Speakers at Technology & Learning's Tech Forum are innovators in the field of educational technology. With years of experience as conference presenters, educators, school leaders and Technology & Learning authors, they offer a unique perspective on technology challenges and solutions.
Discovery Educator Network
Hall Davidson is director of the Discovery Educator Network, a new division of Discovery Communications focused on moving into the world of channel-less video-on-demand. Before joining Discovery, he served for 15 years as director of educational services at KOCE-TV, a PBS station in Orange County, California. He is festival director for the California Student Media and Multimedia Festival, the nation's oldest media festival for students, and on the faculty of Golden West College, where he teaches a course on Technology in Education for teacher candidates. In addition, he serves on the board for California's Computer-Using Educators, the academic advisory committee for California State University at Fullerton, and the Blue Ribbon Technology Awards Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A former classroom teacher and a frequent speaker and author, Davidson has taught mathematics on television (on a program that earned an Emmy) and produced educational PBS series on such topics as information literacy and the Internet. He was recently elected chair of the School Site Council at Franklin Elementary in the Los Angeles Unified School District where his two children attend school.
Senior Program Manager
Vision Education & Media New York (VEMNY)
For the past two years, as senior program manager at VEMNY, Corbett Beder has been involved in teaching high school digital video, middle school video game design, and LEGO Robotics. Additionally, he has assisted with numerous FIRST LEGO League teams and conducted professional development seminars in Robolab and MicroWorlds. Prior to joining VEMNY, Corbett worked in the film and publishing industries. He recently developed curriculum that incorporates hands-on technology and New York State Math, Science, and Technology Standards for the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
Lead, Enterprise Project Management
Chicago Public Schools
In her 30 years in K-12 education, Jane Bloomquist, Ph.D., has tackled many jobs in and out of the classroom. Her interest in technology developed during graduate school, and she never looked back. A Novell grant in the 90s provided her with training and certification in networking technologies. Technical trainer, Microsoft, and Webmaster certifications followed along with experiences in establishing wired and wireless educational environments. Eventually, she became the Quality Assurance Manager for the Chicago Public Schools where she wrote policy and procedures. Currently, Bloomquist is technical lead for Enterprise Project Management, a new office of the Chicago Public Schools dedicated to instituting best practices for IT governance and management throughout the district.
Educational Technology Consulting
Branzburg Associates, Inc.
Jeffrey Branzburg, a technology consultant and president of Branzburg Associates, Inc., is a former supervisor of instructional technology for school districts in New York State, as well as for the New York City school system. He is a contributing editor and regular columnist for Technology & Learning Magazine.
Visual Literacy Facilitator
Niles Township HS District 219
Before becoming Visual Literacy Facilitator for the Niles Township High Schools, Joe Brennan served for 11 years as the AV/Media Coordinator at Niles West H.S. A former Spanish teacher who coached soccer and basketball for many years, Brennan first became interested in educational video and multimedia because of his visual approach to teaching and coaching. That interest led to collaborating on an interactive Spanish laser disc program for Encyclopaedia Britannica and then to leaving the classroom for the media position at Niles West. During his years in that job, the audio-visual department changed from a lending/consumption center to a creating/production area. Joe is an Apple Distinguished Educator and in 2003 was the Illinois Computing Educators' Technology Educator of the Year as well as a semifinalist in Technology & Learning magazine's Ed Tech Leader of the Year program.
Technology Training and Integration Manager, Adlai E. Stevenson High School
As the technology training and integration manager at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, the only high school in Illinois to receive four Blue Ribbon Awards for Excellence in Education from the U.S. Department of Education, Charlene Chausis has been instrumental in establishing the technology staff development program for nearly 500 faculty and staff members. Known as "Ranger Mom" to a cadre of more than 300 teachers participating in Stevenson's "Power Rangers" — a staff development laptop initiative — she enthusiastically shares a variety of techniques for integrating technology into teaching and learning. She maintains an extensive staff development website and weekly blog for promoting the learning of adults in schools. Chausis has presented a variety of workshops at local and national education conferences on the use of the Internet and integration of technology. She serves on the board of Northern Illinois Computing Educators (NICE), has recently been recognized as a Discovery Educator, was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2003, is a recipient of the 2002 State of Illinois Those Who Excel Award of Recogntion, and was a semi-finalist in the 2001 Technology & Learning Leader of the Year Program.
