Speakers: Tech Forum Chicago 2013

Speakers: Tech Forum Chicago 2013

Keynote Speaker

DR. YONG ZHAO, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, University of Oregon, College of Education

Dr. Yong Zhao is an internationally known scholar, author, and speaker. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has designed schools that cultivate global competence, developed computer games for language learning, and founded research and development institutions to explore innovative education models. He has published over 100 articles and 20 books, including Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization and World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students. He is a recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association and was named one of the 2012 10 most influential people in educational technology by Tech & Learning magazine He is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education.

Zhao currently serves as the presidential chair and associate dean for global education at the University of Oregon, where he is also Weinman Professor of Technology and a professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Until December, 2010, he was a University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. Born in China’s Sichuan Province, Zhao received his B.A. in English Language Education from Sichuan Institute and taught English in China for six years before coming to the United States as a visiting scholar in 1992 and then going on to earn an A.M. and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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

Jonathan Bergmann, Lead Technology Facilitator, Joseph Sears School, Kennilworth, IL
Jon Bergmann, considered one of the pioneers in the Flipped Class Movement, co-wrote the book on the Flipped Classroom and is a co-founder of the Flipped Learning Network (flippedearning.org), a nonprofit organization that provides teachers the resources needed to implement flipped learning. He believes educators should ask one guiding question: What is best for my students in my classroom? To the best of his abilities he has done this in his 24 years as a high school science teacher. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching in 2002 and was named Semi-Finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year in 2010.

Ryan Bretag, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Glenbrook North High School, IL
Ryan Bretag has spent more than 12 years in education, both as a secondary English educator and now as an administrator at Glenbrook North High School where he focuses on innovation in learning and teaching, professional development, technology infusion, and whole-child education. He has presented and facilitated workshops at local, state, and national levels with a focus on leading, learning and teaching. The common thread in his talks is that the most important conversation we can be having today in schools centers on learning, happiness, and passion. Bretag is currently completing his dissertation in Educational Leadership with a focus on the ethnography of spaces people inhabit for learning and a comparative case study of the design, implementation, and impact of physical learning spaces in schools using an environmental psychology lens.

Carol Broos, Technology Coordinator, Golden Apple Foundation
After 33 years as a K-8 general music teacher in Illinois, Carol Broos retired from the classroom and currently works for the Golden Apple Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois, especially in schools of need. She is a 2008 Fellow and Chair of the Academy of Fellows. Her passion is integrating the arts with technology and sharing with others online. Broos has presented across the country and her presentation materials can be found on musictechie.pbworks.com. She is the moderator for the bi-monthly podcast aRTs Roundtable on edreach.us. She was the 2008 Illinois Music Teacher of the Year, 2008 Google Teacher Academy Educator, and 2009 Apple Distinguished Educator. Her blog, www.beatechie.com, is where she discusses music and technology, with her 21st century music curriculum curriculum located at beatechie.pbworks.com. Finally, her “innovate and create” website using transliteracy can be found at www.carolbroos.com

Charlene Chausis, Creativity and Innovation Specialist for Mobile Technology, Aptakisic-Tripp District 102, IL
In her current role at the Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 in Buffalo Grove, IL, Charlene Chausis supports junior high school teachers and students participating in the district’s 1:1 iPad program. For more than 16 years she served as the technology training and integration manager at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. She is passionate about the integration of technology in education, and publishes an education blog promoting the learning of adults in schools. She also has a keen interest in the future of digital publishing, and has provided presentations, workshops and seminars on techniques for creating digital publications. Chausis is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Google Certified Teacher, and on the executive boards for the Illinois Computing Educators and Northern Illinois Computing Educators (NICE). For more information, visit her “Future of the Book” blog at http://futureofthebook.blogspot.com/or check out http://charlenechausis.com.

Ashley Coblentz, Bilingual Teacher, Madison Metropolitan School District, WI
Third grade bilingual teacher, Ashley Coblentz, is in her sixth year of teaching at Sandburg Elementary School in Madison, WI. She began her teaching career in 2008 as a kindergarten teacher in a developmental bilingual program and then transitioned to a multi-age second and third grade classroom. Last year as part of a dual language immersion instructional team, she won an iPad educational grant awarded by Apple and a cohort of Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) administrators.This grant converted three classrooms into 1:1 iPad environments. Her teaching practice now incorporates technology into all content areas and has helped her students learn in transformational ways while addressing Common Core State Standards and World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Standards.Coblentz is a collaborative instructional technology leader in the MMSD and is looking forward to sharing her transformational practices at Tech Forum Chicago.

