Speakers: Tech Forum Atlanta 2014

Speakers: Tech Forum Atlanta 2014

Keynote Speaker

Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes ISD, Austin, TX

Follow on Twitter: @mrhooker

Carl Hooker has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration since becoming an educator. His unique blend of educational background, technical expertise, and humor make him a successful driving force for this change. As director of instructional technology at Eanes ISD, he has helped spearhead the launch the LEAP program (Learning & Engaging through Access and Personalization), which put one-to-one iPads in the hands of all K-12 students in the district. He is also the founder of “iPadpalooza” (http://ipadpalooza.com) - a cultural event showcasing the use of iPads in education. Over 500 people attended the inaugural iPadpalooza with representatives from over 71 districts and 5 different states in attendance.

Check out this profile of Carl over at SchoolCIO.com.


Tech & Learning's Tech Forum conferences are known around the country for their amazing presenters and roundtable moderators – not to mention interesting and dedicated attendees. Tech Forum Atlanta will be no exception. Here are the K-12 thought leaders you will have the chance to talk with and learn from in Atlanta on March 28:

Dr. Angela Bacon, Director of Instructional Technology, Cobb County School District Dr. Angela Bacon is the director of instructional technology for Cobb County School District.As the second largest school system in Georgia, the Cobb County School District is responsible for educating more than 106,000 students in a diverse, constantly changing suburban environment. As a twenty-five year educator, Bacon has worked as a technology director, instructional technology specialist, a library/media specialist, a classroom teacher, and as an adjunct professor.She is responsible for identifying and implementing new and emerging technologies to support student achievement. She is currently serving as the co-chair for the ISTE 2014 Planning Committee (BYOD).

Andrew Boyle, Instructional Technology Specialist, KSU iTeach Center Andy Boyle (@iteachedtech2u) has been experimenting with the “flipped classroom” since 2003, when he built his first website for his class.Since then, he has constantly pushed the frontier for instructional technology integration in his classroom.He put his textbook online in 2005 and piloted a paperless classroom in 2007.In 2011, he joined the iTeach Center at Kennesaw State University.In this new role, Boyle helps schools and districts in their pursuit of integrating instructional technologies. He has designed, created, and delivered professional development for schools going 1:1 and flipping the classroom and has presented at GaETC and the South Carolina Emerging Technologies Conference. Boyle provides technical and pedagogical support and was a consultant for the largest 1:1 rollout to date.Andy has nearly 10 years high school teaching experience and is AP and MYP certified.

Mary Cantwell, Director for The Center for Design Thinking,Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Mary Cantwell (@scitechyedu) is a 16-year educator with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Technology. As the director for Mount Vernon’s Center for Design Thinking, she adapted Stanford’s d. School design thinking model into DEEP – Discover, Empathize, Experiment, Produce. In this role she encourages design and visible thinking, and has sparked a rapid transformation into 21st Century learning, thinking, and creating.Cantwell has presented at numerous conferences and was recently named 1 of 25 NAIS Teachers of the Future and also earned the Class Act award from NBC news affiliate, 11Alive. She is an active Twitterhead who feels passionately about demonstrating and sharing the Design Thinking methodology through her tweets. She is a also cofounder of #dtk12chat, a weekly conversation about design thinking in K12 Education, and the author of the i.Design Lab blog and the site DEEP Design Thinking.

Justin Castile, Coordinator of Virtual Learning, Fulton County Schools Justin Castile (@jcastile) taught for eight years in Floyd County Schools at Model Middle School. While there, he was the Teacher of the Year in the 2004-05 school year. He then moved to Henry County Schools where he was an Instructional Technology Specialist at Luella Middle School for two years before moving into a district role in instructional technology for three years. While working at Luella Middle, he helped transition the school into a blended learning environment and at the district level helped create and start Impact Academy, Henry County’s Virtual Learning Program. In his current role in the Fulton County Schools, Castile is transitioning their virtual learning program into a state leader in virtual education. He has also been involved in helping Fulton County Schools fulfill their strategic plan built around personalized learning.