Computer Applications Teacher
Diane Doersch, a former regional winner of Technology & Learning magazine’s teacher of the year program, teaches computer applications classes to students at two middle schools in Neenah, Wisconsin. She has worked as a technology “coach”, assisting teachers in integrating technology into what they teach. She also serves as adjunct faculty for Marian College’s Technology in Education masters program. Doersch has spoken at local, state, and national conferences on the topics of successful community technology programs, coaching, technology integration, and action research. She recently organized a successful Internet safety week for her district.
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Community High School District 99, Downers Grove, IL
David Jakes has spent twenty years in education as a teacher, staff developer, and technology coordinator. From his first Macintosh Classic to his current tablet PC, he has witnessed firsthand the changes in education that technology has empowered. Jakes shares this knowledge as a frequent speaker at technology conferences across the United States, as well as in Canada and Europe. His interests in educational technology include digital storytelling, developing online curriculum, learning management systems, and developing online communities of learning through blogging, wiki and RSS technologies. He currently maintains three Web sites, Biopoint.com, myprojectpages.com, and Jakesonline.org, all dedicated to improving the use of technology in education.
Teacher and Computer Coordinator
Edgartown School, MA
As "the computer guy" at the Edgartown School on Martha's Vineyard, Bill Mackenty oversees the student network (90+ Mac OS X machines), teaches grades 3-8, and runs the school website. He first realized he was a geek in the 6th grade when, four days after his math teacher put him in front of a Texas Instruments 99A, he was teaching the class how to program. MacKenty, who has worked with young people his entire life, loves teaching and has a strong interest in effective education, educational theory, assessment, and learning. He deeply believes that computers and technology can strengthen, deepen, and broaden our learning — and that educational games can be used to create lasting understandings across content areas and disciplines. He is currently working on a multiplayer text game (moderncommand.com) built on the PennMUSH server.
Editor in Chief
Technology & Learning Magazine
Susan McLester is editor in chief of Technology & Learning magazine. She has been an editor at T&L for 12 years, concurrently writing a weekly column for the L.A. Times' Tech Times section, articles on technology for Newsweek, Parenting, Entertainment@Home, and other publications, and presenting at a range of education technology conferences, including T&L's Tech Forum. She has acted as a juror for the Bologna Book Fair's New Media division and has spoken about educational technology on Bloomberg Radio, Microsoft NBC and other television shows. She is also an experienced middle and high school teacher, book editor and writer.
Director, Learning Technology Center
DuPage Regional Office of Education
Kathleen Molloy has been the director of the DuPage County Learning Technology Center for the past five years. She supports 42 school districts, 12,000 educators and 161,000 + students within DuPage County. She was co-chair of the IL-TCE conference in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. She has presented at the IETC conference, Raising Student Achievement, Technology and Learning and most recently the National Staff Development Conference in Philadelphia. Molloy is a champion for educational technology funding in the state of Illinois and supports the statewide initiative for Illinois school districts to create/produce/build a centralized repository of technology plans.
Information Security Architect, Office of Technology Services
Chicago Public Schools
Atif Musa is an information security architect at the Office of Technology Services for the Chicago Public Schools, where he is establishing an information security program for the district. The Office of Technology Services provides centralized network and application services for the third largest school district in the US. Previous to this he was a Regional Technology Center Supervisor with the Illinois Century Network, a state-run Internet service provider supplying high speed data access to all educational facilities, museums and libraries within the state.
Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, NY
Pete Reilly is the Director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, a non-profit technology consortium of 62 school districts located in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, just north of NYC. Pete is presently focused on shifting the technology discourse from "cables and chips" to the human issues involved in creating effective educational technology environments. His latest essay, "When the Classroom Door Swings Inward", is part of the anthology, "Being Human at Work"; edited by Dr. Richard Strozzi-Heckler and published by North Atlantic Press. He has presented to diverse audiences throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Reilly has worked on a consulting basis with the Edison Project, numerous school districts around the country and has been featured in articles in Electronic Learning, Curriculum Product News, Media and Methods, and the Heller Report. In September 1995, he visited China on behalf of UNICEF and developed a report on the state of educational technology in China today.
