Heather Dowd’s keynote was one of the best in a conference I’ve attended. She was personable, relatable, and a great way to kick off the conference.

Maria Carver

EdTechTeam Vegas Conference featuring Apple Teacher Attendee


My experience facilitating professional development for teachers began early when I wanted to attend a conference that my school couldn’t pay for. I presented my first workshop on “Science Standards and Web 2.0” so I could attend for free, and I discovered that I love sharing and learning with teachers as much as I enjoy being in a classroom with middle and high school students. I now lead workshops for teachers around the country at conferences and customized PD events for schools. Topics I enjoy working on with schools and teachers include:

  • Planning for a 1:1 device program
  • Classroom management
  • Digital citizenship
  • Using technology in science and math classrooms
  • Visual literacy
  • Technology integration
  • Parenting in a digital world
  • Technology coaching


I have keynoted several events including EdTechTeam’s Global Summits and Conferences featuring Apple Teacher as well as custom events held for school districts. My current keynote is titled “Choose Your Own Adventure”.

Remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book series we loved as kids? Don’t you think life is a little bit like those books? Think of a crossroad in your life where the choice you made led you to a new adventure. Chances are, you can name more than a few of those defining moments. What about our students? While we can’t predict the choices our students are going to have in the future, we can prepare them to make choices that will lead to a rich and thick adventure story. What are the skills and traits that helped you make the best decision you could make and how do we help build them in our students?

Heather is high energy and her relaxed manner takes the intimidation out of learning such large blocks of information.


Resurrection Catholic School, Florida

Hi, I’m a student. This presentation really highlighted what the core of education and teaching is and how valuable education is–with the right mindset and materials. It was really inspiring and I loved it! Thanks!


Fridley High School, Minnesota

As a veteran teacher with somewhat limited inspiration when it comes to embracing the latest in technology, this workshop was inspiring. Heather’s enthusiasm was infectious and she clearly believes in what she is promoting.


Salem High School, Virginia

I really enjoyed the diversity of topics, the tailoring of the workshops specifically to us in the room, and the time to explore and try things out.


Cedar International School, British Virgin Islands

Below is a list of workshops I routinely facilitate. I modify these based on the needs of my audience.
I create customized PD experiences for schools upon request.
Math and Science Workshops

Simple Animation with Keynote

We’ve all used Keynote for slide presentations, but did you know you can use it as a simple animation tool? Using the animation features and magic move, you and your students can create simple animations to visualize and demonstrate understanding of a concept. In this session, you’ll create a simple animation to practice these skills while discussing ideas on how you can use animations in your classroom. (This session will help you prepare for the Apple Teacher Keynote for Mac or iPad badge.)

Google Apps for Science and Math

In this workshop, we’ll look at numerous ways that Google Apps can support student-centered activities in math and science classrooms. Having more and more access to technology in our classrooms means students now have access to powerful tools for doing science and math like Google Sheets for analyzing data and the g(Math) extension for reporting their findings. Teachers can check for understanding with tools like Google Forms or Kahoot. These quick formative assessments give us a snapshot of how well our students are understanding the content and guide our instruction moving forward. Come to this session to explore ways to get students actively learning and exploring math and science concepts using Google Apps (and more) AND to think about ways you can use these tools for formative assessments.

Coming Soon:

What Story Does Your Data Tell?
Animate your Math (and other uses of Google Slides in math)
Math Art
Formative Assessment Tools for Math

Visual Literacy and Design

Visual Design for Pages

We often ask students to communicate their learning visually, but we don’t always provide them with the visual literacy skills they need to create an effective message. In this session, you’ll learn basic graphic design tools you can use with your students to create a magazine article with Pages. You’ll explore color, font, shape, and CARP and how they can help communicate your message. These same skills can be used to create posters, pamphlets, and other visuals. (This session will help you prepare for the Apple Teacher Pages for Mac badge.)

Design a Magazine with Google Slides

Did you know you can modify the size of a Google Slide to make virtually anything you want? Come to this session to learn graphic design tools you can use with your students to create a basic magazine article layout with Google Slides. You’ll explore color, font, shape, and CARP and how they can help communicate your message. These same skills can be used to create posters, pamphlets, and other visuals in Google Slides or Google Drawings. Plus, since it’s Google, you and your students can easily publish your creations and share with others!

Tell Me With a Graphic

We often ask students to communicate their learning visually, but we don’t always provide them with the graphic design tools they need to create an effective message. In this workshop we’ll explore Google Drawings as a tool to create a poster while learning basic visual literacy and graphic design skills (color, font, shape, and CARP) good for administrators, teachers, and students alike. Join me on my mission to eradicate bad design. You’ll need a laptop to use the full functionality of Google Drawings. Feel free to use another drawing tool you are comfortable with as well (Pages, Keynote, Adobe software).

