Speakers: Tech Forum Texas 2011

Speakers: Tech Forum Texas 2011

Keynote Speaker
DEAN SHARESKI, Learning Consultant, Prairie South School Division, Saskatchewan, Canada

Dean Shareski is a Learning Consultant for Prairie South School Division in Saskatchewan, Canada. He also teaches pre-service teachers at the University of Regina. Dean works with teachers and students in understanding the power and potential of the Read/Write Web. He's been modeling much of this on his own blog (ideasandthoughts.org) since 2005. This is one space, among many, where he connects to the world and teaches and learns in ways not possible only a few years ago. Dean is strong advocate of design and storytelling and the power of sharing. Dean spent 15 years as a classroom teacher before moving to the district level where he has been fortunate to work with innovative and forward thinking team members who aren't afraid to try new things and occasionally fail. In 2010, Dean received the International Society for Technology in Education's award for outstanding leadership. He has presented and led many workshops locally, nationally and internationally. He blogs regulary at Tech & Learning and The Huffington Post. Dean believes joy, laughter and play need to take a greater role in education today and works to design learning environments where these are celebrated and seen as integral to learning.


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

Anna Adam, Campus Instructional Technologist, Killeen ISD

Anna Adam has served Killeen ISD for 14 years as a campus instructional technologist, where she juggles being instruction support and technology guru for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students and their teachers. Along with her numerous daily responsibilities, she also facilitates the school’s popular DigiDolphins technology club for fourth and fifth grade students. As co-creator and producers of the Tech Chick Tips podcast (http://techchicktips.net), an Apple Distinguished Educator and a FableVision Ambassador, Adam has published numerous articles and is an active advocate for using technologies to engage and educate students. She finds daily inspiration from her own digital kids, ages 11, 9 and 7.

Kyle Berger, Executive Director of Technology, Alvarado ISD With over 12 years of experience in K-12 technology, Kyle Berger has implemented several technology-driven programs for students. Among other things, Alvarado ISD currently issues laptops to all students in grades 4 through 8 with all high school students being in a bring your own device setting. Berger speaks across the country on one-to-one and BYOD implementations, technology in education, and creative ways to expand the possibilities for any school district.

Becky Cook, Director, Instructional Technology, Cy-Fair ISD Becky Cook has been an advocate for the use of technology to enhance classroom instruction for many years. In her current role as the director of instructional technology for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, she is responsible for ensuring that all students (PK-12) have access to a wide variety of technology tools and software. She has been a classroom teacher in grades K-6, an assistant principal, and an elementary technology coordinator during her 31 years in education.

Dr. Howie DiBlasi, Emerging Technology Evangelist, Digital Journey Howie DiBlasi has extensive experience as an educator, business leader, and technology director. He was recognized as “Vocational Teacher of the Year” for the state of Arizona, nominated as a finalist in the “Top Secondary Leaders in America,” and featured in several magazines as “a CIO who really thinks outside the box.” He is a published author, change agent, and educational technology consultant, and was recognized by the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration with the "Pinnacle Award" for outstanding Professional Development Programs. Di Blasi’s emphasis is on digital technology, multimedia, video conferencing and 21st century learning. He has presented to thousands of educational leaders, administrators and teachers from Bangkok to Boston.

Christopher Fancher, Engineering Teacher, Manor New Technology High, Manor ISD Chris Fancher teaches at Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas. Manor New Tech is a part of the New Technology Network featuring instruction that is Project Based (PBL) or Problem Based (PrBL). Fancher has taught secondary mathematics and engineering at high schools, middle schools, and community colleges in four states, Japan, and the Netherlands. He received his MS in Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and an MS in Engineering Science from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Karen Fuller, Chief Technology Officer, Klein ISD Karen Fuller has been involved in K-12 education for over 20 years. She began as a classroom teacher in Diboll ISD, teaching microcomputer applications on Apple IIe’s, and then became the technology coordinator for the district. From there she became the technology manager for ESC VII, in Kilgore, TX after which she served as district technology trainer and, later, director of technology in Marshall ISD. Fuller has been with Klein ISD since 2006, first as the director of information technology and now as CTO. She has designed, implemented, and supported campus LAN’s, district WAN’s, and regional networks, and has conducted workshops on technology integration, grant writing, supporting district hardware and software, and technology planning. In addition, she has worked with districts on implementing wireless, VOiP, and distance learning networks, and developing curriculum for technology integration; has provided technical training for technology staff; and has served on state committees for developing hardware standards and teacher standards in technology.

David Jakes, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Glenbrook South, 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.

Scott Floyd, District Instructional Technology Specialist, White Oak ISD Before he began serving as the district instructional technology specialist in White Oak, Scott Floyd spent ten years in the classroom, mostly teaching middle school reading, English, and gifted and talented. He has also taught first grade in a self-contained classroom. His current focus is on helping teachers integrate technology tools into their curriculum both in instruction and personal learning. He works with administrators, faculty, and students on creating electronic portfolios – utilizing online tools with hosting in the cloud – to better showcase themselves to the world outside the school walls. As a former Texas secondary teacher of the year, Floyd has worked with educators on the local, area, state, and national levels. He also spends time lobbying on behalf of education in the Texas legislature.

