Speakers, panelists and moderators 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. The following is a preliminary list of Tech Forum presenters.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jan Van Dam

President, ISTE

21st Century Learning

Dr. Jan Van Dam, president of ISTE (International Society for Technology and Education), has been an educator since 1970. She has taught middle and high school mathematics, computer science, and language arts. More recently, she was a district technology director and worked at a regional educational service agency — as a consultant, director, and assistant superintendent for career, media and technology. She has also been deeply involved in many professional associations, serving as a Board member for both ISTE and MACUL (Michigan Association of Computers Users in Education). Van Dam is currently working with 21st Century Learning in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jane Bloomquist

Quality Assurance Manager

Chicago Public Schools

Jane Bloomquist, MCT, CNI, Master CIW, received her Doctorate in Philosophy from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Bloomquist has worked in education for 25 years. In addition to her experiences in the K-12 environment as a high school teacher, a regional technology coordinator and as an administrator, she has taught for Northwestern University and Northern Illinois University and worked in the Internet industry. In her current position as Quality Assurance Manager for the Office of Technology Services in the Chicago Public Schools, she is working on policies, standards and procedures for WAN enterprise networking projects including security for wireless connectivity. Ms. Bloomquist's interest in wireless technologies has been supported by the Chicago Public Schools' initiative to provide network and Internet access to all students and staff by including a wireless component in the minimum configurations for all schools.

Jeffrey Branzburg

Educational Technology Consulting

Branzburg Associates, Inc.

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 is a contributing editor and regular columnist for Technology & Learning Magazine.

Kim Carter


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 contributing editor for Technology & Learning, Ms. Carter has been a co- conspirator in the SchoolTech Expos and Leadership Institutes since their inception. 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.

Robert Ewy

Consultant and Former Director of Planning

Community Consolidated School District 15, IL

Robert Ewy is a consultant to school districts and other educational organizations in Illinois and across the nation in the areas of strategic planning, data systems analysis and alignment, and the application of the principles and practices of continuous improvement. Before that he was Director of Planning at Community Consolidated School District 15 (CCSD 15) in Palatine, Illinois, the second largest elementary school district in the state. While he was there, CCSD15 received the Lincoln Foundation's highest level of recognition for organizational excellence and was the only educational organization in the nation to win the Baldrige Award for Excellence in the year 2003. Mr. Ewy is a member of the Lincoln Foundation judging committee and the newly constituted American Society for Quality Education Advisory Committee. He is a co-author of a book on organizational improvement (Charting Your Course: Lessons Learned During the Journey Toward Performance Excellence) that has been published this fall by the American Society for Quality.

Dr. Eileen Gallagher

Professional Development Consultant

A+ Technical Solutions

Dr. Eileen Gallagher is a Professional Development Consultant with A+ Technical Solutions in the Chicago suburbs. She has a doctorate in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in Educational Administration. Dr. Gallagher worked for Chicago Public Schools for over 34 years. She has over 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher. She also served as a principal, city wide TRN (Technology Resource Network) coordinator and an instructor in technology for administrators.

Joe Huber

Director of Information Systems

Greenwood Schools, IN

Joe Huber has been with Greenwood Schools since 1973, for 20 years as a middle-school physical science and computer programming/application teacher and for the past 10 years with the information systems department, where he has served as assistant director and, in more recent years, director. He has also been an adjunct professor on the school of education for Indiana University since 1996, developing and teaching a course on data networks for educators. For three years before that, Mr. Huber was on the staff of the University of Indianapolis as an adjunct instructor in the school of education. He has served on educational advisory boards for several major educational technology companies, written a monthly help column and been on the editorial board for Linworth Publications, and served on the annual awards review committee for Media & Methods. He has also presented at local, regional and national educational technology conferences, including NECC and the National School Board's Technology and Learning conference, on topics ranging from distant learning to wireless networking. His current project is developing a series of on-line lessons on network security and disaster recovery for Faronics Corporation.

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. In addition to speaking at many technology conferences, Mr. Jakes conducts technology staff development projects in his school district and throughout the United States. He currently manages two technology-related Web sites, Biopoint.com and myprojectpages.com that seek to help teachers use technology, and particularly the World Wide Web, to increase student achievement and performance. His other interests include digital storytelling, information literacy, effective professional development, and the creation of online learning communities.

Susan McLester

Editor in Chief

Technology & Learning Magazine

Susan McLester is an experienced middle and high school teacher. She has written about and reviewed software for Newsweek, School PC, Parenting, Entertainment@Home and other publications, and has talked about software on Microsoft NBC's The Site, and other technology television programs. She coordinates, judges and reports on the annual T&L Software Awards Contest, and acts as a judge for various other contests, including the Software Publishers Association Codies, and the EdPress awards.

