Speakers: Tech Forum Texas 2012

Speakers: Tech Forum Texas 2012

Keynote Speaker

DIANA LAUFENBERG, Teacher and Consultant, University of Minnesota

Diana Laufenberg has taught social studies at all grades, 7-12, over the past 15 years. She most recently taught at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning.Her practice has deep roots in experiential education, taking students from the classroom to the real world and back again. Prior to her work in Philadelphia, she was an active member of the teaching community in Flagstaff, AZ where she was named Technology Teacher of the Year for Arizona and a member of the Governor's Master Teacher Corps. Diana was featured onTED.comfor her “How to Learn? From Mistakes” and recognized for earning National Board Certification. Her publications include a featured piece on the New York Times Learning blog, co-authoring a chapter in an educational leadership book, an article in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and regular contributions to teachinghistory.org.

Please note that due to Hurricane Sandy, Adam Bellow will be unable to attend Tech Forum.


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

Anna Adam, Campus Technologist, Cedar Valley Elementary, Killeen ISD Anna Adam has served Killeen ISD for 15 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, she has published numerous articles and is an active advocate for using technologies to engage and educate students. She finds daily inspiration from her three digital kids.

Yolanda Barker, Instructional Technology Specialist, Northeast ISD After her first encounter with education and computers in a developing nation in the middle of the North Pacific during her Peace Corps assignment, Yolanda Barker was hooked. She has continued to combine the excitement and passion she has found from children and teachers across the world with new technologies and learning. Traveling is where she gets her energy and verve. She has worked and lived in the Federated States of Micronesia, Japan, Morocco and in the United States. Barker has given workshops and presented at the Japan Association of Language Teachers conference and the Texas Computer Education Association, and iPad Palooza. This is her first year at Tech Forum. She was honored by her fellow teachers with the "Teacher of the Year Award" while teaching at a public school. She recently co-authored an iBook, "Hot Apps 4 HOTS" and currently co-hosts a weekly Blog Talk Radio show, "Appy Hours 4 U" with fellow app-enthusiast, Lisa Johnson.

Kyle Berger, Executive Director of Technology, Cedar Hill ISD With over 12 years of experience in K-12 technology, Kyle Berger has implemented several technology-driven programs for students. As executive director of technology at Alvarado ISD he helped launch the district’s one-to-one laptop program for students in grades 4 through 8 with all high school students being in a bring your own device setting. In his current position at Cedar Hill ISD he oversees a BYOD implementation for students in grades 7-12 and a pilot for a planned 2013 1:1 launch. Berger speaks across the country on one-to-one and BYOD, technology in education, and creative ways to expand the possibilities for any school district.

Scott Floyd, Director of Instructional Technology, White Oak ISD Before he began serving as a 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, Techno-librarian, 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 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.

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; has conducted workshops on technology integration, grant writing, supporting district hardware and software, and technology planning; and has served on state committees for developing hardware standards and teacher standards in technology.

Greg Garner, Educational Technologist, West Ridge Middle School, Austin, TX Greg Garner, M.Ed., is a change catalyst, leaning in to problems and finding ways to influence the world around him. Previously, he has worked in digital media marketing as well as teaching math, touch-system data entry, and technology applications. He has degrees in business and education and currently serves middle grade educators in the Austin area as an educational technologist. He is excited about the educational potential of today's students, fortunate to find themselves in the throes of technological revolution. Connect with him on Twitter: @classroom_tech

Michael Gras, Technical Coordinator, White Oak ISD Michael Gras has a Master of Education degree in guidance and counseling, with a minor in science education, earned during the third quarter of the 20th century. He taught for two years at Sharpstown Jr. High in Houston, TX, before moving into private industry where he remained for a couple of decades. He returned to public education as director of technology at White Oak ISD where he now serves as technology coordinator. Gras was the 2011 TCEA Technology Administrator of the Year and considers that honor to be the result of making massive progress towards a truly transparent district network.

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.

Lisa Johnson, Educational Technologist, Eanes ISD Lisa has 11 years of educational experience ranging from teaching high school English and middle school math to international curriculum development and creating and presenting workshops. Johnson has shared her app-thusiasm for iLearning at multiple conferences including Mobile 2012, TCEA, ISTE, and iPad Palooza, and keynoted Australia's Slide2Learn. Her love for “cooking up” technology-integrated lessons, the need for a creative and productive outlet, and a social/collaborative venue led her to create the TechChef4u blog in early May of 2011 and launch TechChef4u in 2012 as an educational entity supporting and promoting purposeful and engaging integration of mobile devices at home and in the iClassroom. Other TechChef4u delectable digital delights are the TechChef4u app, "Hot Apps 4 HOTS" iBook, and "Appy Hours 4 U" podcast. The Mumford & Sons song, “Awake Your Soul,” says it best: “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”Kimtag: www.kimtag.com/techchef4u

Gail Lovely, Independent Educator, LovelyLearning.com Gail Lovely is an educator with almost 30 years of experience in the field of educational technologies. With classroom experience in grades PK-8 and extensive experience as an independent educator with schools and teachers around the world, she is known for sharing practical ideas and resources for enhancing teaching and learning through the wise use of technologies. Lovely has a Master’s degree in Educational Computing from Pepperdine University and was Texas Trainer of the Year in 2006 for TxAEYC. You can learn more about her at http://LovelyLearning.com or check out her blog at http://GailWarnings.com

