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Christine Weiser: Content and Brand Director
Christine Weiser is the Content and Brand Director for Tech & Learning, and has been with the company since 2008. She has reported on education for most of her career, working at Scholastic and Gale Publishing before joining Tech & Learning. Christine is also an author and musician, and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and son.
Ray Bendici: Managing Editor
Ray Bendici is an award-winning journalist and editor, with more than 20 years of experience, including a specific focus on education.
Allison Knapp: Sales Account Manager
Allison Knapp is the Sales Account Manager for Tech & Learning, and has been with the brand since 2001. She loves helping solution providers meet and find success with the audience of Tech & Learning. Allison lives in the Bay Area, CA, with her husband, 3 kids, dog, cat, gecko, turtle, and fish.
Erik Ofgang: Senior Writer
Erik Ofgang is a journalist, author, and educator. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Atlantic and Associated Press. He currently teaches at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA program. While a staff writer at Connecticut Magazine he won a Society of Professional Journalism Award for his education reporting. He is interested in how humans learn and how technology can make that more effective.
Katie Tait: Senior Marketing Manager
Katie Tait is the Senior Marketing Manager for Tech & Learning Events. She has over 10 years of experience of marketing and delivering a range of events for the publishing and media industry. Home for Katie is in the UK, and she enjoys travel and socialising.
Dr. Kecia Ray: Brand Ambassador
Dr. Kecia Ray is Tech & Learning’s Brand Ambassador. Dr. Ray's career includes designing technology within the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and directing technology research through Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Science Outreach programs. As a district administrator for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, she led the award-winning design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional technology programs, including instructional design for online and blended learning environments, redesigning physical learning environments, redefining school libraries, and establishing the first virtual high school to award the diploma. She leads K20Connect and other passion projects supporting K20 education around the world.
Marquita Amoah is the Event Partnership Development Director for Tech & Learning, and has been with the company since 2021. She has worked in higher education for most of her career, working at Barnard College and the University of Chicago before joining Tech & Learning. Marquita is also a writer and podcaster, and is a native New Yorker who now lives in Oakland.
Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.
Dr. Stephanie Smith Budhai
Dr. Stephanie Smith Budhai is an associate clinical professor in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at Drexel University, holding a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies. Dr. Smith Budhai has more than a decade of online teaching experience, and has published myriad books, articles, and invited editorials surrounding the use of technology and online learning in education through major education publishers including ISTE, ASCD, Routledge/Talyor Franics, and Corwin. She is a certified K-12 teacher in Technology Education, Instructional Technology and Business, Computers, and Information Technology as well as Special and Elementary Education. Dr. Smith Budhai is the 2021 Emerging Leader for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education and the 2017 ISTE awardee for Excellence in Teacher Education.
Gwen Solomon was Founding Director of The School of the Future in New York City, Coordinator of Instructional Technology Planning for New York City Public Schools, and Senior Analyst in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Instructional Technology. She has written and co-authored several books and many magazine articles on educational technology.
Carl Hooker has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration since becoming an educator. As Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, he has helped spearhead the LEAP program, which put one-to-one iPads in the hands of all K-12 students in his 8,000-student district. He is also the founder of “iPadpalooza”- a three-day “learning festival” held in Austin annually. He's also the author of the six-book series titled Mobile Learning Mindset, a guide for teachers, administrators, parents and others to support and embrace mobile learning in our schools. Read more at Hooked on Innovation.
Susan comes from a strong policy background as a former staffer in the U.S. Senate and Legislative Aide in the Iowa House of Representatives. Along with experience at both federal and state levels, she served as the Deputy Executive Director for the Center for Digital Education, worked for a government relations firm in Arlington, VA, and heavily worked on federal and state education policy at iNACOL, where she wrote published reports to move the field forward with innovative learning models, best practices, and policy recommendations.
Annie Galvin Teich
Annie Galvin Teich has more than 25 years' experience in education writing and publishing. She is an edtech industry expert in content marketing and copywriting. As a regular contributor to Tech & Learning she focuses on the information needs of district decision makers.
Diana Restifo has been Tech & Learning's web editor since 2010, and in that time, has covered a wide array of education technology news, resources, and products. Currently, she writes about the best websites and tools to help educators teach any topic creatively, with an emphasis on free and low-cost resources.
