Meet our Instructors:

Mark Grundel PHOTO.jpg

Mark Grundel

Mark Grundel is a former 5th grade teacher, working in public education for 12 years, first at Trenton Community Charter School and then at Woodbury City Public School District.  Mark is the founder of #MinecraftEDU a weekly Twitter chat that brings educators from across the globe together to discuss best practices in game-based learning with games like Minecraft.  Mark has been recognized for his work by his district, where he won Teacher of the Year in 2016, by Microsoft, where he was awarded MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, Surface Pro Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor, and Minecraft Certified Trainer. Mark has worked with Black Rocket Productions for 3 years where he has helped write and revise cutting edge, innovative curriculum that focuses on turning children from consumers of content, into the producers.  Mark has presented at the NJEA Convention, Minefaire Philadelphia, Microsoft's Educators' Summit in Redmond, Washington, developed Minecraft Trainings and MOOCs, in conjunction with Microsoft, and presented at several EdTech Conferences, Convnoentions, and EdCamps. Mark has led several trainings on Game-based learning, most notably multiple sessions at the Microsoft Flagship Store in NYC for NYC DOE STEM Teachers and at Temple University.  Mark is also a Google Certified Educator and part of the NJ Standards Advocates, which is the local chapter of Achieve the Core.

Check out Mark on the Microsoft Educator Community

Dr Julene Reed PHOTO.jpg

Dr. Julene Reed

Julene is a professional development consultant, researcher, and educator with over twenty–five years of experience in education. Julene holds a doctorate in education leadership with a focus on global education. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Teacher, Google for Education Certified Trainer and Innovator, Google Earth Education Expert, Microsoft Innovative Educator and Trainer, education author, and international consultant and presenter.

Julene implemented Learning Studios internationally in conjunction with Digital Promise Global and HP as well as UNHDR, CARE, and InZone. Julene coordinated a mobile technology education initiative in Malawi in collaboration with Lamar University, the University of Malawi, UNICEF, and VSO, and her doctoral research was conducted on an iPad initiative in Malawi. In the past, she has also worked with Suumu Secondary School in Tanzania. Julene also directed a series of presentations in conjunction with UNESCO, INEE, and UNHDR at UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week in Paris, France.

Julene has traveled globally through her work as an Advisory Council member of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots and the director of Polar Bear’s International’s Tundra Connections program. She travels to Churchill, Canada annually to observe polar bears in the wild and conduct live educational videoconferences and webcasts with scientists, and she helped develop the Google Street View and Expeditions for Churchill, Canada.

Julene’s areas of expertise include global education, technology integration, digital media projects, challenge based learning, design thinking, STEAM, augmented and virtual realities, 21st century skills for education, mobile media devices in education, technology planning, interdisciplinary education, innovation, coding in the curriculum, web 2.0 tools, professional learning and coaching, and more.

Julene currently teaches courses as an adjunct professor in Lamar University’s Digital Learning and Leading program. In the past, she developed mini–courses on polar bears, the Arctic, and climate change and was instrumental in the launch of Polar Bears International’s iTunes U channel. Her passion to make a difference in the world through education and technology are evident in her work.

Julene previously served as the Director of Academic Technology at St. George’s Independent School in Memphis, TN for seventeen years, where she led a 1:1 laptop program. Previous to that, was a classroom teacher and technology coordinator at St. Mary’s Episcopal School for ten years, also in Memphis.

Check out Julene on the Microsoft Educator Community

Nic Leask PHOTO.jpg

Nicholas (Nic) Leask

Nic is a STEAM Coach with experience in Technology at LC Consulting, LCC. He is a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Certified Instructor and Microsoft: Education Educator (MEE) Certified Instructor.  He attended the Minecraft: Education Edition training at the Microsoft Corporate Office in Redmond, Washington. He graduated from Stony Brook University where he attained a degree in Environmental Studies and a degree in Business Management. Post-graduation Nic worked for an environmental marketing agency and later worked at a technology recruitment firm. The latter is where Nicholas found his opportunity to move into technology. He attended a software engineering bootcamp in NYC where he gained experience working primarily with CSS, HTML, JavaScript & React. While working with Connect-The-Dots, Nic has helped shape Nebula Academy and taught the importance of bringing tech into the classroom. 

Check out Nic on the Microsoft Educator Community