Rico D'Amore, Director of Educational Technology, Warren Township High School, Gurnee, IL
Rico D'Amore is the director of educational technology at Warren Township High School, one of the largest high school districts in Illinois. His work over the past year includes the planning and implementation of the high school’s new Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative and the staff professional development that is associated with this new policy. Approximately 3000 students access the district wireless network daily, on their personal devices, for school-related activities.

Allison Drew, Teacher, Joseph Sears School, Kenilworth, IL
Allison Drew teaches kindergarten through eighth grade Spanish, at Joseph Sears School, in Kenilworth, Illinois. Since she teaches students at all ability levels in the same classroom, technology allows her to reach a greater audience of learners. Her students in middle school use Haiku LMS to find their weekly syllabi and videos, take practice assessments and tests and communicate with each other. Her videos pre-teach grammar, prepare for more intricate lessons and allow students to review basic concepts. Drew's students also enjoy using polleverywhere.com because it allows them to express themselves, while everybody looks at their grammar without knowing who made which mistakes. For younger students, video is helpful in presentations, and her iPad makes it simple to be spontaneous in this pursuit. Her students also use quizlet,com to help with vocabulary acquisition.

Chris Geocaris, Assistant Directorof Educational Technology, Warren Township High School District 121, Gurnee, IL
In his current role as assistant director of educational technology for Warren Township High School District 121 in Gurnee, IL, Chris Geocaris focuses on training teachers in technology integration, maintaining network infrastructure to support district technology initiatives, and overseeing Warren’s 1:1 iPad Program. Prior to holding his current position, he spent nine years in the district as a math teacher and department chair. Geocaris has presented at local, regional, and state levels focusing on integrating technology in the classroom, utilizing Web 2.0 products as instructional tools, implementing BYOD policies, and creating meaningful professional development opportunities for teachers.

Brian Gervase, Math Teacher, Downers Grove North HS
Brian Gervase has been teaching mathematics from the front edge of technology for nearly 20 years. The past five years have been spent developing and fine tuning a blended flipped classroom as well as a flipped-mastery classroom. He believes the question, “What is the best use of classroom time with students?” serves as a spring board for unlimited ways teachers can use technology to find ways to work one-on-one with their students on a daily basis while still moving the whole class along. When not working with mathematics Gervase enjoys coaching boys and girls soccer, playing soccer and being outdoors.

Michael Gorman, Professional Development Director of 1:1 and Digital Learning, Southwest Allen County Schools, IN
Michael Gorman oversees a 1:1 laptop program and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne. He is also on the national faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute), an adviser for Tech & Learning magazine, and a consultant and professional developer for several other organizations. His awards have included: District Teacher of the Year, Indiana state Teacher of the Year semi-finalist, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year, Advocate for Johns Hopkins University, and Microsoft Global Education Hero. He was recently included in the book “Who Owns The Learning” by Alan November. Gorman maintains an award-winning 21centuryedtech blog (21centuryedtech.wordpress.com) and also posts articles at T&L and November Learning. He is a current vice-president for SIGOL (ISTE) and the communication chair for ICE in Indiana. Most of all, he continues to advocate for teachers and students while concentrating efforts at transforming education and bringing 21st Century Skills to every classroom.

R.J. Gravel, Director of Instructional Technology, Johnsburg School District 12, IN
A native of the suburbs of Chicago, R.J. Gravel has worked in the field of instructional technology and education management since 2006. He currently is a candidate for the Doctor of Education degree in Instructional Technology at Northern Illinois University, completing his dissertation on the effects of professional development when applying the TPACK theoretical framework. He is an adjunct instructor at several higher education instituions and an advocate across the state for effective and efficient technology integration in PreK-12 classrooms. Prior to assuming his current job in 2010, Gravel worked for several years with the Arch Diocese of Chicago as a technology coordinator and director of liturgical music and technology.

Elizabeth Greene, Technology Integration Specialist, Northbrook, IL
Elizabeth Greene started her career as a primary grade teacher and somehow found her way into technology. It was a perfect match. She loves bringing new ideas into the classroom that allow students to be engaged and use their creativity.