Stacy Royster is the CTO/Director of Technology for Opelika City Schools in Opelika, Alabama. She has been in the education field for the past 20 years serving as both a high school mathematics teacher and Director of Technology for the district. The experience she gained throughout the 13 years in the classroom has provided her great insight on how to best support teaching and learning within her district. Her innovative technology integration methods have led to multiple opportunities to speak at local, national, and international events. She holds a master's degree in secondary mathematics education from Auburn University and holds the Chief Technology Officer Certification from the statewide organization Alabama Leaders in Educational Technology (ALET). She currently co-facilitates the CTO certification program for the organization and works to prepare technology directors across the state for their role as a CTO.
Dr. Matthew X. Joseph is currently the Executive Director of Learning in Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island. He has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education over his 28 years in the field. Experiences include Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, elementary school principal, classroom teacher, and district professional development specialist. His master's degree is in special education and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Boston College. Follow him on Twitter @matthewxjoseph, visit his website at mxjspeaker.com or visit his blog: techinnovation.live. He is also a regular contributor to Tech & Learning.
Presently Director of IT for the Township of Union Public Schools, Sandra Paul previously was a computer science and business education teacher. She was awarded administrator of the year by NJASL in 2007, a finalist for the 2014 Bammy Awards for Support Staff, and named in the Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers 2015. She served as the chairperson for Technology Advocacy for NJAET, co-chairperson for CoSN- NJ, Board member of NJGMIS, Chairperson CoSN-NJ member, contributor of Sustainable Jersey Digital Schools Program, contributor to Future Ready Technology Leadership, contributor to Tech and Learning journal, and an organizer for EdcampNJ.
Diane W. Doersch
Diane Doersch is a former classroom teacher, Director of Technology, and Chief Technology and Information Officer of a large Wisconsin school district. She is currently Director of Technology for the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Initiative at Digital Promise. Diane also serves on the CoSN Board of Directors, Northeast Wisconsin Women in Technology, and EquityEdu.
Rudy Blanco is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Gaming for The DreamYard Project and Founder of The Bronx Gaming Network based out of The Bronx, NY. Blanco has managed and overseen several initiatives related to the exposure and use of technology for learning, career pathways exploration and development. The work that Blanco does with DreamYard is based around the premise that the video game industry is vast, creative, technical and rapidly growing with very little to no representation for BIPOC, queer and women gamers both on and off screen. Post-Covid and with the national shift towards online learning and education, Blanco has shifted the work to focus more on the development of safe and inclusive online environments that represent all gamers.
Chris Aviles is a STEM teacher, edtech specialist, and president of Garden State Esports. He is also a regular contributor to Tech & Learning.
Dr. Tracy Daniel-Hardy
Dr. Tracy Daniel-Hardy is the Director of Technology for Gulfport School District (Gulfport, Mississippi). Dr. Hardy has 26 years of experience as an educator in various capacities including teacher, guidance counselor, and instructional technology specialist. Dr. Hardy is a Innovative Directors Network Member, Gulf Coast Housing Initiative Board Member, Tech & Learning Advisor, Future Ready Tech Leader Advisor, Past President of Mississippi Educational Computing Association, the Mississippi Department of Education’s Technology Advisory Committee, Mississippi Educational Technology Leaders Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., 2021 Board Member of Lighthouse Business and Professional Women, and many other civic and community organizations. Dr. Hardy is the recipient of the 2019 Success Women’s Conference Volunteer of the Year Award, 2018 PowHER Education Award, 2017 NAACP Educator Award, and the Lighthouse Business and Professional Women 2014 Woman of the Year Award. Dr. Hardy champions causes and movements within her affiliated organizations that promote and encourage educational technology and equity specifically for children, women, people of color, and others who are disenfranchised, under represented, and marginalized.
Dr. Hardy is co-author of Shut'em Down: Black Women, Racism, and Corporate America Anthology and the Foreword author for Women Who Lead in Technology Volume 4.
Dr. Maria Armstrong
Maria by traditional accounts is an outsider from the Bio-Tech field who found a second career in education, as a teacher of 11 years, counselor, AP, Principal and advanced through administrative positions as a Director of English Language Learners, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, a California superintendent, an educational consultant for the Puerto Rico Department of Education Hurricane Maria Recovery efforts, and now as the Executive Director for the National Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents in DC.
