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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.


Senior Partner
November Learning

Alan November

Alan November is an international leader in education technology. He began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. He has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant, and university lecturer. He has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology. He has also delivered keynotes and workshops in all fifty states, across Canada, and throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Central America. Each summer he leads the Building Learning Communities summer conference with world-class presenters and participants from all over the world. (Visit www.novemberlearning.com/blc for more details.)

Audiences enjoy November's humor and wit as he pushes the boundaries of how to improve teaching and learning. His areas of expertise include planning across the curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development. His writing includes numerous articles and a bestselling book, Empowering Students with Technology. November was co-founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology and is most proud of being selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe Educators.


Editor, author, consultant
Sara Armstrong Consulting, CA

Sara Armstrong is editor of OnCUE, the journal of the California Computer-Using Educators. She has been an educator for 35 years, with 17 years of classroom experience that included integrating technology and telecommunications into the curriculum in the early '80s. More recently, she worked as the director of content at the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and is currently an independent consultant engaged in a variety of projects, including professional development, curriculum design, issues of information literacy, and storytelling and technology. She is the author and co-author of several books, including A Pocket Tour of Kidstuff on the Internet, and NetSavvy: Information Literacy in the Communications Age. She has contributed chapters to and served as editor for several other books focused on learning in the digital age. Her 2004 Teacher Created Materials publication, Information Literacy, has been used for numerous workshops with teachers and media specialists on the topic. She serves on the boards of several local, state and national organizations, is an associate of the Thornburg Center for Professional Development, and has been been awarded a gold and platinum disks by California CUE.

Superintendent for Special Projects
Grant Union High School District, CA

Larry Buchanan joined the Grant Joint Union High School District (GJUHSD) in 1998 as assistant superintendent for business services. The following year, the Board of Trustees promoted him to the position of interim superintendent and a few months thereafter, to superintendent. In 2003, as a result of a partnership governance agreement with Del Paso Heights School District (DPHSD), Buchanan became the Superintendent for both districts. In November of 2007 he was selected as Technology & Learning magazine's Technology Leader of the Year. He was also one of only 10 superintendents nationwide to receive the prestigious 2005 Tech-Savvy Superintendents from eSchool News for his leadership and vision in using technology in education. In 2004, he was invited to Oxford University to present to the Oxford Roundtable his paper on "The Emerging Role of Stewardship in Non-Traditional Educational Leadership." In 2003, he received the Superintendent of the Year Award for Region 3 from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and in 2005 was named ACSA's State Superintendent of the Year.

Author, consultant, educator
Thornburg Center for Professional Development

Lynell Burmark earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University, where faculty and students elected her to receive the Walter Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. After eleven years of classroom teaching (K-graduate school) and nine years in administration, in 1994 Lynell joined the Thornburg Center. She now consults to high tech companies and school districts, and presents at dozens of conferences every year. Her book, Visual Literacy: Learn to See, See to Learn, a widely-adopted textbook for teacher education and instructional technology programs, won the book of the year award for publisher ASCD in 2002 and is now expanded, updated (2006) and available as an eBook. Burmark is featured in a 30-minute segment on Canter & Associates video for the Masters in Instructional Technology with Walden University. She also produced a 10-minute video on visual literacy which is distributed free to educators through 100% Educational Videos. Energetic, encouraging, often humorous, yet serious about her content, she considers the highest praise to be "You practice what you preach!"

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.

Director of Educational Technology
Newport-Mesa Unified School District, CA

Steven Glyer has been involved in educational technology for over a quarter century—as a classroom teacher; county office program specialist; account executive for Apple Computer; sales manager and national marketing director for Pioneer New Media Technologies; and for the past nine years, director of educational technology and career technical education for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. In his current role, he has been deeply engaged in addressing such issues as CTE, PLCs, online education, web-based software applications, podcasting, video conferencing, open source software and one-to-one student laptop programs. As a CUE Board Member and the liaison to the CUE Legislative Advocacy Group, Glyer has worked with both state and federal legislators on the EETT replacement legislation called the ATTAIN Act. He has spoken at numerous conferences and meetings with educators, administrators and community groups on the world of work and learning in the 21st century.

