Dave Gray will be a keynote speaker at Spark 2017.

Technology is a powerful part of transforming teaching and learning.

Dave Gray is the founder of XPLANE, the visual thinking company. Having been involved in a lot of well-intentioned innovation and change initiatives in industry, government and small businesses, Gray noticed that people have an astonishing ability to miscommunicate and misunderstand one another and often work at cross-purposes to the very things they are trying to accomplish. In 1993 he founded XPLANE to help people develop shared understanding, so they can make better, faster decisions, and work better together to create more lasting, sustainable impact. He has also written three books on design, change and innovation.

This November, Gray will present at Spark 2017, OETC’s one-day event featuring world-class talks on education, technology, and leadership.

In anticipation of this event, we conducted a brief personal interview with Dave Gray. Read the full interview below!

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Dave Gray, and I help individuals, teams and organizations bring new things into the world. That “new thing” could be a strategy, a product, a service, a culture change, or a new way of doing things. Introducing new things into the world is a difficult problem, and I help people solve that problem by helping them visualize, clarify, and explain their ideas so employees and customers understand and adopt them.

What are your technology “must-haves”—the technology (hardware, software—whatever falls into your definition of the category) that you could not get through the day without?

When I travel I often skip most tech, but I always bring my iPad, my Google Pixel phone, a sketchbook, and a pen.

How did technology affect your own education? Is there anything you miss about technology at that time?

The technologies have changed so much since I was in school that I’m not sure my thoughts on this are relevant. That said, in my experience technology, while well-intended, often hurts more than it helps. The best technologies for learning, in my opinion, are still the whiteboard and the blackboard, sticky notes, paper and pens.

If you could go out for coffee with anyone—historical or contemporary, real or fictional, celebrity or unknown—who would it be?

This is a hard one–there are so many–but I think W. Edwards Deming would be a fascinating guy to talk to. He has probably had more influence on my thinking than anyone else.

To hear more of Dave Gray’s thoughts on visual learning and thinking, register for Spark 2017, OETC’s one-day event featuring world-class talks on education, technology, and leadership.

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