Joe Crawford, Supervisor of Professional Learning,Cobb County Schools Joe Crawford has been an educator for 19 years, with 14 years experience supporting teachers and administrators in educational technology use to enhance student learning.In his current position, he supports Cobb’s educators and administrators with online learning opportunities.He is one of the district’s Blackboard administrators and uses that LMS to support local school-focused and district-wide PL. He has led a team to develop online learning guidelines to audit current online courses and developed best practices to support engaging and meaningful learning opportunities for their educators.In addition to providing relevant online learning experiences for Cobb County teachers, his team also supports curriculum supervisors with developing engaging learning activities using online tools to enable efficient use of time and provide effective training to the hundreds of teachers they support.

Angie Foerster, District Instructional Technology Specialist, Fayette County Schools Angie Foerster (@AngieFoerster) is one of three instructional technology specialists for the Fayette County Schools in Fayetteville, GA. After teaching English and reading at the high school level for nine years, she assumed the role of school-level instructional technology specialist at Whitewater High School. While in this role, she helped pilot the county’s Bring Your Own Technology initiative, which allowed students to use their personal devices for instruction on a daily basis. Currently, Foerster works with teachers from across the county to create lessons that infuse technology and focus on personalized learning experiences for the students. In addition, she is committed to personalizing the professional development that she delivers by offering a variety of online, blended, and face-to-face classes.

Daniel Gagnon, Social Studies Department Chair,Cherokee High School Daniel Gagnon (@gagnonthree) is the social studies department chair at Cherokee High School.He also conducts professional development courses on Moodle and the blended/flipped classroom model, and teaches AP World History and AP Economics courses, all of which use a blended/flipped model. Gagnon is currently pursuing his Ed.D in instructional technology at Kennesaw State University.He has presented at GaETC, METC, Tech & Learning: Atlanta, and most recently at the Sloan Consortium 10th Annual Blended Learning Conference.

Eva Harvell, Technology Integration Specialist,Pascagoula School District, MS Eva Harvell (@techie_teach) has worked in education for 12 years, as an elementary teacher for seven years and technology integration specialist for the last five years. She enjoys working with K-12 educators on ways to integrate technology resources into daily classroom activities.Through the use of Twitter, regional conferences, and her blog, Harvell is able to work with K-12 educators within the Pascagoula School District and around the US. As one of this year’s Tech & Learning Leader of the Year recipients, she is excited to continue to spread her passion for technology integration.

Dr. Ley Hathcock, Assistant Principal & Teacher, North Hall High School Dr. Ley Hathcock (@drhathcock) was a scientist, engineer and entrepreneur for 20 years prior to entering the world of education.With his colleagues at the DaVinci Academy middle school (Hall County Schools), he developed and applied innovative teaching strategies for math and pre-engineering in a technology-rich, integrated curriculum environment. He currently serves as a high school assistant principal, teacher, and director of the new STEM Academy at North Hall High School.He is actively engaged in developing an integrated STEM curriculum that fosters a Maker-space-like environment within the academy.A Maker at heart, Hathcock is active in local Maker communities, and on most weekends can be found with his students in a lab or random parking lot amongst a curious collection of robot parts, biology equipment, computers, metalworking tools, electric guitars and pizza boxes.

Gail Holmes, Educator on Loan,North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Gail Holmes (@ghholmes) has been in public education for 35 years. She has taught grades 6-12, led CTE courses for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools, and worked as a technology facilitator, an instructional technology coach, an adjunct professor at UNC- Greensboro in the department of Library Science and, presently, as an Educator-on-Loan for NCDPI’s Digital Teaching and Learning Division. She is a 2011 Kenan Fellow. Her project, “E-Teacher Training: 21st Century Training for the Classroom," focused on integrating technology into the curriculum to empower students and provide teachers with resources to enhance learning and promote 21st century teaching. Holmes co-authored the journal article “The Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development: Teaching Students to Think Outside the Book,“ published in the International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society. She is an Intel Teach senior trainer for North Carolina.

Melissa Jackson, Instructional Technology Coordinator,Newton County Schools Melissa Jackson(@Ed_Tech_Teacher) has been in education for 15 years. Prior to assuming her current position, she was a middle school classroom teacher and technology teacher leader. She was privileged to lead one of the most productive technology support teams in the county under the guidance of Dr. Gary Shattuck, director of technology. She now works with each of the technology teacher leaders to assist them in building strong support teams that will assist teachers in embedding technology into the classroom curriculum and building engaging lessons in order to reach every student.

