ThinkForward Events

Welcome to ThinkForward Events!

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s new series of events connecting school and district leaders across the nation, from the convenience of your own office.


Join us to gain new insights and take away strategies you can put into action!

We’re pleased to invite you to take part in this innovative new series of events from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt designed to help you address the challenges facing educators today—and tomorrow. With ThinkForward we have assembled a team of experts and some thought-provoking topics to help you reflect on your current and future practices in new and inspired ways. Taking advantage of today's collaboration technologies, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has harnessed the power of communication and connection to promote positive change in your district!

The aim of these events is to bring together our invited experts and education leaders from across the country to share strategies and successes, reveal tools to manage common challenges, and introduce new initiatives, all toward a common goal—improving student achievement.

Make the connection—Register for a Free Event Today!

Join an interactive online session with your peers to tackle the education issues of today and tomorrow. Facilitated by an authority in the field, each virtual event will include multiple opportunities for interaction, questions, and innovative solutions! See the Fall 2012 Event schedule and register today!

To ensure an enriching, interactive experience for every participant, space for these events will be limited.

Reserve your seat today!

Virtual Events

Fall 2012 Virtual Events
In-depth online exploration and interaction!

Join an interactive, online event for a meaningful, focused examination of issues that you and other leaders in education are facing. Facilitated by established authors and educators, our Fall 2012 Virtual Events will feature an informative 45-minute presentation focused on sharing relevant resources and strategies. Combining lively presentation styles and an integrated Q&A, these sessions are sure to offer practices that you can immediately put to use in your schools and district!

ThinkForward: Digital Speaking—Inspiring 21st-Century Communicators, with Erik Palmer

November 2 at 12:00 PM ET/ 11:00 AM CT

Join communications expert Erik Palmer to learn how to best prepare your students to become 21st-century communicators, and help them master more rigorous speaking and listening skills. Participants in this webinar will learn to effectively use a range of digital tools and websites that promote good oral communication skills, and will take away specific lessons, activities, and rubrics for developing valuable digital speaking projects in the classroom. 

ThinkForward: Gen Y—Supporting the New Generation of Educators, with Lindsey Pollak

November 9 at 12:00 PM ET/ 11:00 AM CT

What motivates your Gen Y teachers—and what’s the best way to retain them? Join author and workplace consultant Lindsey Pollak as she explores what characterizes and motivates your educators who have recently entered the classroom. This session will focus on such topics as desire for coaching and feedback, transparency, flexibility and connectivity. Take away strategies and best practices for managing, motivating, and retaining this new generation of educators. 

ThinkForward:Teaching STEM—Science, Mathematics, and Technology in Action, with Glen Schuster, Dr. Amanda Gunning and Special Guests

November 14 at 3:30 PM ET/ 2:30 PM CT

Take STEM learning from principles to practice. Learn more about the craft of using technology as a tool to facilitate learning and help students better understand mathematics and science content. Join STEM education experts Glen Schuster and Dr. Amanda Gunning - along with special guests - as they guide the discussion on how authentic data and meaningful connections for students can be integrated into 21st-century mathematics and science classrooms. 


Meet the Presenters

Alan November

Alan November

Alan November is an international leader in education technology. He began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. He has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant, and university lecturer. He has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology.

Audiences enjoy Alan's humor and wit as he pushes the boundaries of how to improve teaching and learning. His areas of expertise include planning across curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development. He has delivered keynotes and workshops in all 50 states, across Canada, and throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Central America.

Classroom Computer Learning Magazine named Alan one of the nation¹s 15 most influential thinkers of the decade. In 2001, he was listed one of eight educators to provide leadership into the future by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse. In 2007 he was selected to speak at the Cisco Public Services Summit during the Nobel Prize Festivities in Stockholm, Sweden. His writing includes numerous articles and best-selling books, Empowering Students with Technology and Web Literacy for Educators. Alan was co-founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology and is most proud of being selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe Educators.

Each summer Alan leads the Building Learning Communities summer conference with world-class presenters and participants from all over the world. Visit for more details.

Glen Schuster

Glen Schuster

Glen is a scientist and educator, author, consultant, and national leader in STEM professional development and curriculum. He is the Principal Investigator and Project Director for NASA's Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project, where teachers earn Certificates in STEM Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. As Founder and President of U.S. Satellite Laboratory, he has received 7 federal STEM education awards and served on major initiatives for NASA, NSF, and NOAA, as well as National Geographic. Working with thousands of educators, and offering training in both his STEM curriculum and others that are freely-available, he promotes the authentic use of data in today's STEM classrooms.

Glen currently serves as President of his local school Board of Education for the Blind Brook School District in Westchester County in New York. A former TV meteorologist, he also spends time in elementary classrooms teaching a mathematics program that uses weather data for increased student achievement.

Erik Palmer

Erik Palmer

Erik Palmer is an educational consultant from Denver, Colorado. He focuses on showing teachers how to improve students’ oral communication and give students the skills needed to speak well in school and beyond. Erik shows how to be effective with traditional oral communication (one-to-one, discussion, class presentation) and digital oral communication (digital stories, podcasts, videos, Skype). Prior to becoming a consultant, he spent 21 years in the classroom, primarily as an English teacher but also as a teacher of math, science, and civics, and was a Teacher of the Year in the Cherry Creek School District. Before becoming a teacher, he was the national sales leader for a prominent commodity brokerage firm, a floor trader on a Chicago commodity exchange, and a founder of a publicly traded commodity investment firm. Now, Erik is a frequent presenter at national, regional, and state conferences, and he has given keynotes and led in-service trainings for districts across the US and Mexico. He is the author of several articles and two recent books, Well-Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students (Stenhouse Publishers, 2011) and Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations with Technology (Stenhouse, 2012).