Building Technology Coordinator
Maple Middle School, District 30, IL
For the past three years, Michelle Russell has been working on integrating technology into the middle school classroom. Internet safety has become important to her and her school community. She has developed lessons using digital storytelling as well as handhelds in the classroom and given presentations on both technologies at National Louis University and at the 2005 NICE (Northern Illinois Computing Educators) Mini-Conference last year. She works as a trainer for iSafe and will complete her Masters degree in Technology in Education from National Louis University in November.
Technology & Learning Events
Judy Salpeter, an experienced educator and education technology specialist, is program chair for Technology & Learning Events. On the editorial staff of Technology & Learning magazine since 1985, Salpeter served as editor-in-chief from 1994 to 2000. In addition to overseeing content for Technology & Learning Events, she is now consulting editor to the magazine and works as a freelance writer, consultant and conference planner. Over the years, she has written for publications including Business Week and Newsweek, authored a software program (Mystery Sentences, Scholastic, 1984) and a book (Kids & Computers: A Parents' Handbook, SAMS, 1991), and edited a number of publications for the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).
Managing Research Director
ROCKMAN ET AL, Bloomington Office
Kay Sloan has over twenty years of experience in the research and evaluation of educational technology and media. She has designed and conducted numerous studies of school reform projects, including US Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grants, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Technology Leadership Grants, and the US ED Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology Grants. She has also served as evaluator for a number of initiatives focused on underserved students and their families. Sloan's expertise is in the design of qualitative studies that provide meaningful data on how technology interventions affect teaching and learning. She has conducted studies of writing achievement, teacher training, and the use of web-based resources for training and instruction. Before joining ROCKMAN, she was a formative evaluator of children's television for the Agency for Instructional Television (AIT), where she also served as project historian for a nationally funded children's television series on thinking skills and published a book about the project entitled Thinking through Television. She also worked as a freelance evaluator for PBS and the Smithsonian, and taught in public schools and at the university level.
Gwen Solomon is Director of techLEARNING.com, the web site of Technology & Learning magazine. Ms. Solomon has served as senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Education, coordinator of instructional technology planning for New York City Public Schools, and founding director of New York City's School of the Future. Her latest books are Connect Online: Web Learning Adventures and Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Educational Digital Divide (edited book).
Director of Programs
Vision Education & Media New York (VEMNY)
Jennifer Wardell, Vision Education & Media’s director of programs, is a seasoned teacher of both youth and adult learners. She has designed and facilitated animation and game design workshops and developed and implemented RoboPet, a LEGO Robotics curriculum for New York City adolescents. She has also planned and led trainings and retreats for VEMNY’s teachers, community leaders, and staff. While earning an M.A. in Educational Communication and Technology from New York University, Wardell researched, designed, and produced an art education interactive multimedia prototype CD-ROM for adolescents. She previously taught as a full-time classroom teacher for the fourth and fifth grade.
Landmark Project, NC
David Warlick is the Director of the Landmark Project based in Raleigh North Carolina. A former history teacher, district level administrator, and IT specialist with the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction, he is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in innovative applications of technology, especially the Internet. He has spoken at conferences, seminars and workshops in most states and many other countries; writes for a number of magazines and journals; and has developed numerous curriculum projects over the global network, including the second oldest continuing online project, the Global Grocery List. Warlick is the author of Raw Materials for the Mind: 4th Edition, Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century, and Classroom Blogging: A Teacher's Guide to the Blogoshpere.
Director of Professional and Curriculum Development
Freedom to Learn (FTL) program, Michigan
Leslie Wilson served public education in seven school districts over the course of 31 years. She held positions of special education teacher, administrator, adventure-based counselor/teacher, high school principal, assistant principal and executive director of secondary curriculum and instruction. A change agent and school reform specialist, she was recruited in 2003 to work with Michigan’s Freedom to Learn program, where she directs, designs and implements statewide professional development for administrators, teachers and technology personnel in the areas of school reform, education/technology integration, one to one implementations, and sustainability. As an Education Policy/Program Fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington DC, Wilson has facilitated the creation of an advanced fellowship program for educational technology visionaries in Michigan.