UNT set to co-host international US-China Smart Education Conference in March 2019 in Denton

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 15:50

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Hundreds of global thought leaders, technology experts, industry leaders and educators from all learning levels are expected to participate in the international US-China Smart Education Conference March 18-20, 2019, in Denton.

This is the fourth year of the conference, and the first time it will be hosted in the United States. The University of North Texas is co-hosting the three-day conference in conjunction with Beijing Normal University.

In addition to top keynote speakers such as Virgin Galactic’s Stephen Attenborough and NetDragon’s Liu Dejian, the three-day conference will tackle a number of trends facing educators as they seek to learn more about the latest state-of-the-art technologies, experience the latest smart education devices and engage in discussions and tutorials with national and international experts who are transforming education through intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented realities.

 “Today’s students are technology savvy and demand the most up-to-date learning experiences possible, and educators from preschool to the doctoral level are looking for the best ways to solve this and engage learners,” President Neal Smatresk said. “UNT already is exploring a variety of opportunities to use educational technology to offer our students innovative experiences that set their educations apart and best prepare them to be incredibly competitive in the job market. What better way to continue our momentum and help students across the nation than to open a dialogue with the world’s leading experts in this arena – and invite them to our campus to share that information with others.”

The conference will feature a pitch competition inspired by the hit show Shark Tank® to encourage creative individuals and teams from the educational technology industry to “sell” their product vision to judges, companies and potential investors. Deadline to enter the competition is Feb. 8.

The title sponsor for the conference is Edmodo, a subsidiary of NetDragon. Edmodo is the largest global learning community offering a communication and collaboration platform to K-12 schools targeting teachers, students, administrators and parents. Edmodo enables teachers to share content resources, distribute quizzes and assignments, and communicate with students, colleagues and parents. To date, Edmodo has over 90 million registered users in more than 400,000 schools across 192 countries.

Additional supporting organizations include the International Association of Smart Learning Environments and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Learn more about the conference at https://ucsec.unt.edu/ and follow the conference conversation on:



Stephen Attenborough, Chief Commercial Officer for Virgin Galactic, joined “the world’s first commercial spaceline” as its first full-time employee in 2004. He has been responsible for laying the commercial foundations and framework for the organization, including spearheading ongoing sales, business development, marketing, public relations, licensing, partnerships, and customer community engagement. He now leads all activities, covering brand management, sales, marketing, customer care, communications, education and outreach, as well as partnerships for the human spaceflight business. The company has attracted around 600 future astronauts from more than 50 countries. Mr. Attenborough also has been responsible for work-streams, investigating and now building the non-tourism applications for the new space vehicles, particularly science research and the small satellite launch. Prior to Virgin Galactic, he worked for Gartmore Investment Management, a major London-based investment management firm, where he performed business-focused senior management activities for more than 15 years. At Gartmore, his roles focused on the company’s relationship with sophisticated institutional and high net worth clients and prospective clients.


Liu Dejian is the founder and Chairman of NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE:0777), a global leader in building internet communities. Under his leadership, NetDragon has become one of China’s leading online game and mobile internet operations companies. He is mainly responsible for the overall business strategic development and is the chief designer of products. Currently, Mr. Liu is committed to leading the company’s transformation to an international design-oriented enterprise and actively promotes internet education, leading the group to become China’s leading online education industry force. Mr. Liu was awarded the Special Allowance Expert in State Council of China. Mr. Liu provided UNT with startup funding to establish NetDragon Digital Research Centre, which was launched in May 2018. NetDragon Digital Research Centre is designed to provide unique opportunities for student internships and faculty training, and to sponsor research across multiple disciplines, technology development and deployment of online courses to further enrich learning experiences.

UNT News Service
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