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.
Teacher and Technology Specialist
The Harry Eichler School, NY
Neme Alperstein has taught in public schools for 20 years and is currently teaching fifth grade at the Harry Eichler School in New York City. Named NYC Teacher of the Year in 2000, NTTI-WNET Thirteen's Teacher of the Year in 2000, and a Bertelsmann Innovative Teacher of the Year in 2003, Alperstein has also received grants, recognition and awards for her work as a master teacher from ThinkQuest NYC, NASA's Student Involvement Program, the Joyce Theater Dance in Education Program and the Beaumont Foundation.
Pearl River School District, NY
Tom Atkinson has served as technology director for the Pearl River School District since August 1999. Previously, he was the IS section chief of the R&D Department at Block Drug Company in Jersey City and technical manager for American Management Systems at the Transit Bureau in Brooklyn, NY. Before that, he was at teacher at various schools in New York and New Jersey. He has two Master's degrees in History and Economics, holds a NYS Civil Service Title for Education in NYS, recently earned an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree from Seton Hall, and is a certified district and building level public school administrator in New Jersey.
Senior Program Manager
Vision Education & Media New York (VEMNY)
For the past three 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 worked with VEMNY's video blogging project, 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.
Educational Technology Consulting
Branzburg Associates, Inc., NY
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 consults and provides professional development for NYLearns, Teaching Matters, Inc., and Discovery Education's unitedstreaming, and is a contributing editor and regular columnist for Technology & Learning magazine. His primary areas of specialty are professional development, writing, and instructional technology assessment.
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.
Monadnock Community Connections School, NH
Kim Carter is the director of Monadnock Community Connections School, an alternative public school choice for high school students in southwestern New Hampshire. She was the 1991 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and the 1996 New Hampshire Media Educator of the Year. A regular contributor to Technology & Learning magazine, Carter has been a co-conspirator in Technology & Learning Events since their inception a decade ago. Her greatest love is her three sons, followed closely by a fascination with how people learn and how technology empowers learning and teaching for all.
John F. Kennedy School, Port Chester, NY
Lou Cuglietto has been involved in education for the past 28 years, beginning as a teacher of secondary mathematics. In 1988, he and his colleagues were given the opportunity to develop a Math, Science, and Technology magnet school program in Mount Vernon, New York. With support from BOCES, and the advent of new technologies and software, the resulting school — JFK in Port Chester, NY — is a laboratory for innovative and exciting instruction. Cuglietto serves as its principal. He is thankful for his staff members, who continue to push the envelope of technology integration for their students and for their own professional development.
Dr. Sheila Gersh
Director of Technology and International Projects
Center for School Development, City College, NY
Dr. Sheila Offman Gersh is the director of technology and international projects for the Center for School Development, School of Education, at the City College of the City University of New York. For the past 18 years she has directed a variety of instructional technology programs that engage teachers and students in inquiry-based, collaborative technology-rich projects. Gersh teaches graduate courses focusing on integrating technology into classroom instruction and designs and delivers a variety of professional development opportunities for teachers. She has also taught courses online, using a variety of delivery tools for such instruction, and has done extensive training for teachers, administrators, parents and teacher-educators in technology, in the U.S., Japan, Australia, Sweden and India. She has been a keynoter and workshop leader at many local, national and international conferences, and authored a number of journal articles about educational technology, both in the US and abroad. NOTE: SHEILA GERSH WAS UNABLE TO ATTEND BUT DR. JOANNE CLEMENTE PRESENTED IN HER PLACE.
Teaching Matters, NY
Lynette Guastaferro is the Executive Director of Teaching Matters, a non profit organization dedicated to improving teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. Her experience is a unique blend of blend of classroom teaching, business management consulting, and technology innovation. In her current capacity she leads a multidisciplinary team of content experts, technologists, teachers and professional developers to create new learning environments across 500 New York schools. Prior to her current position, Guastaferro served as both a classroom teacher and a senior management consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers’. As a management consultant she advised government and educational agencies on ways to improve their performance. Work in education reform led her to Baltimore, where she became a teacher and created her school's first technology-based learning support lab for literacy and mathematics. She was also a lead consultant on the early design and development of SchoolNet.