David Lockhart, Teacher, North Atlanta High School For the past three years David Lockhart (@ld112265) has been serving as a social studies teacher at North Atlanta High School, where he works to infuse his classroom with technology. Lockhart shares his love of education technology with educators through a multitude of avenues. He has presented at education technology conferences throughout the southeast including the Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama Education Technology Conferences. He also connects with educators through his siteedtechspeeddating.com and his twitter handle.

William Mansfield, Creative Communications Director,iSchool Initiative
While speaking at conferences across the country, William Mansfield’s passion for merging science & math with creativity changes the mindset of educators and students alike. He is a student at Kennesaw State University, majoring in organized communication, and will also finish with a teaching certificate. Mansfield plays a major role in helping teachers return to their first passion. In his spare time he is a musician, writer, spoken word artist, outdoorsman, minister, and most importantly a lifelong learner.

Kate Matthews, Lead District Instructional Technology Specialist,Fayette County Schools
Kate Matthews (@GaTechTeach) is a 23-year veteran educator with 16 years of educational technology experience. Surrounded by a fantastic team, she is currently providing staff development in her district to prepare teachers for an ongoing system-wide implementation of BYOT. Using a flipped professional development model, Matthews is passionate about guiding teachers on the journey to effective technology integration and finding (free!) resources that accommodate individual learning styles aligned with the pedagogy of today's students. Evangelist of the limitless resources available to teachers via PLNs, she co-hosts EduVue, a monthly video webcast via Google Hangouts, featuring ed tech leaders from across the country. (Also look for these educational technology leaders on Twitter #EduVue @GaTechTeach.)

Max Monroe, Assistant Principal, Pickens High School, SC
Max Monroe (@maxmonroephs) is a native of South Carolina and graduate of Clemson University. He currently is assistant principal at Pickens High School where he works with juniors and seniors and oversees graduation, class day, Baccalaureate, school safety, and technology programs. As somebody who has been involved in instructional technology from its earliest days in education, Monroe has been a user, trainer, developer, and advocate for technology in schools. Digital Media, MS Office, use of technology to support writing, and usage of Google Apps for administrators and teachers are among his areas of interest. He is an avid follower of the development of future technology and its impact on society, education, and business.

Jeff Morrison, Director of Technology and Media Studies, Trinity School.
Since his hiring at Trinity in April 2011 Jeff Morrison has initiated and managed the shift from PC to Apple computers for all academic components of the school, the virtualization and development of new Cisco UCS server environment, and the rollout of a Shortel VoIP System. In addition, he created Trinity’s first Blackbaud Database Administrator and Network Support Specialist positions while re-aligning the processes and procedures to support new systems. Upon his hiring Trinity had a total of 6 Apple Devices; today it has 380 Apple Laptops (1:1 in grades 5 and 6) and 280 iPads on campus. Morrison currently holds professional teaching certifications in 13 different content areas in the State of Georgia and is a PhD. candidate in Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. In addition to his role at Trinity, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Bagwell College of Education’s Instructional Technology and Educational Leadership Graduate Program at Kennesaw State University and sits on the Board of Directors for the Mid-South Independent School Business Association (MISBO).

Kari Nguyen, Teacher, Fayette County Schools
Kari Nguyen is from Sharpsburg, Georgia and graduated with summa cum laude honors from West Georgia while earning her elementary teaching degree.Currently, she is earning her master’s degree in elementary mathematics from Walden University.Having taught third grade for six years, she has been able to incorporate her love of technology to enhance the learning of her students.She seeks to prove that young students can effectively navigate and manage technology in the classroom, and through it, increase their motivation and engagement. Nguyen is constantly thinking of new and exciting ways technology can be used to enrich her students’ learning, especially through project-based learning experiences and the utilization of 21st century skills (collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity).Through this, she is able to focus on personalized learning experiences for all students.

Adam Phyall, Director of Instructional Technology, Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City, MO
Since Adam Phyall (@askadam3) got his first laptop in college, he has been hooked on the amazing things that technology can add do. He began his career as a science teacher and quickly saw the power technology had on classroom instruction. Very early on, he began having students create videos and podcasts to explain advanced science concepts and led professional development sessions focusing on how teachers could keep students engaged with technology.He served with the Newton County School System as the technical data facilitator, working with the district’s Title I schools to improve technology integration with economically disadvantaged students. In his current position in Kansas City, MO, he works directly with teachers showing them fun and easy methods of incorporating technology into instruction. Over the years, Phyall has been a featured presenter at technology conferences across the country and is known for his fun and engaging presentation style and his humor.His philosophy on teaching is “if you’re having fun teaching it, then your students will have fun learning it.”