Robert Nelson

Consultant and former Technology Director

Milwaukee, WI

Robert Nelson recently retired from Milwaukee Public Schools after 35 years as a teacher, department head, program implementer, assistant principal, principal and, most recently, director of technology. During the eight years he spent creating the capacity to use technology to support learning in over 4000 classrooms, his work was guided by strategic planning involving local, state and national partners, and was featured in numerous national publications. He has served on several boards and advisory committees, and is widely recognized for his leadership and expertise in learning and technology. Mr. Nelson is now working to support learning in urban communities. He is affiliated with the Council of Great City Schools and several other organizations where he is providing strategic assistance and support to districts involved in supporting learning with technology.

Mary Ann Pollett

Principal, Montefiore Special School

Chicago, IL

Mary Ann Pollett has spent the last 31 of her 35 years as an educator at the Montefiore Special School, a special education therapeutic day school for severely emotionally disturbed (SED) boys, established in l929. She has served as Montefiore's (first woman) principal since l993. Dr. Pollett received her B.S.Ed. in l966 from Northern Illinois University, an M.A. from Roosevelt University in l971 and her Ed.D. from Loyola University in l982. She was one of thirty-one principals selected in l996, by the CEO and the Chief Accountability Officer of the Chicago Public Schools, to serve as a Probation Manager/Mentor Principal. In l999, she was a recipient of the School Leadership Award presented jointly by the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association (CPAA) and CPS. With help from Oracle and Beaumont Foundation grants, Montefiore students all have regular access to technology. A case-study she co-authored with Montefiore's technology coordinator documenting Montefiore's extensive technology-based work was inducted into the Smithsonian's permanent ComputerWorld collection of the National Museum of American History.

Peter Reilly


Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, NY

Pete Reilly is the Director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, a non-profit technology consortium of 62 school districts located in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, just north of NYC. Pete is presently focused on shifting the technology discourse from "cables and chips" to the human issues involved in creating effective educational technology environments. His latest essay, "When the Classroom Door Swings Inward", is part of the anthology, "Being Human at Work"; edited by Dr. Richard Strozzi-Heckler and published by North Atlantic Press. He has presented to diverse audiences throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Reilly has worked on a consulting basis with the Edison Project, numerous school districts around the country and has been featured in articles in Electronic Learning, Curriculum Product News, Media and Methods, and the Heller Report. In September 1995, he visited China on behalf of UNICEF and developed a report on the state of educational technology in China today.

Joy Rose

Principal, Westerville South High School

Westerville, OH

Joy Rose is the principal of Westerville South High School in the Westerville City School District, the ninth largest district in the state of Ohio. Under her leadership, Westerville South has won two Ohio BEST awards; received several state grants for instructional improvement; and been part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education focusing on developing Smaller Learning Communities. The Westerville District has made a commitment to using data to drive instructional decisions. It is involved with the Education for the Future Initiative and Battelle for Kids and has recently purchased a data warehouse to make data more accessible. A three-time graduate of The Ohio State University, Ms. Rose firmly believes that districts and school must develop a user-friendly system that allows for data to be gathered, analyzed, and used in order to improve instruction and student achievement.

Robert W. Runcie

CIO, Chicago Public Schools

Robert Runcie is the chief information officer for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago. Prior to joining the Chicago Public Schools' Office of Technology Services in May, 2003, he served for seven years as the president of Advanced Data Concepts, a Chicago-based management consulting and technology services company. He has also worked with companies such as Computer Sciences Corporation and Andersen (now Accenture). Mr. Runcie, who graduated from Harvard University and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, brings to CPS two decades of experience helping organizations improve their organizational effectiveness through redesigning business processes and strategically deploying information technology. He resides in the Hyde Park, South Shore area of Chicago with his wife and their three daughters, who attend the Chicago Public Schools.

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, Ms. 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).

Chris Seiberling

Project Manager

Mass Networks Education Partnership

Chris Seiberling, Project Manager at Mass Networks Education Partnership (a non-profit education/technology consulting group in Boston), has an MBA from Northeastern University and an MFA from the University of New Mexico. With a variety of experiences in teaching (from the Peace Corps to the UK), information technology and financial management (Harvard Medical School), and international reporting systems for public health (Pathfinder International), he brings a flexible but structured approach to analyzing technology implementation and organization. At Mass Networks, after writing an IT Master Plan for University of Massachusetts, Boston, Mr. has been actively involved in Mass Networks' Data to Learning Project and CoSN's Leadership Initiative on CyberSecurity.

