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Speakers at Tech & Learning's Tech Forum are innovators in the field of educational technology. With years of experience as conference presenters, educators, school leaders and Tech & Learning authors, they offer a unique perspective on technology challenges and solutions.

Keynote Speaker

David Warlick
Author, Programmer, and Educator
Landmark Project, NC

David Warlick

David Warlick, a 30 year educator and Tech Forum favorite, has been a classroom teacher, district administrator, and staff consultant with the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. For the past ten years, he has operated The Landmark Project, a consulting, and innovations firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. His web site, Landmarks for Schools, serves more than a half-million visitors a day with some of the most popular teacher tools available on the Net. Warlick is also the author of three books on instructional technology and 21st century literacy, and has spoken to audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America.


Tim Best
Teacher, Science Leadership Academy
Philadelphia, PA

Tim Best is a 9th and 10th grade biology and chemistry teacher at Science Leadership Academy. Prior to moving to Philly, he worked as a high school technology integration specialist outside Boston, collaborating with teachers to develop technology-based projects. His current role at SLA extends beyond the classroom as he helps develop technology curriculum for teachers in his school and district. Tim enjoys suffering through the use of new technologies so you don't have to.

Ryan Bretag
Coordinator of Instructional Technology
Glenbrook North High School, IL

Ryan Bretag has spent eight years in education, both as a secondary English educator and now as an administrator. In his current role he focuses on systemic and sustainable infusion of technology into instruction and the curriculum as well as the facilitation of professional development for educators. He has presented and facilitated workshops at local, state, and national levels with a focus on learning and leading in the 21st Century, the philosophy of web 2.0, blended learning environments, professional development, and learning communities. Bretag holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently completing his Ed.D. program in Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction, where his research interests are school leadership, secondary reform, adult learning, and 21st Century learning communities. He blogs for Technology & Learning and maintains his own professional blog, Metanoia, that focuses on many topics facing education today.

Jeremy Burrus
Associate Research Scientist, Center for New Constructs
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ

Before joining ETS, Jeremy Burrus worked as a post-doctoral research scholar at Columbia Business School in New York City. His main research interests are in the area of focus of attention. More specifically, he is interested in how egocentrism (excessive focus on the self) and focalism (excessive focus on the focal object) influence comparative judgments. At the Education Testing Service he works as a research scientist in the Center for New Constructs, which focuses on learner characteristics not adequately represented in ETS's current large-scale testing programs. Work in this area includes identifying new constructs, developing new assessments and exploring new uses of those assessments. Burrus has published in some of the leading journals in the field of social psychology, including Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Kim Carter
QED Foundation, NH

Kim Carter is director of QED Foundation, a multigenerational nonprofit organization of adults and youth working together to create and sustain student-centered school communities. With over 30 years of experience as an educator, she has taught preK through graduate school. She is the founding director of Monadnock Community Connections School, a small high school program committed to 21st century learning. A 1991 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and 1996 New Hampshire Media Educator of the Year, Carter has been actively involved with the Coalition of Essential Schools since 1991, and the National School Reform Faculty since 1995, and is a National Facilitator for NSRF. Her interests include high school redesign, social justice and equity, learning theory, and democratic schooling.

Zac Chase
Teacher and Learner, Science Leadership Academy
Philadelphia, PA

Zac Chase loves learning. He loves the pain and ire that come when a new idea collides with an existing paradigm. Prior to working with 9th and 11th grade students at Science Leadership Academy, he worked with students in Sarasota, FL. He has also been involved over the past two years with the Freedom Writers Foundation in Long Beach, CA. Currently, Chase is working with the Foundation to edit a collaborative book recounting 150 teachers' experiences in the American educational experiences. He's enjoyed teaching teachers across the country to expand their learning and begin to empathize with their students. He is a Kagan Cooperative Learning School Trainer, marathon runner and a big brother.