Amy Pruitt, STEM Mobile Classroom Teacher,Rowan-Salisbury School System, NC
Amy Pruitt (@actpruitt) has served students in the Rowan-Salisbury School System in Salisbury, North Carolina for 23 years at both the elementary and middle levels. She is a 21st Century Model Classroom teacher, holds National Board Certification in Early Adolescent/English Language Arts, has a Master's degree in Elementary Education, and is licensed in Academically Gifted education. She has spent the majority of her career in a co-teaching model for children with exceptionalities. In the 2012-2013 school year she began serving as the STEM Mobile Classroom teacher aboard the STEM Exploration Lab which serves K-5 students in the Rowan-Salisbury School System. Previous presentation venues include the North Carolina Middle School Conference, ISTE, Mobile Learning Conference, TechForum Atlanta, CUE and NCTIES. Pruitt enjoys infusing mobile technology with real world applications across the curriculum.

Mindy Ramon, Instructional Technology Training Support Coordinator,Fulton County Schools
Mindy Ramon (@fultonitdept) has worked in the field of instructional technology for over seventeen years. As instructional technology training support coordinator for Fulton County Schools, she coordinates professional development for school technology specialists, media specialists, curriculum department leaders, administrators, and teachers in support of the district’s strategic goal to ensure student access to technologies that support innovative instruction. Previously she worked in the Cobb County School District as a technology integration specialist.

Dr. Karen Reiss Medwed, Faculty Member, Northeastern University
Dr. Karen Reiss Medwed (@DRKGRM) is a faculty member at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program, and serves as lead faculty of the Network and Affinity Innovation Community Task Force. Her academic teaching and research focuses on educational leadership for the 21st century. Her areas of research emerge from the field of curriculum and instruction, teaching and learning, and include investigation in the use of Web 2.0 tools in the K-12 school setting and best practices in Online Instruction, all from within the understandings of TPCK.She has presented her work at conferences for the AACE and at the Network for Research in Jewish Education.

Arvin Ross, Director of Professional Development, iSchool Initiative
Arvin Ross (@ArvinCBRoss) is the director of professional development for iSchool Initiative and a junior at Kennesaw State University. Overcoming a broken home and a background of drugs, fighting, and gang life, his words carry the weight of experience. Arvin has been a key force in iSchool Initiative since its early beginnings, spreading a message of mobile learning and creativity in the classroom. Speaking at conferences, seminars, and workshops, he has the ability to awaken in others their potential hidden deep inside. “The future of education is here, but it is locked inside our imaginations. My mission is to set it free.”

Aaryn Schmuhl, Assistant Superintendent, Henry County Schools
Aaryn Schmuhl (@aschmuhl) began his teaching career at Henry County Middle School in McDonough, GA.He was a member of the inaugural staff at Luella Middle School in 2000 and taught 7th grade while coaching wrestling.He helped open Luella Elementary School as its assistant principal before returning to Luella Middle School as principal from the 2005-2006 school year until 2011, when he accepted his new role as assistant superintendent of learning & leadership services.As Luella Middle School principal, he worked with the dedicated teachers and staff to move the school off the Needs Improvement List in 2008-2009. An advocate for blended learning for nearly a decade, he has worked to help lead the movement toward personalized learning in Henry County Schools over the past three years.

Randy Smith, Teacher, Darlington School
Randy Smith is a sixth- and seventh-grade science teacher at Darlington School in Rome, GA, where he also coaches middle school wrestling, football and soccer. He has over 22 years of experience in the classroom. A member of NSTA, Smith is a recipient of Darlington's Brown Faculty Award and a co-recipient of the 2012 Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award. He has recently has been named chairman of the ELA-8 Director Search Committee.He was also selected to present at the 2013 iSummit Technology Conference and 2013 Annual GISA Conferences, encouraging the integration of technology in the classroom. He is an avid user of Quia, YouTube, Prezi, iMovie, CK12 Flexbooks, and QuickTime screen recording.

