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.


David Jakes

Instructional Technology Coordinator
Community High School District 99, Downers Grove, IL

David Jakes serves as the instructional technology coordinator for Community High School District 99 in Downers Grove, IL. His interest in technology developed from his 15 years as a classroom science teacher, and from his observations about the difference technology can make in student learning. In addition to speaking at many technology conferences, he conducts technology staff development projects in his school district and throughout the United States. Jakes currently manages three technology-related Web sites — Jakesonline.org, Biopoint.com and myprojectpages.com — that seek to help teachers use technology, and particularly the World Wide Web, to increase student achievement and performance. He is also a blogger, producing The Strength of Weak Ties, as well as contributing regularly to the Techlearning.com blog. His other interests include digital storytelling, information literacy, effective professional development, and the creation of online learning communities.


Sheryl Abshire

District Administrative Coordinator of Technology
Calcasieu Parish Public Schools, LA

Currently the administrative coordinator of technology for the Calcasieu Parish Public Schools in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Sheryl Abshire has worked as a school principal, K-5 teacher, library/media specialist, university professor and is a PhD candidate at the University of New Orleans. During the fall of 2005, she was responsible for securing and saving the technology systems during the worst natural disaster to hit the southwestern part of Louisiana: Hurricane Rita. Her strategic planning and disaster preparedness were essential to "restarting" the school system after it was closed for 34 days. She has been involved in diverse staff development programs throughout the U.S. and Great Britain, involving restructuring schools through the infusion of technology and curriculum enhancements, and has provided leadership on numerous national, state and district committees focusing on the role of technology and curriculum in changing educational practice. Abshire was the first teacher inducted into the National Teachers' Hall of Fame in 1992, a former Louisiana Technology Teacher of the Year, and a Christa McAuliffe Fellow. She is chairman of the board for the Consortium for School Networking in Washington, D.C., President of the ISTE state affiliate LACUE, and a member of the K -12 Advisory Board for eSchool News, Scholastic Administrator, Blackboard, and Pearson Digital Learning. NOTE: SHERYL ABSHIRE WAS UNABLE TO ATTEND BUT JIM SCHUL, CIO FOR THE HARRIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, TOOK HER PLACE.

Dr. Sara Armstrong

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 over 33 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. Armstrong serves on the boards of East Bay Computer-Using Educators, the Center for Accessible Technology, the Global SchoolNet Foundation, is a member of the River School Charter Council and Berkeley High School Community Partnerships Academy Advisory Board, and has been awarded a Gold Disk by California CUE. She is an associate of the Thornburg Center for Professional Development, and a frequent national and international speaker.

Susan Brooks-Young

Author and consultant
S.J. Brooks-Young Consulting, WA

Susan Brooks-Young has more than 23 years experience as a teacher (PreK-8th grades) and administrator at the elementary and middle school levels, as well as in a county office of education. She currently works with school administrators and teachers across the country on successful implementation of instructional technology programs. She is a contributing editor and columnist for Technology & Learning magazine and has authored a number of books over the years, including Self-Assessment Activities for School Administrators: A Companion to Making Technology Standards Work for You (ISTE), published in May 2004, and 101 Best Web Sites for Principals (ISTE), whose second edition was released in January 2005.

Janice Friesen

Educator and consultant
Austin, TX

Janice Friesen is an independent consultant working in Austin. A former elementary school teacher, she worked for many years with the eMINTS program in Missouri and has also guided classes for Connected University. She has led workshops in technology integration for educators around the country and authored blogs about her travels in Greece and Turkey. Friesen sees technology as a catalyst for promoting positive change in schools. She is an advocate for teachers, who she sees as some of the most important people in our society.

Dr. Cathy Galloway

Executive Director of Student Services
Plano Independent School District, TX

Dr. Cathy Galloway has worked in public education for over 20 years. During this time she has held the position of teacher, crisis counselor, building principal and central office administrator. She has been involved in the development of several programs serving students in nontraditional settings and outside of the school day. Most recently she took the lead in the development of an online course delivery program; Plano ISD eSchool. Plano ISD eSchool began student enrollment in February 2001. In the four years of the program's operation, over 4,000 students from 10 states and 4 countries have been served, with a completion rate of 87 percent in the most current year where data is available and an overall passing rate of 98 percent.

