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.

Keynote Speaker

Cheryl Lemke

Chief Executive Officer
The Metiri Group

Cheryl Lemke is CEO of the Metiri Group, a learning technology consulting firm based in Los Angeles, California. With more than 20 years experience in public education, she has held positions as the state technology director in Washington, the associate superintendent for learning technology for the Illinois State Board of Education and the executive director for the Milken Exchange on Education Technology. Earlier in her career she taught high school mathematics for nine years, in both inner city and rural settings. She served on the Executive Board for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for two terms and has been honored by professional organizations throughout the country.

Lemke is the author of the National Trends Report used in 2005 in over 100 Congressional hearings on the NCLB Title II D federal program. She is also an architect of Metiri’s Technology Solutions That Work, an interactive database used by 11 states as evidence to drive practice and the designer behind three national frameworks on effective technology use, including enGauge which was commissioned by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. She is trusted and respected by the education community for her work from policy to research and practice. This year she facilitated two national summits for the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future and is currently working with three large urban schools districts on learning technology initiatives.

Philip J. Brody

Assistant Superintendent and CTO
Clark County School District, NV

Phil Brody has served as assistant superintendent and chief technology officer of the Clark County School District, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since 1998. In this capacity, he oversees the technology program in the fifth largest and one of the fastest growing metropolitan school districts in the country. Under Brody’s direction, the district has recently completed the installation of converged gigabit Ethernet wide area network that provides data, voice, and video connectivity throughout this district. Before assuming his current position, Brody served as executive director of technology services (and, before that, director of technology development) for the St. Louis Public Schools; a faculty member and director of the Instructional Technology Center at the University of Kansas; and an instructional design specialist at the University of Southern Colorado. Brody is author of the book Technology Planning and Management Handbook: A Guide for School District Educational Technology Leaders and was named by Computerworld as one of its Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2004.

Dr. Gary A. Carnow

Director of Technology and Information Services
Alhambra Unified School District, CA

Before assuming his current position as director of technology and information services, Dr. Gary Carnow served as coordinator of instructional technology education, K-12 for the Alhambra Unified School District and project director of the eight-year California Model Technology Schools project. He taught elementary grades in Los Angeles for ten years, including positions as a teacher advisor, gifted magnet teacher, gifted coordinator, and computer coordinator. Carnow, who earned his doctorate in education from USC in 1982, is co-author of Prolific Thinkers Guide (Dale Seymour Publications) and several books about using KidWorks Deluxe, Hyperstudio and Cruncher 2.0 software in the classroom. He specializes in instructional and administrative planning, grant procurement, business and industry partnerships, and technology integration. He is the recipient of the Marshall McCluhan Award in Global Communications for his work in training teachers to use technology in their classrooms and currently teaches part-time in the California State University at Los Angeles Instructional Technology Master’s Degree program.

Hall Davidson

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.

Jhone M. Ebert

Director, Magnet Schools & Distance Education
Clark County School District, NV

Jhone M. Ebert is the principal of Clark County's virtual high school and the director of magnet schools for the district. With the phenomenal support of teachers and administrators, she spearheaded the development and implementation of CCSD's first generation of online instruction for students providing synchronous and asynchronous delivery of high school coursework using the Internet. Ebert is the founding chair of the Nevada Educational Technology Consortium (NET-C) and currently serves as the vice chair for Nevada's Commission on Educational Technology. During her career, she has received many awards. She earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching (1996), was a Tandy Technology Scholar (1997), and was honored by Fulbright-Hayes Intercultural Communication and Multicultural Education: Lessons from Korea (2000).

Todd Finnell

Chief Executive Officer
K-12 High Speed Network, CA

Todd Finnell has served in education as a classroom teacher, counselor, school administrator, and director of learning technologies for the Imperial County Office of Education. He has been the project manager for a countywide fiber-optic network project involving 16 school districts, along with numerous city and county agencies, and was instrumental in building the collaboration between public agencies that led to a successful Joint Powers Authority being established. In addition to serving as CEO of the K-12 High Speed Network, a state-funded program to provide advanced networking services to California's K-12 community, Finnell currently teaches graduate studies in Educational Technology at San Diego State University and serves on numerous local and state committees.

John Fleischman

Director of Technology Services
Sacramento County Office of Education

John Fleischman is a nationally recognized authority on the use of instructional technology and adult learning. He has extensive experience with implementing and creating informational and instructional media for use in educational environments. He is frequently requested as a presenter at both state and national conferences and has served as a trainer for numerous public agencies and private companies. Currently, Fleischman is director of technology services at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE). In this role, he is responsible for SCOE's computer, network and telecommunication infrastructure. In addition, he oversees dozens of Web site development projects and manages a cadre of staff that provides educators with training, technical assistance and information resources.

Steven Glyer

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 seven years, director of educational technology for the Newport-Mesa schools. In his current role, he has been deeply engaged in addressing such issues as high school redesign, online courses offerings for students, web-based software applications, podcasting, video conferencing, open source software and one-to-one student laptop programs. As a member of CUE’s Legislative Advocacy Group, Glyer has worked with legislators to push for state standards of 21st century learning skills and metrics to measure their mastery. He is also a strong proponent of providing downloadable current digital content instead of traditional paper-based textbooks adoptions. He recently returned from a trip to China where exchanges with local educators and students, government officials and business leaders gave him a unique first-hand perspective of the impact the ‘flat world’ (as outlined by Thomas Friedman) is having on our own country.

Joe von Herrmann

Supervisor, Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS)
California State Parks

Joe von Herrmann has worked for California State Parks for over thirty years. He received his bachelor's degree in biogeography from San Francisco State and has worked in parks in Big Sur, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Pismo Beach, along the San Mateo Coast, on the shores of the San Francisco Bay, in California's deserts, and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For the last ten years he has specialized in park interpretation. Von Herrrman is currently an Interpreter III working for the Interpretation and Education Division in Sacramento. He is the supervisor of California State Parks Photographic Archives and the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) program.

Dr. Francisco J. Hernandez

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, U.C. Santa Cruz
and Executive Director, UCCP

Dr. Francisco Hernandez serves as vice chancellor of student affairs at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a post he has held since 1994. In this role, he oversees admissions, financial aid, housing and other student services. He is the chief advisor to the chancellor in all areas related to student life, early academic outreach, enrollment management and retention. He is also the founder and executive director of the UC College Preparatory Program (www.uccp.org), which provides online courses to California high school students. Along with UCCP, Hernandez directs the Gateways Project, a database program designed to collect and disseminate information for participants of UC outreach programs. He is on the founding board of directors for the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL); is a member of the executive council for the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications; and serves as commissioner for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

David Jakes

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.

Amy Poftak

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."

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).

Gwen Solomon



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).