Ann McMullan, Executive Director of Educational Technology, Klein ISD In her role at Klein ISD – a district that has been recognized as a national leader in 1:1 computing and other aspects of educational technology – Ann McMullan leads the team that provides professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to over 4,000 professional educators. Klein has won recognition from a number of organizations, including the National School Board Association’s Technology Leadership Network, which selected it as the first of four districts to host 2012 Education Technology Site Visits, and named it as one of the Top Ten U.S. School Districts honored for Technology Know-How. Klein was also one of five spotlight districts in the first national Digital Learning Day, held in February 2012. McMullan, herself, has been honored with ISTE’s Making it Happen award, the Houston Association for Women in Computing’s Leadership in Technology Award, and TCEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of Technology in Learning. She served as the co-chair of the Texas Educational Technology Advisory Committee, which produced the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020, and is a frequent presenter at state and national education conferences.

Laura Minnigerode, Educational Researcher, World Wide Workshop, Austin, TX Laura Minnigerode is a researcher working closely with a group of middle school students using social media and computer programming daily as a required part of their curriculum. She is an experienced educator and researcher who began her career working with research departments at Children's Television Workshop and WGBH. Minnigerode worked as a founding researcher for the Living Books series, as well as other early learning software products. As a classroom teacher, she led writing workshop classes with middle grade students. She was a school reform specialist in Houston ISD as part of the Houston Annenberg Challenge, focused on professional development for technology integration and project based learning. From 1995-present, with Barbara Flagg’s Multimedia Research Group, Laura has been an evaluator of more than 40 educational media projects for organizations such as WGBH and WNET. She has California teaching credentials in multiple subject areas, and a Master’s in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Helen Mowers, 21st Century Learning Specialist, Killeen ISD Helen Mowers has worked for Killeen ISD for 18 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.

Mitzi Neely, Curriculum Director, White Oak ISD
Mitzi Neely has been in education for 32 years and has served in several capacities including serving as a high school teacher/journalism adviser and a campus principal at elementary and secondary levels, and working with school administrators and new teachers at the Region 7 ESC. Neely is also the coordinator for White Oak ISD as a part of their selection to the Texas High Performance School Consortium. She is a member of several regional, state and national organizations, including TCEA, ASCD, and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, and is serving as a Proposal Reviewer Chair for ISTE.

Elaine Plybon, Instructional Technology Specialist, Irving ISD
Elaine Plybon is an instructional technology specialist for the Jack E. Singley High School and MacArthur High School in Irving ISD, which has been a one-to-one district for over a decade. She was named a Discovery Educator Network Guru and was a finalist for TCEA Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year in 2012. Plybon serves as communications liaison for TCEA campSIG and is on the Innovation and Strategies team for the Discovery Educator Network. She is co-founder of Girls of Technology (GOT), an award-winning organization aimed at creating a sense of community among high school girls interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields.

Raymond Rose, Assistant Professor, Instructional Technology, Huston-Tillotson University
Raymond Rose is assistant professor for instructional technology, and coordinator of instructional technology and distance education at the Renaissance Center at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin.He is also co-founder and president of Rose & Smith Associates, a consulting group dedicated to sharing the principles of successful online learning and the innovative use of technology in education settings. His strengths are in the innovative use of technology and online education. Rose was a keynote speaker for a TeraGrid conference and has been part of the education faculty for a number of the annual Supercomputer conferences. While at the Concord Consortium as a project director, he helped envision, create, and administer the Virtual High School, considered to be the first virtual high school in the United States. He wrote the nation’s first virtual school special education policy, and has been an active speaker and writer on the issue of access and equity in online education.He is a member of the technical working group for the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities.He speaks frequently at regional and national conferences.He was the primary author for the iNACOL Research Brief:Access and Equity in Online Classes and Virtual Schools.

Jon Samuelson, Teacher and Educational Technologist, Eanes ISD
Jon Samuelson, @ipadsammy, brought his iPad to school the Monday after it became available to the public. He has worked since that day to accumulate a network of over 3000 educators on Twitter, sharing his passion for mobile learning with the iPad. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, and works for Eanes ISD. Tony Vincent has stated the following about @ipadsammy:"Jon has a great way of connecting with other teachers. He's certainly an effective communicator and collaborator. The thing I like best about Jon is that his enthusiasm and passion are contagious. I am confident that he can take teachers from where they are with technology and work with them to push their practice forward."

Stephanie Sandifer, Technology Coach, Houston A+ Challenge
Stephanie Sandifer is an educator, technology coach, and author with over 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher and campus administrator. She currently teaches online courses in education, art history, and humanities at the college level, serves as a K-12 Technology Coach for Houston A+ Challenge, and is author of Wikis for School Leaders(Eye on Education, 2011). As an educator who enjoys sharing and learning with colleagues, Sandifer began exploring the use of blogging as a tool for connecting and collaborating with others in March of 2006 when she launched the Change Agency blog (http://ed421.com). Over the past six years she has explored the use of social media to develop a Personal Learning Network of hundreds of other connected educators who share her curiosity and passion for learning. For more information visit:http://stephaniesandifer.com/