Carolyn Foote, Librarian, Westlake High School, Eanes ISD Carolyn Foote is a "techno-librarian" at Westlake High School in Austin, as well as the district librarian. She has presented at numerous conferences including NECC (now ISTE), TCEA, and TLA, and has written a number of articles on the power of technology in both the classroom and libraries. She can be found at her blog “Not So Distant Future” or on Huffington Post where she is an education blogger.

Lannon Heflin, Program Manager, Instructional Technology, Education Service Center Region XIII Lannon Heflin has worked in education leadership, most specifically in technology, for over ten years. He firmly believes that purposeful integration of technology into teaching and learning should provide avenues to student success by solving problems instead of creating new ones. Heflin has a great deal of experience leading teachers and school leaders in efforts to integrate technology solutions that promote engagement, reduce anxiety, streamline processes and result in maximum student learning for the 21st Century.

Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes ISD Carl Hooker started his career as a classroom teacher in Austin ISD. After serving five years as a 1st and 5th grade teacher, he switched roles to campus technology coordinator in Austin before moving to Eanes ISD in the same position. He moved into the district technology department as the district virtualization & desktop coordinator in 2008 and, after that, became director of instructional technology. Hooker has led many successful initiatives in his short term in this position including: encouraging Facebook and Twitter use among staff; heading up the 1:1 iPad roll-out at Westlake High School; integrating cell phone use in 8th grade classes; and beginning a BYOT program for the entire district. This past summer, he also helped coordinate the district transition to Google Apps. In addition, Hooker has experience as a music DJ and event MC.

Helen Mower, 21st Century Learning Specialist, Killeen ISD Helen Mowers has worked for Killeen ISD for 17 years, serving as a science teacher, instructional technologist, and professional developer. When not involved in designing professional learning for teachers, she can be found behind the microphone co-producing the Tech Chick Tips podcast (techchicktips.net), writing articles for educational journals, sharing technology resources that teachers can use in the classroom, or finding new ways to use technology to entertain and educate her nieces. An Apple Distinguished Educator, Mowers is passionate about sharing with others how technology can engage students in school and provide a medium for students to share their voices.

Juan Orozco, Education Specialist, Instructional Technology, Education Service Center Region XIII Juan Orozco has been an educator for 15 years. In addition to serving as an education specialist at ESC XIII, he is an Intel Teach Master Teacher, Google Certified Teacher, PBS Teacherline facilitator, Discovery Star Educator, and a member of the Texas Staff Development Conference board (TSDC). He has developed and led numerous instructional technology staff development sessions and has presented at various conferences including the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) now ISTE, Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC),Tech Forum, and Texas Staff Development Conference (TSDC).

Humberto Perez, Teacher, John B. Connally High School, Pflugerville ISD Humberto Adrián Pérez is an independent filmmaker who founded Revolution Arte Productions in 2009. He currently teaches video technology and independent study of technology applications at Connally High School in the Pflugerville school district. He incorporates digital storytelling, social media, guerilla filmmaking techniques, personal electronic devices, and artistic techniques into a project-based and engaging learning experience for his students. Perez seeks out companies, organizations, and individuals in the professional community to collaborate on projects that give students a real-world opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills. He recently collaborated with Dana Glover and Michelle Carter of Midian Films, an independent film company based in Round Rock, on the Cannes Film Project. This project gave Connally High School students an opportunity to produce short films that were submitted and accepted into the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival. Moreover, students utilized their digital media skills to raise funds to attend the film festival in France. Perez was recognized as one of the 2010-2011 Secondary District Teacher of the Year in Pflugerville ISD.

Lenny Schad, Chief Information Officer, Katy ISD Lenny Schad has worked for the past eight years as CIO for Katy ISD, a Houston-area district recognized nationally for technology innovation. Prior to joining Katy ISD, he spent 17 years in the oil & gas sector. Through Schad’s leadership, Katy ISD is in year three of a mobile learning initiative at the elementary level and public Wi-Fi will be available at every campus, K-12, for this school year, allowing students and teachers to “bring their own device” to school. Schad has been instrumental in developing both the technology plan and the budget for this initiative with his colleagues in Katy ISD.He was selected as one of the National School Board Association's "20 to Watch" educators for 2008 and named by the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) to their prestigious list of 2010 CoSN Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees. This recognition is presented to individuals who uphold the organization’s mission of using technology for the systematic transformation of learning.

Paul Wood, Director of Technology, Bishop Dunne School Now in his 14th year as the director of technology for Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Paul Wood has been an educator for 36 years. He has also served as a teacher and coach. He is a graduate of the University of Dallas with a BA in Psychology and is working on completing his Master's in Education. Bishop Dunne is a 6-12 School that allows its students to bring their own connectivity each day to the school and is in its 2nd year using electronic textbooks for approximately 90 percent of all classes. Wood also serves as a Deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, serving at Holy Spirit Parish in Duncanville, TX.