Anita Givens

Director of Instructional Materials and Educational Technology
Texas Education Agency

As senior director for instructional materials and educational technology at the Texas Education Agency, Anita Givens has led statewide educational technology efforts in Texas for over twelve years. She provides leadership for the integration, utilization, evaluation and expansion of educational technologies through the on-going implementation of the State Board of Education's Long-Range Plan for Technology 1996-2010. This includes integration of technology across all content areas K-12, Technology Grant Programs, Educational Technology Pilot Projects, Technology Planning and E-Rate. Givens serves on a variety of boards and committees at the state and national level. She is on the Board of Directors of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), and held the position of chair for three years. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and as an education advisor to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

Arturo Guajardo

Instructional Technology Facilitator
Austin ISD, TX

Arturo Guajardo is an instructional technology facilitator for the Austin Independent School District as well as serving as an independent trainer and consultant specializing in the use of digital media with ELL/Bilingual students. He has developed and led numerous instructional technology staff development sessions and has presented at various conferences including the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and at the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE). An experience educator, he taught third, fourth and fifth grade bilingual students for ten years in Austin ISD. In 1999, he was honored as the Mollie Dawson Teacher of the Year and was a semi-finalist for AISD Teacher of the Year. Guajardo currently serves on the Discovery Education/United Streaming Advisory Board.

Bill Lewis

Director of Instructional Technology
New Braunfels ISD, TX

Bill Lewis recently joined the New Braunfels Independent School District as director of instructional technology. He has also served as a technology facilitator, project coordinator for the Technology Application Readiness Grant for Empowering Texas and Technology in Education Grant (TIE 5), and assistant principal at Mills Elementary School, all in Austin ISD. Before that he was a middle school science teacher and coach in Eanes ISD in Austin TX. In addition to holding a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Learning and Development and a Master's Degree in Education, he has a lifetime certificate in elementary education, technology applications, and mid-management. He is a senior adjunct professor of education for LeTourneau University and a member of ISTE, TCEA, and the Discovery Educators Network.

Susan McLester

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 13 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.

Scot Osterweil

Project Manager
MIT Education Arcade, MA

In addition to serving as project manager for MIT's Education Arcade, Scot Osterweil directs "Learning Games to Go," a federally funded project designed to develop mobile games that teach math and literacy to under-served youth. Before coming to MIT, he was the senior designer at TERC, an educational R&D firm. He was the creator and co-designer of the award-winning Zoombinis line of products (Riverdeep/TLC), including Logical Journey of the Zoombinis; its first sequel, Zoombinis Mountain Rescue; and Zoombinis Island Odyssey, winner of the 2003 Bologna New Media Prize. He is the also the designer of the TERCworks games Switchback, and Yoiks!, the latter with co-designer Chris Hancock. Scot's other software designs include work on the educational products Tabletop II, Tabletop and Tabletop Jr., and IBM's The Nature of Science. At TERC he participated in research projects on the role of computer games in learning, and on the use of video in data collection and representation. Previously, he worked in television, on the production of Public Television's Frontline, Evening at Pops, and American Playhouse, and as an animator on a wide range of programs.

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 an early 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).

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.

Dr. William J. Tally

Research Scientist
Center for Children and Technology, NY

Bill Tally is a research scientist at the Center for Children and Technology in New York, a division of the Education Development Center. For over 20 years he has studied and designed educational uses of digital media in schools, libraries, museums and other settings. His work is focused on realizing the conditions for more learner-centered, participatory schooling. Recent projects have centered on tracking learners' problem-solving skills and knowledge in history and the humanities, in teacher education, and in the emerging domain of digital literacy. Tally's doctoral thesis, "Bringing Technology Home: Social Class, Parenting, and the Emergence of the Digital Child" is now being prepared for publication. He is a frequent speaker and writer on issues of media research, children and learning. Among his publications is The New Media Literacy Handbook: An Educator's Guide to Bringing New Media into the Classroom (Anchor Books, 2000), written with Cornelia Brunner.

Andreas Ua'Siaghail

President and CCO
Resolve Labs

Andreas Ua'Siaghail (pronounced O'Shields) is president and chief creative officer of 23 YYZee - Pax Warrior Media, which develops and produces educational software, new media, game-based content and interactive documentaries. Educated in communications, linguistics and design, he has been producing, hosting and broadcasting since 1981. He has focused on new media since 1992, leading teams in the development of over 60 computer-based training modules and well over 100 websites. Ua'Siaghail is co-creator and producer of the games-based eLearning module "Pax Warrior" which won best eLearning in the Americas and Oceania at the World Summit on the Information society.

David Warlick

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.