David Jakes, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Glenbrook South High School, IL
David Jakes has spent the past 30 years in education as a teacher, staff developer, and technology coordinator. In those years he has witnessed first-hand the changes in education that educational technology has empowered. Jakes shares this knowledge as a frequent speaker at technology conferences across the United States, and has spoken in Canada, Europe, and China. His interests in educational technology include design thinking, digital storytelling, mobile learning, and the development of spaces for learning. He currently maintains aweb site, a blog (The Strength of Weak Ties), and a variety of other resources including David Jakes Presentation Resources (jakes.editme.com), dedicated to improving the use of technology in education.

Phill Klamm, Principal, Edgerton Middle School, WI
Phill Klamm is a first-year principal at Edgerton Middle School, where they have recently rolled out a 1:1 iPad program for all 6-8th graders. In addition, he has helped lead the Edgerton School District with one-to-one programs in 3rd and 9th grade classrooms and iPad sets for elementary classrooms. Formerly, Klamm was an alternative program (At-Risk) teacher at Edgerton High School, an elementary physical education teacher, and a wrestling coach at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He loves to learn about educational theory, technology, and poverty alleviation in developing countries. He can be found online at www.MrKlamm.com on Twitter @PhillKlamm or on Facebook at www.fb.com/EdgertonMiddleSchool.

Andrew Kohl, Director of Educational Technology, Northbrook/Glenview School District 30, IL
A passionate educator and lifelong learner, Andy Kohl has worked with students in grades K-12, as well as at the university level, always striving to integrate technology in as authentic a manner as possible. In District 30, he and his team have worked to build a dynamic and open digital learning platform for students and teachers. This platform has become the basis for curriculum reviews, staff development and the launch of instructional initiatives, most recently a 1:1 program.

Philip Lacey, Director of Instructional Technology, District 219, Skokie, IL
An advocate of Open Education Resources (OER) as a sustainable approach to education, Philip Lacey works closely with classroom instructors to develop and integrate dynamic resources into their curriculum in order to provide a student centered, 21st century learning environment. He has developed and taught a series of courses for instructors addressing the use the use of Web 2.0 Applications, Moodle and OER to deliver in a 1:1 student device environment. Additionally, Lacey has presented at numerous conferences, served as President for Illinois' ISTE affiliate Illinois Computing Educators (ICE), is a CK-12 Champion, and works with the National Repository of Online Courses.

Jennie Magiera, Digital Learning Coordinator, Academy for Urban School Leadership, Chicago Public Schools
Jennie Magiera is the digital learning coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership(a network of 25 Chicago Public Schools), and previously taught math to 4th and 5th graders. As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher, and Chicago Public School's 2012 Tech Innovator of the Year, Magiera has been working to redefine education through effective technology use. She explores how to leverage 1:1 devices such as Chromebooks and iPads to increase student metacognition, self-efficacy and creativity. You can follow her on Twitter at @MsMagiera or through her blog TeachingLikeIt’s2999.

Candace Marcotte, Technology Facilitator, Springman Middle School, Glenview, IL
Candace Marcotte is a middle school technology facilitator in Glenview District #34. She is certified in elementary education and has additional endorsements in ELA, Integrated Science, and Educational Technology (Tech Specialist in Illinois). Prior to her current position, she taught sixth grade in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and was honored as Teacher of the Year and as a runner up in Tech & Learning's Leader of the Year Program in 2012. She earned her Master of Arts in Educational Technology from Michigan State University.

William Marsland, Music Educator, Stone Scholastic Academy, Chicago Public Schools
William Marsland is a K-8 Music Educator in the Chicago Public Schools. He enjoys the challenge of integrating technology into his music curriculum at Stone Scholastic Academy, a magnet school in the diverse West Rogers Park neighborhood. Marsland is committed to arts and technology integration at his school, where he serves as his school’s arts liaison and works closely with other faculty on the technology team. He has been the recipient of numerous Oppenheimer Family Foundation Awards and Chicago Foundation for Education grants. He is a recent graduate of Michigan State University’s acclaimed Master of Arts in Educational Technology program, and also holds degrees in music education and music theory.

Scott Meech, Director of Technology, Downers Grove District #58, IL
Scott Meech has been in education for 17 years. He earned his masters in education in curriculum and technology in 2005 and his educational leadership certificate at Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with the ISTE in 2010. While he has a myriad of interests, his favorite pastime is studying the impact of technology on education. He believes that education is on the brink of major change and that technology is finally fulfilling its promise. Meech is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher and one of the founders of EdReach.us, AppofApproval.us, and IEAR.org. His home base for more information is SMeech.net.

