CanvasCon Online—a free, global, one-day event for educators and edtech enthusiasts—is happening on October 15, 2020, and we have some super cool, truly inspirational speakers lined up. You don't have to be a bookworm or bibliophile to be over the moon about this one—you can also be a historical drama fan, a sci-fi geek, or a supporter of literacy, philanthropy, and activism. LeVar Burton is a household name, thanks to "Roots," "StarTrek: The Next Generation," and, above all, "Reading Rainbow," the beloved 26-season children's television show that sparked a love of reading in kids everywhere.
Since the show's end in 2009, LeVar has devoted himself to addressing literacy challenges and inspiring kids to engage with literature. And that means looking beyond the traditional book. LeVar is the co-founder of Skybrary, an interactive library of digital books and immersive educational video field trips (hosted by LeVar himself), where young readers can explore topics they love, discover new interests, and celebrate diversity, family, and the world they live in. As one reviewer says: "It's the greatness of the classic TV series, updated for the 21st century." Skybrary is available for both personal home use and school use—in addition to hundreds of books and videos, Skybrary for School includes educator-created lesson plans, student reports, and more.
Despite being a fearless tech adopter and explorer of new media, LeVar still loves a literal page-turner. He authored and published his first children's book, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, in 2014. And despite devoting most of his time to fostering young minds, LeVar creates content for older minds, too: He hosts his own fiction podcast, "LeVar Burton Reads," and a YouTube series called "This Is My Story."
In addition to the piles of prestigious awards Burton has won for "Reading Rainbow," including the George Foster Peabody Award, LeVar has received a Grammy Award for his narration of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. and Case Western Reserve University's Inamori Ethics Prize.
If you haven't yet registered for CanvasCon Online, don't miss your chance to hear LeVar Burton's keynote speech and participate in professional development sessions, product and partner demos, educator-led chats, virtual hangs, and more.