Erik’s educational background includes Oberlin College, University of Denver Law School, and the University of Colorado. He lists baseball, cycling, and stand-up comedy as his hobbies, and he and his wife, a fourth-grade teacher, have five grown children.

Tyrone Howard
Tyrone Howard

Dr. Tyrone C. Howard is an Associate Professor for the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Director of Center X at UCLA. His research is concerned with issues of access, equity, and increasing the academic achievement of culturally diverse students. In Dr. Howard’s recent book, Why Race and Culture Matter in Schools, Closing the Achievement Gap in America’s Classrooms, he shows how adopting greater awareness and comprehensive understanding of race and culture can improve educational outcomes.

Dr. Howard was recently awarded the Early Career Contribution Award by the American Education Research Association, the nation's largest research organization. He has also received the Distinguished Teaching Award at UCLA, and has been featured on National Public Radio.

A co-author of Harcourt Social Studies, Dr. Howard has served as a consultant for the award-winning StoryTown reading program as well as Harcourt Math and Harcourt Science programs. He received his M.A., Department of Education, from California State University Dominguez Hills, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington/Seattle.

Lindsey Pollak

Lindsey Pollak

Lindsey Pollak is an author, corporate consultant, and internationally recognized expert on next generation career and workplace trends. She also serves as Global Spokesperson for LinkedIn.

Her mission is to help organizations and individuals thrive in the ever-changing world of work. She offers training and consulting on such topics as engaging the Generation Y workforce, managing generational differences, and using social media for career success. Her clients have included AIG, ESPN, IBM, Lazard, Levi Strauss & Co., Merrill Lynch, PwC, Time Inc., UBS, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Duke, MIT and over 100 other corporations, conferences and educational institutions.

Lindsey is also the bestselling author of Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World (HarperCollins), recently published in a revised second edition. Her advice and opinions have been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. She appears on several ”Best People to Follow on Twitter” lists, including Mashable’s list of top nonfiction authors on Twitter. Forbes has named her career advice blog ( one of the Top 100 Websites for Women for the past three years.

Lindsey is a graduate of Yale University and is based in New York City.


ThinkForward: Engineering an Effective STEM Integration
Webinar with Michael DiSpezio held onApril 3, 2012

  Event Recording

Not enough time to teach STEM in a standards accessed curriculum? This session explores successful strategies for integrating STEM into established curricula.


ThinkForward: Resources for STEM Integration
Webinar with Michael DiSpezio held onApril 18, 2012

    Event Recording

Lacking the funds or time to search for STEM resources? This session explores a wealth of resources that you can bring to your district tomorrow!



ThinkForward: Teaching STEM II - Science and Mathematics and
Technology in Action

Webinar with Glen Schuster held onJune 7, 2012

Event Recording

The two most neglected aspects of STEM are the T and the E. This session explores how authentic data and meaningful connections for students can be integrated in 21st-century mathematics and science classrooms.


ThinkForward: Inquiry, PBL, Project-based Learning in the STEM Classroom
Webinar with Anna Mika held onJune 20, 2012

Event Recording

Inquiry, Project-Based Learning, and Problem-Based Learning—what's the difference? This session explores the similarities and differences between these popular approaches to learning with specific attention paid to the benefits of each in the STEM classroom.


ThinkForward: Instructional Technology Role in STEM
Webinar with Anna Mika held onJune 26, 2012

Event Recording

Is it hardware, software or web-based tools that most affect learning outcomes in the classroom? This webinar explores some of the best technology and pedagocial techniques currently available for the STEM classroom.


ThinkForward: Who Owns the Learning? Making the Case for Purpose-Driven Learning, with Alan November
Webinar with Alan November held onSeptember 28, 2012
    Event Recording

Education thought-leader Alan November presents ways to help your students contribute to the learning community. When students help their peers, it leads to improved achievement for all. Listen in and take away a framework for purpose-driven learning.


ThinkForward: STEM—What, Why, and How?
Webinar with Glen Schuster held onOctober 10, 2012
Event Recording

Everyone’s talking about STEM, but do you know what integrated STEM content looks like in the classroom? Author, scientist, and educator Glen Schuster and guests share best practices for STEM instruction and addressing rigorous standards.


ThinkForward: Presentation Literacy—Building a Powerful Presentation
Webinar with Erik Palmer held onOctober 17, 2012
Event Recording

Do you struggle to create presentations that engage the 21st-century viewer? From digital natives in the classroom to faculty and boards, audiences today expect polished and engaging presentations. Hear communication expert Erik Palmer on the latest presentation trends.


ThinkForward: Supporting STEM with Professional Development—Pictures of Practice
Webinar with Glen Schuster held onOctober 24, 2012
Event Recording

What do award-winning STEM educators' classrooms look like? U.S. Satellite Laboratory founder Glen Schuster and guests demonstrate the impact of strong professional development and instructional design on cutting-edge content and pedagogy.