Jaclyn Moreno, Bilingual Teacher Leader and Librarian, Madison Metropolitan School District, WI
Jaclyn Moreno is a school librarian and bilingual teacher leader for the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Office of Multilingual and Global Education. She holds a MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to assuming her roles at Sandburg Elementary, she taught English as a second language at the high school level. She supports the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) and Developmental Bilingual (DBE) programs at Sandburg Elementary through strengthening collaborative practices, providing professional development and facilitating transformative iPad technology integration. In the summer of 2012, along with three other teammates, she won an iPad educational grant awarded by Apple representatives and a cohort of Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) administrators.This grant converted three DLI and DBE classrooms into one-to-one iPad environments. Her work is driven by a commitment to foster the academic success of bilingual learners.

Kristen Olsen, Instructional Technology Facilitator, Downers Grove Grade School District 58, IL
Kristen Olsen has been teaching for five years, three of them in the elementary classroom and the last two as an instructional technology facilitator. She has a graduate degree in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois.

Jamie Perry, Spanish and Theatre Teacher, Chicago Public Schools
Jamie Perry is a five-time Oppenheimer Family Foundation award winner who has created a rigorous middle school theatre program and directed numerous productions at Stone Scholastic Academy, enabling her students to compete for spots in Chicago's prestigious high school theatre programs. After completing her BA in Theatre from Indiana University, she lived abroad in Spain where she taught adult English language learners. She completed her MAT in foreign language instruction in 2008 and most recently completed her MA in Educational Technology at Michigan State University. She is inspired by flow theory and exploring innovative ways to use technology to encourage and foster creativity in her students.

Daniel Rezac, M.Ed., Technology Integration Specialist, Glenview/Northbrook District 30, IL
Along with his colleague Elizabeth Greene, Daniel Rezac created the Tech Deputies and Tech Avengers program, a student-run technology help organization, that supports student and teachers. Rezac often speaks about Education in the Media, 21st Century Learning Environments, YouTube in the classroom, and the Flipped Classroom. He has made it his focus to give teachers a platform for which they can discuss the critical issues of education, and so he Co-Founded The EdReach Network. You can add to the discussion at EdReach.us

Megan Ryder, Technology Facilitator, Downers Grove District #58, IL
Megan Ryder started her educational career on figure skates, teaching basic skills to skaters of all ages while attending Western Michigan University. After teaching fifth grade for seven years, she joined Downers Grove Grade School District 58 as a technology facilitator. She completed her masters degree in Instructional Technology from Lewis University in 2012.

Kevin Schmitz, K-12 Library Media Specialist, Edgarton School District, WI
Kevin Schmitz has a long history of technology integration, especially at the middle school level. He has presented at WEMTA and worked on a team that created the book "Oh Edgerton, Our Hometown" in 2003 – an alphabet book containing student poetry, prose, and artwork. He has had a major role in Edgerton's Google Apps and iPad 1:1 initiatives, creating instructional videos and iTunes U courses for students and staff. He also incorporates his musical skills into his work, playing guitar, writing songs, and performing with students and staff, some of which are featured on his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/EdgertonLibraryMedia

Kyle Shack, Teacher, Urban Prep Charter Academy, Bronzeville, IL
Kyle Shack is a recent graduate from Michigan State University's Educational Technology overseas M.A. program, completing his degree in July, 2012. He received his B.A. in History with Social Studies RX endorsement and an English minor from Michigan State University and is an enthusiastic Spartan sports fan. Currently, Shack is the World History Instructor for the Urban Prep Academy’s Bronzeville Campus and a member of the Urban Prep Network Technology Committee.

Henry Thiele, Chief Technology Officer, Maine Township High School District 207, IL
Henry (Hank) Thiele is currently the chief technology officer forDistrict 207in Park Ridge, IL. Before taking on this role, he was a technology coordinator and also taught science and music at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, IL. He earned his Doctorate from Roosevelt University in Chicago while investigating the impact online communication can have on learning. Thiele is a Google Certified Teacher, Administrator, and Trainer. He believes that personalization of instruction, assisted by technology, allows students, parents, community, and staff to improve their skills to become adaptable and productive in today's world and into the future.