspective:
Breaking the software glass ceiling for educators. Where is the “innovative” software infrastructure for education?

July 7, 2010
6:00-9:30 p.m.

Panel Presentation:

The speaker panel, focused upon specific software implementations, not abstractions, will bring to light barriers that have kept this from happening at the faster pace technology is adopted in commercial sectors.

K-12 and higher education applications are both lacking, except in specialized areas of research that have “practical” applications (e.g., Genomics).

Is it just a matter of money? What are the success stories (e.g., Tuft’s Perseus)? What are the blockers and why can’t we unblock them?

Please bring your laptops for an interactive discussion.

Please email questions for the panel to Howard at

Howard Lieberman, Founder of the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute


Ruben Kleiman of Netflix
A software developer, philosopher, artist, linguistics scholar, and math wizard, Ruben joined Apple in 1987 where he was part of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, developing multimedia systems, creating the first interprocess-communication module, and co-designing and prototyping the Applescript language. He has also worked at SGI, Commerce Games, Climbin’ Design, and most recently Netflix where he works with metadata to develop movie matching and movie categorization rule systems.

Murugan Pal of CK-12 Foundation

Murugan is the Co-Founder and President of CK-12 Foundation, a non-profit that aims to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market worldwide. Prior to CK-12, Murugan was the Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the Foundation Capital. He has also founded SpikeSource and worked at the software companies Asera, Inc. and Oracle, and was one of the lead developers of Versant Corporation’s Object Database.

Mark Miller of The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology
Mark is the Founder, President, and Executive Director of The Miller Institute, an organization aimed at helping children use technology more effectively for learning. Prior to founding the Institute, Mark served as Lab Director for Learning and Tools at Apple Computer where he was head of educational technology investigations. Mark has also worked at Texas Instruments, Inc., Central Research Labs and taught courses at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University.

Jim Spohrer of IBM
Director of IBM University Programs (IBM UP) since 2009, Jim founded IBM’s first Service Research group in 2003 at the Almaden Research Center with a focus on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) for Service Sector innovations. He led this group to attain ten times return on investment with four IBM outstanding and eleven accomplishment awards over seven years. Working with service research pioneers from many academic disciplines, Jim advocates for Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Design (SSMED) as an integrative extended-STEM framework for global competency development, economic growth, and advancement of science.

UPDATE, July 6, 2010

A message from Howard Lieberman:

Wednesday night’s program has taken on a life of its own, and in a departure from the traditional presentation/dialog, our panel members have driven the decision to begin a working group on education to accomplish something concrete in the form of an innovation initiative. They want results, in addition to conversation. This has resulted in two additions to our program:

Cameron Curry. Cameron is the Executive Director of a group of three Independent Study Charter Schools. These schools use an approach to home schooling that tries to balance traditional schooling with the flexibility of independent study at home, including strong parental involvement. This group of schools also happens to do a lot with technology. Even though Cameron is based in San Diego, he is flying up here to join our panel.

Ken Ketch, who presented Group Mind Express, a wonderful cloud-based collaboration tool earlier this year, has generously offered to help us capture, prioritize, and organize some of the insights this dialog will yield for the purpose of turning the rich conversation into an initiative. Please bring your laptop for this interactive portion of the evening.

Five panel members and a Group Mind capture session require a bit more time, so we have expanded the program to two full hours, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. This means we will begin serving dinner at 6:30 so the program can begin at 7:00.

The flexible new program structure for tomorrow is:

6:00 – Doors open for registration and networking. Please pre-register at our website at!

6:30 – Dinner is served.

7:00 CALIBRATION – Program begins with calibrating panel presentations to set the stage for the following conversation about technology innovation and education.

7:45 CONVERSATION – Begin an interactive group dialog or conversation, of which Jitendra will try to capture significant portions with a digital flip chart built into Group Mind Express.

8:30 CAPTURE – Group Mind session to capture insights from the group, which we will evolve into an innovation initiative.

Please register here.


Bay Cafe, Bayshore Ballroom
1875 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, take Embarcadero East past Ming’s restaurant, then turn left into the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course driveway; from the parking lot, walk up the wide path toward the golf course buildings; the restaurant will be on the right.

Archives and Outlook

Please note that the SVII Ning group has been replaced by the following social networks:

You can now follow SVII on Twitter @sviihq

Join the new SVII Facebook group and the LinkedIn group.

You can also use Eventbrite to register.

Stay in Touch

For more information, and to join the e-list, email Plan to join the SVII Innovation Society each “first Wednesday” of the month.

Keep checking here for program updates.
SVII is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.

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  1. [...] SVII Education Initiative began at the July 7th, 2010 Silicon Valley Innovation Institute event, which featured an excellent, in-depth panel discussion on technology and innovation barriers in [...]

  2. [...] SVII Education Initiative began at the July 7th, 2010 Silicon Valley Innovation Institute event, which featured an excellent, in-depth panel discussion on technology and innovation barriers in [...]

  3. [...] SVII Education Initiative began at the July 7th, 2010 Silicon Valley Innovation Institute event, which featured an excellent, in-depth panel discussion on technology and innovation barriers in [...]

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