Dr. Lynn Hunter
Distance Learning Coordinator
New York City Department of Education, NY
Dr. Lynn Hunter is a distance learning coordinator for the New York City Department of Education and the creator of original animated characters, The Dooples, and the series, Meet the Dooples and The Dooples and the Shapes. With over 30 years experience in the educational industry, she has been an elementary school teacher, served as a writer and producer for a variety of children's video and entertainment projects, and marketed, consulted with, and represented dozens of textbook companies. As founder of Educational Media Enterprises, Hunter has provided consultant support and services for hundreds of administrators, teachers, parents and publishers throughout the nation. As videoconferencing coordinator for NYC Region 10, she has a unique opportunity to pioneer a new vision for classroom instruction utilizing this exciting technology.
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.
Port Chester-Rye UFSD, NY
Michael Kohlhagen is a seasoned administrator with solid experience providing leadership, supervision and organization to large, urban school populations where students face a host of challenges. He has been successful in initiating educational change and reform including academic and sociological programs spanning grades pre-K to 12. Kohlhagen began his career in 1998 with the New York City Board of Education where he held a variety of increasingly responsible positions including social worker, assistant director of pupil personnel services, assistant director of funded programs, executive administrator in the office of the superintendent, and director of pupil personnel services. In 1998 he became the assistant superintendent of student support services in the Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut and in December, 2001, he assumed his current role as assistant superintendent for instruction in the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District, a high need/high performing school district that embraces diversity and strives for success for every student. In this position, he is responsible for all aspects of curriculum, technology, special education, and assessments for the district.
IMS Project Manager
School District of Philadelphia, PA
Fran Newberg has been with the SDP for 23 years — 15 of those years as a teacher and 8 as an administrator. For the last three years, she's been the project manager for a major district initiative to change the way that teachers and principals access student data and the role that technology plays in instruction. The Instructional Management System (IMS) has become the online tool that teachers and administrators rely on to deliver focused and differentiated instruction and professional development. Now, all teachers and administrators have been trained and can access student data and the district's curriculum online, anytime and anywhere. Newberg leads an interdepartmental task force that sets policy and expectations for the use of the IMS. In addition, she works closely with the Office of Curriculum and Instruction to digitize the district’s curriculum. She also assisted in the development of the Benchmark Data Analysis Protocols, which formalize the analysis and use of student data in the classroom.
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
Technology & Learning Magazine
Amy Poftak joined Technology & Learning in 1997. In addition to specializing in emerging technologies for the magazine and launching the School CIO newsletter for senior-level technology leaders, Amy manages new business development across T&L's print, online, and event platforms. Amy holds a B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University, a master's degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is the recipient of the UCLA-CASE Media Fellowship, "Surveying the Digital Future: The Social, Political, and Economic Impact of the Internet."
Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, NY
Pete Reilly is the director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center (LHRIC), a non-profit technology consortium of 62 school districts located in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, just north of NYC. A certified Master Somatic Coach, he has designed a unique leadership development program, which supports directors of technology in developing the skills they need to have their technology vision embraced by those they serve. He has written for a number of publications including Technology & Learning. His latest essay, "When the Classroom Door Swings Inward," is part of the anthology, "Being Human at Work," published by North Atlantic Press. Over the course of his 30-year career, Reilly has facilitated more than 40 Long Range Technology Plans for school districts in NY, CT, NJ, PA, and CA. He has received many honors, including being recognized as Outstanding Administrator, 2003, by the Hudson Council of School Administrators. He presently chairs the statewide Director’s Committee on Instruction, is a member of the NYSCATE Board of Directors, and serves on the Board of the Tomkins Cove Public Library.
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. Harry Tuttle
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Before assuming his current job as an instructor at Syracuse University, Harry Tuttle spent more than 16 years as a K-12 technology director and technology integration teacher and 16 as a classroom teacher. He has also served as president of NYSCATE and of ISTE's technology coordinators' SIG. Tuttle focuses on assessing and improving student learning through technology. He is the author of three books, including Learning and Technology Assessments for Administrators, and has written many articles and book chapters on a wide variety of learning and technology issues. His workshops demonstrate how to use common technology to raise the level of student learning.