Speakers: Tech Forum New York 2012

Speakers: Tech Forum New York 2012

Keynote Speaker

PATRICK HIGGINS, Supervisor of Instructional Services for Caldwell/West Caldwell Public Schools, New Jersey

Patrick Higgins, Jr. has been a teacher of English and Social Studies, a technology coordinator, and an administrator at various schools in New Jersey. In his current position he focuses on developing curriculum to meet the needs of today’s students, coordinating professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators, and facilitating change within the school systems. He has presented on topics such as Leadership for Today’s Students, Creating Personal Learning Environments, Writing for Authentic Audiences, and Revitalizing Traditional Learning Environments. He teaches Educational Technology in the Graduate Program at the College of St. Elizabeth in Madison, NJ. His focus within the past year has been on introducing teachers to the disruptive nature of social technology and the pedagogical shifts they bring about. Patrick obtained his B.A. in Anthropology from Syracuse University and his M.A. in Education from St. Peter’s College. He currently writes at Chalkdust101, Edsocialmedia and is a contributor to Tech & Learning magazine.


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

David Andrade, Physics Teacher and Education Technology Specialist, Bridgeport Public Schools, CT Along with blogging and writing for Tech & Learning and teaching physics, David Andrade has his own Edtech blog (educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com), is on the CT Leadership Council for the Discovery Educator Network, and is a professional development trainer and presenter at conferences. His efforts are geared to helping educators learn new and innovative ways to educate students. He facilitates professional development and training in his school and district, as well as sharing resources, tips, ideas, and information with colleagues on a weekly basis.

Nancy Caramanico, Technology and Learning Specialist Nancy Caramanico has been a technology teacher, coordinator and director of technology, K-12. In her current role she works as a consultant to support leaders in the use of innovative technology and communications for learning, designs professional development for teachers and administrators, and supports schools in web outreach to the school community. She has presented on topics such as Innovating in Today's Schools, Digital Leadership, Web 2.0 for Administrators and School Communications in the 21st Century. Caramanico teaches in the graduate program at Cabrini College in Radnor, PA, and teaches e-courses for Powerful Learning Practice. She focuses on the transformational potential for leading and learning of innovative technologies such as digital and social media. She currently writes at TechConnects and is an advisor and contributor to SchoolCIO.

Rick Cave, Director of Technology, West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, NJ Rick Cave has been the director of technology for the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District (WW-P), a ten-school district that serves 10,000 students in central New Jersey, since 2002. He started his career at WW-P in 1979 as a teacher of mathematics and later served as the computer coordinator at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School. His belief that technology should be used a tool in support of instruction, not as a driver of instruction, determines how technologies, old and new, are implemented in the district. Cave is very interested in how emerging technologies can be used to support instruction. Over the years he has presented his ideas at conferences in the northeast and authored a number of magazine articles.

Salvador Contes, Jr., Assistant Principal and Technology Director, Poughkeepsie High School, NY Sal Contes is currently the assistant principal and director of technology of Poughkeepsie City School District. He holds a Master of Science in Education Administration from City College of New York (CUNY) and is "All But Dissertation" towards his Doctorate in Computing for Education Professionals from Pace University. Previously, Contes was the director of instructional technology at Brooklyn Technical High School, one of the "original three" specialized high schools in New York State. He was responsible for leading the efforts in technology in the newly constructed ITTC, a $20 million dollar media project to create a hub for information and instructional technology. Prior to Brooklyn Tech, Contes was the director of Information Technology Programs for the NYC Department of Education. He was responsible for technically and financially sustaining the various IT programs in secondary schools and overseeing the expenditure of $400K in Carl D. Perkins funding.

Jerry Crisci, Director of Technology, Scarsdale Public Schools, NY As director of technology for the Scarsdale Public Schools, Jerry Crisci helped develop an innovative computer curriculum that has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and CBS radio's Charles Osgood program. In 2003, Scarsdale was one of three districts honored nationally with a "Technology Salute" by the National School Boards Association. Crisci is also the co-director of the Scarsdale Center for Innovation, the first R&D Center hosted by a K-12 school district. His articles and software reviews have appeared in many books and publications. He has served as an adjunct professor at the St. Thomas Aquinas College and a technology instructor at several ASCD Summer Technology Academies. He has also presented papers and workshops at numerous conferences and, as a Google Certified Teacher, conducted dozens of workshops on using Google technologies in education. Crisci is president of Chestnut Hill Media, an educational technology consulting firm and software design studio, and has authored two commercial software packages. His interactive ebook on Ellis Island will be published later this year.

