Speakers: Tech Forum Boston 2012

Speakers: Tech Forum Boston 2012

Keynote Speaker

CHRIS DEDE, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Professor Chris Dede’s fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership.His current research includes seven grants from NSF, Qualcomm, the Gates Foundation, and the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences to explore immersive simulations and transformed social interactions as means of student engagement, learning, and assessment.In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. Dede has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. He is the co-editor of several books including Digital Teaching Platforms, which will be published by Teachers College Press later this year.


Tech Forum is well known for its great speakers, attendees and networking opportunities.The following team members will be presenting:

Tony Baldasaro, Chief Human Resource Officer, Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, NH In addition to serving as chief human resource officer at theVirtual Learning Academy Charter School, Tony Baldasaro is a community leader forPowerful Learning Practice community. He is passionate about learning in a socially interactive manner, engaging students in dynamic student-centric classrooms, evolving as a learning leader, and the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. He writes and thinks with the following assumptions: 1.All have the capacity to learn beyond the levels artificially set by the institution of school. 2.In schools, time and resources need to be the variables, not expectations. 3.Collective intelligence is more powerful than singular. 4.We need to prepare our students for a collaborative world, not a competitive one. 5.We are at the beginning of a revolution. 6.Failure should be celebrated, provided that it is unique. 7.Listening is more important than talking. 8.Sometimes in order to lead, one has to follow. 9.In order to learn, vulnerabilities need to be shared.

Alice Barr, Instructional Technology Integrator, Yarmouth High School, ME Alice Barr has lived, taught, and traveled on five continents and now resides in Maine. She is currently the instructional technology integrator at Yarmouth High School supporting students and teachers in their uses of technology in a 1:1 laptop environment. A semi-finalist for the 2011 Maine Teacher of the Year, Barr is also a Google Certified Teacher, teaches technology education classes at The University of Southern Maine, and is one third of the Seedlings Team. She blogs at alicebarr.com and is @alicebarr on Twitter.

Mark Burkholz, Director of Technology, Lawrence Academy, Groton, MA Mark Burkholz has been director of technology at Lawrence Academy, a 9-12 independent school in Groton, MA, since 1992. He has overseen the computer revolution at Lawrence Academy where he has been instrumental in the installation of all hardware and software and, most importantly, the integration of technology throughout the curriculum. He has made several presentations over the years at the Christa McCauliffe Technology Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire. A former teacher in the New York City Public Schools (1974–84), where he taught computer mathematics courses with the original IBM PC and Apple IIe computers, and software engineer at AT&T’s Bell Labs (1984–91), Burkholz currently teaches AP computer science and mathematics. Recently he has been leading the math department in the introduction of the flipped classroom approach to the teaching of mathematics. His passion is the integration of 21st century technology into the curriculum. He believes that the flipped classroom approach has the potential to dramatically change the way teachers and students interact in the classroom.

Dan Callahan, Technology Integration Specialist, Burlington Public Schools, MA Dan Callahan is an instructional technology specialist at Pine Glen Elementary School for Burlington Public Schools. He previously taught special education at Drexel Hill Middle School for Upper Darby School District, PA. In 2010, he co-founded the Edcamp series of educational unconferences by working with a team of public and private educators to organize Edcamp Philly. Callahan is now honored to serve as the chairman of the board of directors for the Edcamp Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting local educators bring free, democratic professional development to their communities. He actively shares online at his blog http://dancallahan.net and on Twitter as @dancallahan.

Kim Carter, Executive Director, QED Foundation, NH With 35 years of experience in education, Kim Carter has taught pre-K through graduate school, and provided training, coaching, and facilitation for administrators, teachers, parents, community partners, and youth in the U.S. and the U.K. A 1991 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and 1996 New Hampshire Media Educator of the Year, she served on the NH Professional Standards Board from 1992–1995, was a contributing editor for Technology and Learning magazine for eight years, and has been a national facilitator for the School Reform Initiative (previously NSRF) for 15 years. Carter has been actively involved in local, state, and national education reform efforts for over two decades. She was one of the five-member planning team that designed and opened award-winning Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH, where she was director of information and technology services for eleven years. She then founded Monadnock Community Connections School (MC2), a competency-based high school of choice, serving as director and founding principal for seven years. She consulted on the founding of the Five Freedoms Project, and was executive director from January, 2009, until its December, 2009, merger with QED Foundation – a multigenerational organization of adults and youth working together to create and sustain student-centered learning communities.

