1. What are you going to be speaking about this year at YouthCon? 
I am excited to be talking about how to use practical digital tools in the classroom and beyond. In the classroom, we will explore the latest EdTech tools and apps that can help give your educational environment more impact.
For the "beyond" part, I am really looking forward to having a conversation about how we, as educators, can use technology, and social media in particular, to create a personal learning network of fellow educators that can serve as a tremendous resource.

2. Have there been significant changes in the world of digital media since last year?
I think that the trend towards mobile has continued to develop at a rapid pace. More and more people are using smartphones, which, when you think about, are actually mini-computers. Mobile devices can and are playing a larger role in education, as classrooms shift from teacher centered instruction on a SmartBoard to a focus on students collaborating together and using their phones, iPads and laptops to research and create classroom content in new and exciting ways.
As an educator, this shift is revolutionary as well. Having a smartphone in your pocket means that any time, in school or in line at the supermarket, there is an opportunity for on demand professional development, using social media tools.

3. What are you most looking forward to at YouthCon?

Definitely connecting with colleagues and meeting new people. When so many committed and talented educators gather together at an event like YouthCon, there is a buzz and energy in the room that is really invigorating and inspiring, and we take that back with us when we return to work in our schools and organization. It's really a credit to the vision of the OU and NCSY that they continue to find ways to connect us all, and really build a culture of sharing and collaborating among Jewish educators.

Rabbi Dov Emerson is an Assistant Principal at the DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys, part of the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB), in Woodmere, NY. Dov is a founder of #jedchat, a weekly Twitter chat for Jewish educators, and he is the administrator of YU 2.0, an online community of practice for Jewish educational technology. Dov is a winner of the 2011 Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award, and he was recently honored as a member of The New York Jewish Week’s 2012 “36 Under 36.”



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