Patrick Fogarty, Director of Instructional Technology, Xaverian High School, NY Patrick Fogarty oversees instructional technology at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, NY, one of the first iPad one-to-one schools in the United States. He also serves as an adjunct professor at St Francis College and has taught English, film and philosophy at Xaverian and, before that, at Good Shepherd School. His book Going One-to-One: iPads and Mobile Computing in the Classroom will be available in November. He is scheduled to speak about one-to-one at various conferences including EdmodoCon 2012, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, and TCEA 2013.

David Jakes, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Glenbrook South, Glenbrook, IL David Jakes has spent nearly 30 years in education as a teacher, staff developer,and technology coordinator. From his first Macintosh Classic to his current iPad and Chromebook, 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, 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 a web site, a blog (The Strength of Weak Ties), and a variety of other resources including David Jakes Presentation Resources, dedicated to improving the use of technology in education.

Dr. Robert Miller, Director of Information and Communications Technologies, New Canaan Public Schools, CT Rob Miller is in his seventh year as director of ICT for the New Canaan Public Schools. Before that, he spent five years in a similar role in a neighboring school district. Miller is responsible for the technology infrastructure, technology support, data services, state reporting, and the instructional program for technology and library media, merged as “Information and Communication Technologies” in New Canaan. He recently finished his Doctorate of Education at Northcentral University in E-Learning and Teaching Online. His dissertation focused on the development of 21st century communication, collaboration, and digital literacy skills through the use of social network tools at the high school level.

Samantha Morra, Teacher and School Technology Coordinator, Montclair Board of Education, NJ Samantha Morra is an educator with 20 years in K-12 schools. She started her teaching career as a kindergarten, first and second grade teacher. She has been an elementary school technology coordinator and a middle school technology coordinator. She is a Google Certified Teacher, has presented throughout the state of New Jersey, and is an advisor for the New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative (NJECC). She has also presented at ta number of conferences including the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Conference, EduCon, and Tech Forum NY and Boston. She has been published in ISTE’s Learning & Leading With Technology magazine, quoted on education and learning in a variety of newspapers including the New York Times and Star Ledger and appeared on television on NJN’s Classroom Close Up and the ABC network special issues in education. She also contributed to Web 2.0 How-To for Educators by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum and published by ISTE. She believes that technology has the power to transform education and build deeper understanding for students and teachers.

Frank Noschese, Teacher, John Jay High School, Cross River, NY Frank Noschese has been teaching physics for 14 years at John Jay High School. He advocates for "hands-on, minds-on" science instruction that uses technology to support student inquiry and exploration. He was an invited speaker at TEDxNYED and been quoted in The Economist, TheNew York Times, and USA Today. In addition, his classroom was featured on MSNBC.com and CUNY-TV. He is the winner of the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (New York-Science).

Jeff Piontek, Educational Innovator, Hawaii and New York Jeff Piontek is an author, consultant, and (most importantly) teacher. He has worked with school districts nationally on affecting educational change and redesign. He is a former director of instructional and informational technology for the NYC Department of Education and state science specialist for the Hawaii Department of Education. Piontek is an educational innovator and has been the keynote speaker at many conferences nationally and internationally. He has received many accolades including an award for “Innovation in the Economy by an Individual” from the Governor of the State of Hawaii for his STEM education work.

Cathy Swan, Technology Integrator and Professional Developer, 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 26 years. She 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.

Lisa Thumann, Assistant Director, Innovative Learning Technologies, Kean University, NJ Formerly a K-6 technology teacher, Lisa Thumann works with innovative learning technologies at the School for Global Education & Innovation at Kean University. Previously, she was the senior specialist in technology education for Rutgers University's Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education where she worked on helping educators effectively integrate technology. Thumann assists educators in integrating mobile devices, developing personal learning communities and implementing Google Apps. She has presented at eight of the Google Teacher Academies and is a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer. Thumann also presents at State and National conferences including Alan November's Building Learning Communities, ISTE , FETC and the 2010 and 2011 Global Education Conference. You can also find her speaking for the NJEA and NJECC.

Vicki Windman, Teacher, Clarkstown High School South, Nyack, NY Vicki Windman has been a special education teacher for the past 15 years, specializing in working with developmentally disabled high school students. She has been teaching at Clarkstown High School South for the past 12 years. Over the last two years she has incorporated using the iPad with her special needs students. Windman has presented at various conferences and blogs for Tech & Learning Magazine. She also is the coordinator of apps and curriculum for a group based in Houston first known as SNapps4kids and now called BridgingApps.org. In addition, she is an online instructor for TCEA for their iPad certification course for administrators, teachers, therapists and parents.