Steve Collis, Director of Innovation, Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning, Australia Steve Collis is director of innovation at the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL), which has grown out of innovation at Northern Beaches Christian School. The school has received international attention for its sophisticated and innovative use of physical and virtual space to nurture a student-centered learning culture. Collis spends time mentoring teachers and piloting learning initiatives that exploit the impact of technology as a game-changer in education. Read more at www.happysteve.com or follow him on Twitter @steve_collis.

Dr. Eric Conti, Superintendent of Schools, Burlington Schools, MA After graduating from Brown University, Eric Conti worked for AT&T for five years.From the corporate world he went back to Brown for his Masters degree in teaching science.As a seventh grade science teacher in East Greenwich, RI, he was nominated for the Sallie Mae first year teacher’s award.Conti attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison and worked for the consortium for policy research in education while earning his doctorate.Wisconsin led to an assistant superintendent’s position for the Manchester Essex regional school district in Massachusetts, followed by an assistant superintendent position in Culpeper County, Virginia.Conti’s current position as superintendent of the Burlington Public Schools is where all that he has learned along his many stops is being put to good use.

Melissa Dodd, Chief Information Officer, Boston Public Schools As CIO for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), Melissa Dodd is charged with spearheading strategic academic and operational technology initiatives aligned to Boston’s Acceleration Agenda, its five-year education plan. She leads a team of talented professionals to deliver a technology vision and foundation that empowers students in learning everywhere and prepares them for college and career success in the 21st century.Dodd has worked for the BPS since 2003, conducting technology project management, strategic planning, and professional development; and has led major district initiatives including Laptops for Learning, which provide a state-of-the-art laptop and suite of instructional software for every BPS teacher, and the district’s implementation of a new student information system. Prior to joining BPS, she worked at Tufts and Harvard universities managing academic programs and designing online communities of practice. Dodd has presented nationally on the role of technology and online communities in supporting teaching and learning and published on the use of digital simulations to teach problem-solving in the social sciences.

Dr. Cathy Higgins, Director of Technology, Contoocook Valley Regional School District, NH Cathy Higgins is the director of technology for the Contoocook Valley Regional School District (more commonly known as ConVal) which includes eleven schools serving nine towns in southwestern New Hampshire. Prior to joining the ConVal administrative team in the fall of 2011, she served for 14 years as the state educational technology director at the New Hampshire Department of Education. As a policymaker and federal grants manager at the state level, she was responsible for a wide range of issues related to educational technology and library media programs. As a school district administrator, she is now responsible for managing the work of teams of librarians, technology integrators, network managers, and technology support staff as the district transitions its increasingly complex technology and information literacy system into an effective and digitally rich learning environment. She has also served as a board member of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), ISTE SIG for Mobile Learning (SIGML), and as board liaison of the ISTE affiliate in New Hampshire (NHSTE) and the NH School Library Media Association (NHSLMA).

John Holland, Technology Director, Timberlane Regional School District, NH John Holland is the technology director for New Hampshire's Timberlane Regional School District, which serves the towns of Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow, and Sandown. He chairs the district's technology committee and is a regular participant at district leadership committee meetings. He has also been a presenter at the recent Christa McAuliffe Technology Conferences. Holland's current focus is on exploring ways to use emerging technologies to enhance student learning, and applying technology resources to help students foster critical 21st Century Skills.

David Jakes, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Glenbrook South, Glenbrook, IL David Jakes has spent 25 years in education as a teacher, staff developer, and technology coordinator. During this time he has witnessed firsthand the changes in education that educational technology has empowered. Jakes shares this knowledge as a frequent speaker at technology conferences across the United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Asia. His interests in educational technology include digital storytelling, developing online curriculum, learning management systems, and developing online communities of learning through blogging, wikis and RSS technologies. He currently maintains a web site (JakesOnline.org), a blog (The Strength of Weak Ties) and a variety of other resources dedicated to improving the use of technology in education.

Patrick Larkin, Principal, Burlington High School, MA Patrick Larkin is in his 15th year as a high school administrator and eighth as a building principal. Prior to that he was a high school English teacher. As an assistant principal, Larkin was named Assistant Principal of the Year in the state of Massachusetts. He also is a former executive board member in the Massachusetts Secondary Schools Administrators Association (MSSAA) and he recently completed a two-year term as a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Public Secondary Schools. He is an avid blogger and a proponent of social media to better engage teachers, students, and parents in the education process.