Principal, Riverside Virtual School
Riverside Unified School District, CA

David Haglund is the principal of RUSD's newest school program, which offers online course opportunities to all 43,000 students enrolled at the district's 47 school sites. Having been charged with establishing a comprehensive school program that is accessible to all students in the Riverside community and beyond, his strong ties to state, national and international organizations will ensure that Riverside's efforts are met with the support necessary to propel the RVS program into a position of leadership within the growing eLearning community. Haglund has invested 20 years in the public school setting, teaching in middle school, high school, and alternative education settings. His administrative experience began as an instructional technology specialist within the Education Services Division of RUSD. He has presented numerous workshops and participated on expert panels at national and international conferences relating to the effective integration of technology into the core instructional program of the schools. To this end, Haglund is actively engaged in the professional community that is concerned with the impact technology has on today's learners, serving in an advisory capacity to national and international business and educational entities.

Executive Director

Mike Lawrence has been a teacher, mentor, technology specialist and coordinator for the last decade. He has worked with school site, district, county and state educators in the development, delivery and implementation of educational technology in California schools. Before assuming the position of executive director for California's CUE organization, he was the coordinator of hands-on technology professional development for the Orange County Department of Education, where he oversaw the local and statewide Student Technology Showcases and the annual CTAP Educational Technology Showcase Grant and delivered public and private school principal academies. A frequent presenter at local and national conferences over the years, he is also an author (Tips and Tricks for Digital Photography, 2004) and editor (Microsoft Office Simple Projects, 2004). Lawrence has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Director, Educational Technology Support Center
Puget Sound ESD, WA

Conn McQuinn has worked as director of the Educational Technology Support Center at the Puget Sound ESD in Renton, Washington, for the past 15 years. He has nearly three decades of eclectic experience in education, including teacher training, running the world's largest traveling science education program at the Pacific Science Center, authoring sixteen children's books and, of course, fiddling extensively with technology. McQuinn holds a Masters' degree in Education from the University of Washington, along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry, despite which he still regularly kills his houseplants.

Judy Salpeter
Program Chair
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).

Data Coordinator
Clark County School District, NV

Charles (Chuck) Sinicki has been an educator for 15 years, 10 of them in the computing field as a classroom teacher, educational computing strategist, project facilitator of instructional technology and most currently, a data coordinator. He has been instrumental in the implementation of handheld technology in the classroom over the past five years. Sinicki is an active Palm Education Training Coordinator (PETC) who has presented at numerous national, regional and local conferences and webinars on topics such as eBooks and handheld database applications.

Chief Technology Director, Educational Technology
Los Angeles Unified School District, CA

Themistocles (Themy) Sparangis is responsible for the Educational Technology group for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he reports directly to the Chief Information Officer. The Educational Technology group integrates the use of technology in schools and classrooms to support and achieve the district's instructional goals, help to meet the superintendent's goals, provide an engaging learning environment in order to raise student achievement, decrease dropouts, and provide equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. A former science teacher, who taught physics and physical science in LAUSD, Sparangis obtained a Master of Science in Teacher Education and a Doctorate of Education, specializing in International Education. He is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the International Society for Technology in Education, and Computer Using Educators, and the North American Council for Online Learning.

Gwen Solomon

Gwen Solomon is director of techLEARNING.com, the web site of Technology & Learning and a contributing editor to the 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 most recent books are Connect Online: Web Learning Adventures and Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Educational Digital Divide (edited book). Her next book will be published in June 2007.

Principal, Student Empowerment Academy/New Technology High School
Los Angeles Unified School District, CA

Michael Taft is currently principal of the Student Empowerment Academy, a New Technology High School within LAUSD. In one year of operation, the school has seen dramatic results—with API going from 457 to 638, CAHSEE pass rate from 23% to 66% and student attendance from 86% to 95%. Taft holds a Master Degree in Administration and currently serves on a WASC team for the Accrediting Commission for Schools. He has been a presenter at various conferences on the topic of "Changing School Culture and Climate"

Director, Academy of Information Technology, Hoover High School
San Diego Unified School District

Ellen Towers began teaching after 15 years in automotive management working for Fortune 500 companies, such as EDS, General Motors, and Federal Mogul. She began as a business teacher and developed Hoover High School's Academy of Information Technology in the fall of 2002. The academy started with 34 students and one computer lab, the current academy has over 300 students enrolled and seven computer labs. Towers was named Teacher of Year at Hoover High School in 2005, Leader of the Year for Technology & Learning magazine in 2007, and 2007 Technology Hero of San Diego. The Academy of Information Technology was honored with the My City Now Documentary and Innovation in Education Award in 2007.

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