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).

Woody Ziegler

Technology Specialist and Project Co-Director

Nebraska Department of Education

Dr. Woody Ziegler became co-director of the Nebraska Leadership Talks Technology Academy (LTTA) in 2001. Funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, LTTA seeks to raise principals' and superintendents' skills and vision regarding technology as an administrative and instructional tool. Handheld and laptop technology are important elements in this program. By the end of the 2003-04 school year over 900 school superintendents and principals will have successfully completed LTTA. As a co-principal of York Elementary School in York, Woody Ziegler was part of a team that successfully secured over $750,000 in technology grants and business partnerships for the school. He has also served as an assistant professor at Doane College where he taught Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership, preparing teachers to be educational leaders as school administrators. Graduates from this program lead schools with their head, heart and hands based on personal values and principles of leadership. Dr. Ziegler is also a proponent of matching the best educational theories and research to the needs of the learner, and views technology as a necessary tool for knowledge in tomorrow's economy.

Sydney Freifelder

Assistant Superintendent

Merrick Schools, NY

Michael Greenfield

Director of Technology

Harrison Central School District, NY

Michael Greenfield, formerly with the Chappaqua schools, is now director of technology for Harrison Central School District in New York. Involved in education for the past 15 years, he is an experienced teacher, professional developer, administrator and consultant. Additionally, he has presented at regional and national conferences on a wide range of topics including technology integration, data driven decision-making, infrastructure management and emerging technologies.

Kathleen P. King, Ed.D.

Professor of Adult Education

Director, Regional Educational Technology Center

Fordham University

Kathleen P. King is Program Director of the M.S. program in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, and Director of the Regional Educational Technology Center at Fordham University's Graduate School of Education. She is co-author of the book, A Model for Planning for Effective Faculty Development: Using Adult Learning Principles (2000), and author of a two-volume series about professional development of educators with Hampton Press. In addition, she is founding editor of a new adult education journal, Perspectives; The New York Journal of Adult Learning, and is co-editor of a new issue of New Directions in Adult and Continuing Education from Jossey-Bass on the professional development of teachers of adults. She coordinates several grants that provide professional development for teachers in educational technology and also non-technology content areas. These include NY City Department of Education Title III grants and a US Department of Education FIPSE grant that serves teachers across the nation via online technologies.

Todd McIntire

Director of Achievement Services

Edison Schools, Inc.

Todd McIntire has 16 years of experience in education and technology. After nine years of classroom teaching, he shifted his efforts to school and district leadership. In this capacity, his experiences range from founding a technologically-innovative high school in New York City to managing the multi-million dollar technology initiatives of school districts to building a nationwide network of schools in the lowest performing urban centers. For the past three years, he has worked for Edison Schools in a variety of capacities including building principal, achievement director and director of technology. As an instructional leader, McIntire has a proven record of raising student achievement through appropriate application of technology, professional development and data analysis. He frequently publishes articles on data-driven decision making and is a regular speaker at national conferences on educational technology.

Peter Pappas

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

East Irondequoit Central School District, NY

Peter Pappas is the assistant superintendent for instruction at East Irondequoit Central Schools, a suburb of Rochester, New York. He has over 32 years experience in instruction, curriculum and technology and is the recipient of state and national grants and fellowships including the "NEH Independent Studies in the Humanities." Pappas has served as a consultant to districts across the country and published in professional and popular journals. He hosts an educational resource site at www.peterpappas.com

Gary Ramella

Executive Director Technology Information Systems

Union City Board of Education, NJ

Gary Ramella has served as the Executive Director of Technology Information for the Union City New Jersey Public Schools since 1982. His responsibilities include both the Administrative and Educational technology areas. Union City (http://www.union-city.k12.nj.us) has over 3500 computers, a state of the art wide-area-network and a true integration of technology within all curriculum areas. Prior to his current position, he was an elementary teacher for 12 years. He has served as Chairperson of the Hudson County NJ Distance Learning Coordinating Council; the Hudson County NJ representative to the New Jersey Dept. of Education, Distance Learning Depot; Chairperson of the Union City Board of Education Technology Task Force; and Past President/Trustee of New Milford, NJ Board of Education. He has presented at many state and national conferences focusing on technology in education.

Sarah Tate

Assistant Superintendent for Operations

Mamaroneck Union Free School District

Mamaroneck, NY

For current information about the program, please visit the Program page.