Jennifer Fano
Elementary Vice Principal/Technology Coordinator
Randolph School District, NJ

Ms. Jennifer Fano is currently an elementary vice principal and coordinator of instructional technology for the Randolph School District. Throughout her ten years teaching at the elementary level, Fano received grants and incorporated new technologies to enhance instruction. As an administrator she has been using collaboration tools and working with staff to enhance how instruction is delivered. In addition to degrees in education and administration, she also holds an advanced certificate in Teaching and Learning with Technology from Columbia University. Recent presentations include Techspo 2008, FEA/NJPSA/ASCD and Innovative Learning Conference in San Jose, CA.

Patrick Higgins, Jr.
Director of Curriculum, Humanities
Sparta Township Public Schools, NJ

Patrick Higgins, Jr. has been a teacher of English and social studies, a technology coordinator, and an administrator at various schools in New Jersey. In his current position he focuses on developing curriculum to meet the needs of the 21st Century student, coordinating professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators, and facilitating change across a large organization. He has presented at the local and state level on topics such as Research 2.0, Creating Personal Learning Environments, Tablet PC use in the High School classroom, and Data Visualization. His focus within the past year has been on introducing teachers to the disruptive nature of social technology and the pedagogical shifts they bring about, and creating new curriculum that leverages the literacies these new technologies bring about. He currently writes his own blog, Chalkdust101, and is a contributor to his district blog, The TechDossier.

Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director
Tech & Learning

Kevin Hogan began his stint as Tech & Learning's editorial director in 2008. He comes to T&L directly from Scholastic Administrator, where he was executive editor for four years. Prior to Scholastic, Hogan was senior editor of MIT Technology Review and editor of the magazine's website. He was also formerly a features editor for Business 2.0 magazine. Hogan has been reporting and writing about the intersection of business and technology since 1993. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Wired, Forbes ASAP, and Small Business Computing magazines.

Debbie Iosso
Elementary Principal
Randolph School District, NJ

Mrs. Debbie Iosso has been in the business of education for the last 30 years. She has been employed by the Randolph School District and has received tenure as an elementary and high school teacher, supervisor and principal. Her experiences have earned her teacher of the year awards at the county and state levels. She is a graduate of Bloomsburg University with a BS degree in Special Education, Seton Hall University with an MA in Education and an Ed.S. degree also from Seton Hall University in Education Leadership, Management and Policy. Recent workshops include Techspo 2008, FEA/NJPSA/ASCD and Innovative Learning Conference in San Jose, CA.

David Jakes
Coordinator of Instructional Technology
Glenbrook South High School, IL

David Jakes, a T&L contributing editor and techlearning.com blogger, has spent twenty four 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 educational technology has empowered. Jakes shares this knowledge as a frequent speaker at technology conferences across the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and most recently, China. 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 and a blog—Jakesonline.org, Biopoint.com, myprojectpages.com, and The Strength of Weak Ties—all dedicated to improving the use of technology in education.

Kevin Jarrett
Technology Facilitator, K-4
Northfield Community School, NJ

As a technology facilitator responsible for instruction in a lab setting for an entire elementary student body, Kevin Jarrett works closely with his classroom teacher peers to develop and co-produce engaging projects leveraging Web 2.0 technologies across the curriculum - rather than just "teaching computers." In addition, he designs and leads technology professional development workshops in his district, does personal mentoring and lesson technology "makeovers," and serves as advisor for the Northfield Middle School student newspaper. He also teaches online at Walden University in the Master's program at the Richard W. Riley School of Education & Leadership. Jarrett has been active in Second Life since February 2007. He is a Google Certified Teacher, the recipient of ISTE's "Making IT Happen" award, a workshop presenter for the Southern Regional ETTC, and a frequent speaker at local, regional and national conferences.

Jason Levy
CIS 339, Bronx, NY

Jason Levy is starting his fifth year as principal of CIS 339, an 815-student public middle school in the NYC Department of Education. CIS 339 is a one-to-one MacBook school in the Claremont section of the Bronx. Levy has integrated Web 2.0 tools into all aspects of work at CIS 339, and the school was recognized by Google for its innovative technology practices. Prior to his current position, he served as assistant principal for three years at MS 390, also in the Bronx. He started his career through Teach for America by teaching three years in Houston, and followed that stint with five years of teaching in Bronx public schools. Recent presentations include the SREB Making Middle Grades Work conference in Nashville and the Insight Education Conference in Los Angeles.