Mike Speer, Technology Director, Berkeley Preparatory School, Tampa, FL
Mike Speer (@speermik) is the technology director at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Florida. In 2000 he oversaw the launch of Berkeley’s one-to-one, which put notebook computers in the hands of students starting in grade four. This year he initiated a program to transition Berkeley’s lower division from notebooks to iPads. For more than three decades, Speer has taught economics, government, and debate, all the while being an advocate for innovative, student-centered teaching.

Amanda Stavropoulos, Global Learning and Technology Coordinator, K-4, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Amanda Stavropoulos (@stavrofamily) is first and foremost a learner. Every day that she is able to learn something new, she considers it a blessed day. A 12-year educator with a specialist degree in Media and Instructional Technology, she has led the Media Center at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School for the past eight years. She fosters a love of books, strengthens creative minds, and applauds brave choices. As the Global Learning and Technology Coordinator, Stavropoulos launched an iPad initiative that began with borrowing other teachers’ iPhones for small groups and grew into 55 iPads for K-4. She also leads workshops with parents and students about Web 2.0 tools and Digital Citizenship. She has presented at many conferences and recently received a grant from the Captain Planet Foundation to create a bird sanctuary on MVPS’s campus. Outside of the techy world, she enjoys writing and directing plays for her students to perform and coaches middle school cheerleading.

Donna Teuber, Team Leader for Technology Integration, Richland School District Two, Columbia, SC
Donna Teuber (@dteuber) heads up the team behind the Richland Two 1:1 computing initiative. Richland Two is a Project RED Signature District with 1:1 computing in grades 3-12, impacting 21,000 students.The first phase rolled out in January of 2012 and Richland Two is currently seeing positive results from the initiative. Teuber has created a Technology Leadership program that provides school administrators with the tools to lead the initiative at their schools. She is also leading the R2 Innovates! innovation incubator, which is providing teams of teachers with the training and resources that they need to implement innovative practices in Richland Two.A former library media specialist and technology integration specialist, she serves on the SC EdTech Planning Committee and the SC Virtual Library Database Selection Committee as well as being a National Board Certified Teacher, DEN Star, Google Certified Teacher, and Google Apps for EDU Certified Trainer. She presents frequently at state and national conferences on innovative educational uses of technology including digital content, and 1:1 deployment.

Dr. Aaron Turpin, Executive Director of Technology, Hall County Schools
Before assuming his current position, Dr. Aaron Turpin taught grades 5-12 as well as being a middle and elementary school principal. His efforts are focused around providing asynchronous blended learning and working environments for the 27,000 students and 2.000 teachers of Hall County. Recently, he was named one of the top 40 innovators in education by the Center for Digital Education.

Connie White, Director of Technology & Learning, Lakeview Academy
Connie White (cwhitetech) has served as the Director of Technology and Learning at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, GA, for the past 13 years and is the visionary of the academy's highly respected 1 to 1 program. A former high school physics, chemistry and math teacher, she has specialized in start-up technology initiatives, curriculum mapping, brain-based strategies, strategic planning, laptop integration, and digital literacy since 1995.White has conducted hundreds of workshops & seminars throughout the country and internationally. She is the current President of AATE, which is an ISTE Affiliate, and has served on the PSC (Professional Standards Commission) in the area of Instructional Technology for the state of Georgia. She is a Google Certified Teacher, a Paul Harris Fellow and writes the education column for Southern Distinction magazine.

Hoke Wilcox, Director of Instructional Technology, Fulton County Schools

Dr. Brent Williams, Director, iTeach Center, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Brent Williams is the director of the Kennesaw State University iTeach Center. His high-performance team is on a mission to help teachers and students achieve their best possible future through the use of advanced educational technologies. They do this by guiding teachers to become comfortable with handheld devices, tablet devices, emerging technologies, and with a new role as a classroom advocate for learning.Williams has over 30 years of experience in private and public sector technology analysis, management, and training. Ranked as one of the best of the best speakers by ISTE, Williams presents and conducts workshops nationally on a wide range of topics including wireless mobile devices, computer forensics, wireless network management, operating systems, unusual technologies and much more. He can be reached viawww.iteachcenter.org and brent@kennesaw.edu .