Grace Magley, Educational Technology Director, Millis Public Schools Grace Magley is an educational leader with a strong history in technology integration and staff professional development. Her passion is working with educators to implement rich, technology infused, blended one-to-one learning environments and research based best practices to achieve success for K-12 teachers and their students. In addition to serving as educational technology director for the Millis Public Schools, she is a blended learning specialist for the ACCEPT Education Collaborative.

Justin Reich, Co-Director, EdTechTeacher Justin Reich co-directs EdTechTeacher and is the author of Best Ideas for Teaching with Technology: A Practical Guide for Teachers by Teachers. A doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, he is also the founder and project manager of the Digital Collaborative Learning Communities Project funded by the Hewlett Foundation. Reich conducts statistical research on usage statistics drawn from over 175,000 educational wikis, and he has conducted observational research in schools and classrooms in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Virginia, Georgia, and California. He has written a variety of publications on education technology integration, is co-webmaster of Best of History Web Sites and co-director of The Center for Teaching History with Technology. He maintains his academic profile, research, and work in progress at EdTechResearcher.org.

Shawn Rubin, Director of Technology Integration, Highlander Institute, Providence, RI Shawn Rubin began his education career as a founding faculty member of the Highlander Charter School, in Providence, RI, and currently serves as the director of technology integration at the Highlander Institute. He oversees the institute’s new Touch Technology professional development programs throughout New England. He is also the co-founder of an international non-profit called Longitude and CEO of Metryx, a start-up mobile software company that is building flexible assessment tools for teachers to use on tablets and smartphones.

Annamaria Schrimpf, Director of Educational Technology, Winchester Public Schools, MA Annamaria Schrimpf, director of educational technology for the Winchester Public Schools, served for two terms as president of MassCUE and is currently a board member. She is also a founding board member of the Massachusetts Educational Technology Administrators Association (METAA), president-elect of the New England International Society of Technology in Education (NEISTE), cochair of Educational Technology Advisory Committee for the DESE, and founding board member of the Global Technology and Engineering Consortium (GTEC). Schrimpf received ISTE’s Making It Happen award in 2009. Her prior professional contributions include serving as a board member of the Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative (CITI), a feature writer for OnCUE, and a planning committee member and Wingspread facilitator for past STEM Summits.

Cathy Swan, Technology Integration Teacher, New Canaan Public Schools, CT Cathy Swan has been the technology integration teacher at New Canaan High School since the program's 2002 inception, collaborating with classroom teachers to integrate technology into the existing curriculum and conducting training as needed for staff and students. Before that, she taught French and Spanish for nine years. Swan is a Google certified teacher and a member of the district ICT team awarded honorable mentions in both the COSN Team Award 2010 and ISTE's Sylvia Charp Award for District Innovation in Technology, 2010. Since 2005, Swan has held a position on the board of the Connecticut Educators Computer Association (CECA). She has served on the New Canaan Public Schools Professional Development Team for the past decade, where she is responsible for the planning and implementation of high school professional learning days and events throughout the school year. She is a member of the National Staff Development Council's Academy XVI. She has presented at various CT and NY districts, as well as at the Tech Forum, CoSN and CECA conferences on the topic of Web 2.0 technologies in education. Swan's program and district were featured in a 2010 Intel Blueprint publication as well as the 2010 CoSN Compendium.

Jean Tower, Director of Technology, Northborough and Southborough Public Schools, MA Jean Tower currently serves as the director of technology for the public schools of Northborough and Southborough. Her primary interest is in effective integration of technology in the curriculum and in creating the essential conditions to enable that to happen. Tower serves as a board member of CoSN (www.cosn.org), board member of MassCUE, and president of the board of the Massachusetts Educational Technology Administrators Association (METAA -- http://techdirectors.org). She writes a blog (http://K12EduBuzz.com) about technology and education.

Julie York, Teacher and Webmaster, South Portland High School, ME Julie York works at South Portland High School in South Portland, Maine, as a teacher in the Career Preparation department, as well as the school webmaster and the educational access channel director. In her ten years working for the district, she has been a leader and advocate for technology both in and outside of the classroom. Technology-related curriculums she has developed from scratch include: web page design, flash programming, media literacy, graphic design, and tech team.