Judy Salpeter
Program Director
Tech & Learning Events

Judy Salpeter, an experienced educator and education technology specialist, is program director for Tech & Learning Events. On the editorial staff of T&L magazine since 1985, Salpeter served as editor-in-chief from 1994 to 2000. In addition to overseeing content for Tech & Learning Events, she is consulting editor to the magazine, director of the K-12 Computing Blueprint web site, and editor of the CoSN Compendium and other publications for the Consortium for School Networking. Over the years, Salpeter has written for publications including Business Week and Newsweek and authored a software program (Mystery Sentences, Scholastic, 1984) and a book (Kids & Computers: A Parents' Handbook, SAMS, 1991).

Gwen Solomon
Web Director
Tech&Learning Custom Web Sites

Gwen Solomon oversees custom web projects for Tech & Learning and has been the director of techLEARNING.com, T&L's award-winning site, as well as the Digital Learning Environments and 21st Century Connections sites. She is also a freelance writer and editor and consults with educational technology companies on web and marketing strategies. Prior to this work, Solomon was senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology. In earlier years she served as a classroom teacher and computer coordinator; coordinator of instructional technology planning for the New York City Public Schools; and founding director of New York City's School of the Future. She has been chair of CoSN and a board member of ISTE. Solomon writes extensively about educational technology. Her most recent books are New Tools, New Schools (ISTE), Connect Online: Web Learning Adventures (Glencoe McGraw-Hill), and Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Divide in Education (Allyn&Bacon/Pearson).

Kathy Schrock
Administrator for Technology
Nauset Public Schools, MA

As administrator for technology for the Nauset Public Schools on Cape Cod, Kathy Schrock spends much of her time focusing on infusing technology throughout the curriculum in all areas and at all grade levels. Previously a library media specialist, she is very interested in search strategies, evaluation of Internet information, copyright issues, emerging technologies and gadgets, and the use of technology as a tool to support instruction. She is currently spearheading a joint venture of school districts who are using Second Life to offer real-life professional development, in the area of educational technology, to teachers all over the world. Schrock recently served on the ISTE Board of Directors. She created the well-known web site, Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators, in 1995, to help teachers easily wade through the many resources on the Internet. In 1999, she partnered with DiscoverySchool (now Discovery Education) and continues to update the resources available on her site daily. (http://discoveryschool.com/schrockguide/)

Peggy Sheehy
Instructional Technology Facilitator and Media Specialist
Suffern Middle School, Suffern, NY

After a twenty-five year career as a professional musician, Peggy Sheehy now serves as ITF/ media specialist in New York's Ramapo Central School District. A fierce advocate for the meaningful infusion of technology in education, she established the first middle school educational presence in Teen Second Life: Ramapo Islands. Starting their third year of learning in Second Life, Ramapo Islands now hosts over 1500 students and their teachers. Sheehy has presented at numerous conferences including Tech Expo, NYSCATE, NECC, EdNet, NMC, Alan November's BLC Conference 2008, Podcamp NYC, and Games in Education. She will be a Keynote Speaker at the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) Annual Technology Conference. As a true pioneer in virtual world education, she is sought out for advice, curriculum direction and professional development for those intrigued by her vision of a globally collaborative 3-D virtual world campus where learning is student-centered, product-based, playful, and creative.

Christine Weiser
Managing Editor
Tech & Learning

Christine Weiser is a professional writer and editor specializing in education technology. She was the editor for Media & Methods magazine and most recently was a contributing editor and blogger for Scholastic Instructor and Administrator. She is the co-author of Ask Mr. Technology: Get Answers (Linworth Publishing, 2007) and the editor of many other nonfiction education book titles, including Copyright for Administrators (Linworth Publishing, 2008). When she's not reporting on ed tech, she can be found playing bass with her band, The Tights, or writing fiction. Her first novel, Broad Street, will be released in Fall 2008.

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