Google Presentation Zen

We’ve all experienced a “power pointless” presentation, or worse, the dreaded “death by PowerPoint.” Presentation tools can be dangerous or even deadly when wielded by the inexperienced. Never fear, a Zen Master of presentations is here. In this workshop we will focus on the functionality and flexibility of Google’s Presentation tool, with an eye towards best practices in simple design which are critical communication skills for teachers and students alike. Bring your laptop for this hands-on session.

Bling Your Blogger

Tired of the standard Blogger templates? Not happy with the look of your blog? Perhaps your blog needs a makeover! Using the basics of good color and font choice, we’ll design a simple blog header in Google Drawings and then take a look at some of the advanced design options in the Blogger template designer. Come to this workshop to bling your blog into looking beautiful.

Workshops for 1:1 Classrooms

My classroom has devices. Now what?

Are you rethinking some of your classroom management strategies now that your students have devices? Are you concerned about preparing students to behave appropriately with technology? This is the session for you! You’ll experience a middle school lesson on digital citizenship as a student while your teacher models good classroom management. After the short mini-lesson, you’ll put your teacher hat back on and debrief the classroom management strategies you observed. We’ll also briefly discuss the free digital citizenship curriculum available from Common Sense Media.

Launch Your Program with a BootCamp

Launch Your Program with a BootCamp will equip you with the basics of what it takes to bring an enduring one-to-one (any device) program to any size school. Patrick Green and Heather Dowd had seven months to plan a program that would ensure 950 middle schoolers (and their teachers, parents, and support staff) transitioned to a one-to-one program smoothly, effectively, and purposefully. They will share their story, demonstrate a key learning experience, and facilitate meaningful exercises that will help you think about how you might bring a BootCamp back to your school or even just your classroom. Patrick and Heather believe in empowering students with skills and tools that transcend laptop programs and apply to all of life and learning. Their successful Bootcamp approach shares responsibility with students, empowers teachers, and partners with parents.

Digital Citizenship for Online Communication

How can we structure classroom expectations and guidelines for online communication in order to develop good digital citizenship skills in our students? When our school implemented a 1:1 laptop program, this became even more important. Come to this session to learn about and experience parts of three different lessons we used with middle school students to help them understand online sharing guidelines and the importance of creating a positive digital footprint. Bonus: Learn about Google Classroom in the process!


So You Think You Can Search?

Not only can Google Search tell us the weather, do math, and have fun with hidden Easter eggs, it is a powerful search tool students can use to find sources appropriate to their research. Come to this workshop for some tips and tricks to narrow your search results with advanced Google Search. Also discover little known search tools, all while having fun!

Podcasting Made Easy

Build writing and media literacy skills by creating a podcast with Garageband. In this session, you’ll follow a simple process for planning, recording, mixing, and exporting a short podcast. You can use the resources to design your own podcasting project for your class and let your students’ voices be heard! It will be helpful if you bring headphones. (This session will help you prepare for the Apple Teacher Garageband for Mac or iPad badge.)

Note: Download / Install Garageband and open it one time BEFORE coming to this session.

Snap to Share with Google Photos

It can be a challenge to find time in the school day to take photos of student learning and then organize, edit and share them later. And yet we all know the importance of communicating the great learning happening in our classrooms. Google Photos is the answer to finding a fast and easy photo workflow. In this workshop, we’ll learn tips for taking better photos, go on a photo scavenger hunt, and learn an easy workflow for taking, organizing, editing, and sharing photos with your school community on the go. In order to participate in this workshop, you will need a mobile device with the Google Photos app installed (Android app or iOS app).

The following bio and photos are for conferences and schools to use in promotional materials.

Heather Dowd is an educator, author, presenter, and keynoter who loves science, design, and learning. She has worked as a physics teacher, instructional designer, and education technology coach in the United States, Mexico, and Singapore. She currently enjoys leading professional development workshops helping teachers create engaging learning experiences for students. Heather volunteers in the Cell Lab at the Science Museum of Minnesota to stay true to her inner science geek. Teaching English with the JET program in Kumamoto, Japan inspired her to become a teacher and the adventure hasn’t stopped. Heather is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer, Apple Distinguished Educator, and author of “Classroom Management in the Digital Age”. She believes that students should have access to current technology in order to connect to the world and be creative in ways that weren’t possible when she was in school. Outside of school, she likes to travel, take photos, play the piano, spend time with her family, and get in touch with her artistic side.

To learn more about Heather Dowd, visit her website.


Prefer normal email? Email me at heather@hdowd.com

Copyright © 2017 Heather Dowd All rights reserved unless otherwise noted.