Dr. Armstrong champions equitable actions that provide students a brighter tomorrow. Based on her previous experience in the Biotech industry, she is committed to ensuring that students are both college, career and life ready. Dr. Armstrong is a proud alumna of Azusa Pacific University, where she earned her master’s in education with an emphasis on Counseling, and Recipient of the Influence award during her superintendency: Honoring an alumnus whose investment of his or her profession and time has made a lasting influence on the character, development, or behavior of their students.
She also holds a bachelor’s in business and a doctorate in organizational leadership and as a superintendent she received the Inspiration Award from the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with its Latina Estrella Awards. Dr. Armstrong deeply believes that leadership and vision matter, but the life of an educated child matters more.
“What I love about kids is their pure honesty. They know when you’re a champion for them or not. My goal is to provide hope, inspiration, and encouragement to genuinely care for and educate our children.”
“What I am most proud of are my own children and grandchildren. My children saved my life, and education was my saving grace, for me and my family.”
Frank is the Supervisor of Technology for the Linwood Public School District (Pre-K-8)in Southern New Jersey. He advises and contributes to educational technology publications as well as speaks regionally and nationaly about educational innovation and instructional technology.
Jon Castelhano is currently the Executive Director of Technology for the Gilbert Public School District in Gilbert, AZ. Jon is a seasoned educator with over 20 years in educational technology and 26 years in public education. He oversees all technology needs at Gilbert Public Schools including a successful 7-12 grade 1:1 initiative, and a technology services team dedicated to the students and staff of the district.
Beverly spent the first 10 years of her IT career working in a corporate IT environment. She felt called to move to public education and became the first IT Director for the Greeneville City Schools in Greeneville, Tennessee in 1995. She held that role for 17 years and was promoted to Assistant Director of Schools, a position she has now held for 9 years. She is passionate about providing best-in-class tools backed up by extraordinary customer service and support to the people she serves and leads.
Frank Murray has been in K-12 Education for 20 years and post-secondary education for 7 years. With his M. Ed in Educational Technology and 14 years training teachers on integrating technology, he has seen a lot of changes in the classroom. He has played a vital role in team building, planning, training, distribution, expectations, and follow through with a successful technology integration.
Todd Dugan is the proud Superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD #8 located in Bunker Hill, Illinois. A rural, distant district in downstate Illinois, Bunker Hill is in the midst of both a digital conversion to 1:1 device environment while simultaneously changing both the pedagogy and the learning environment to more accurately address the learning styles of the digital native generation. A 2017 Tech & Learning Leader of the Year and the 2018 Illinois State University EAF Superintendent of the Year, Todd has presented and published numerous times on 21st century education and disrupting inequity, digital and otherwise.
Adam A. Phyall III
Dr. Adam Phyall focuses on how teachers can keep students engaged in rigorous learning by putting technology in the hands of students. Adam works directly with teachers showing them fun and easy methods of incorporating technology into instruction by “Putting the Pieces Together”. His philosophy on teaching is “if you’re having fun teaching it, then your students will have fun learning it.”
Brandy is currently the Executive Director of Learning and Teaching in a large urban school district, serving over 141,000 students each year. For over 24 years, Brandy’s passion has been to eradicate injustice and racism. Her work is grounded in race studies, equity, executive leadership, standards-aligned instruction, teacher preparation, and equity-based coaching. She has supported clients across the country, from California and Colorado, to Florida and Massachusetts. Brandy started her career in Bronx, NY as a middle school math teacher before serving as a school leader, executive coach, and district executive. Brandy holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Salem College, a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Doctorate of Education from North Carolina State University. She calls Charlotte, NC home, which sits on the land of the Catawba Indian Nation, where she lives with her husband and enjoys spending time with family, friends and her dog. She is also a regular contributor to Tech & Learning.
Shad McGaha serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Wichita Falls ISD, located in north central Texas. The WFISD technology department's mission is to make learning visible and to publish for a worldwide audience. As the CTO, he is responsible for technology planning and resource management for all students and staff at the district's 26 campuses. Prior to working in Wichita Falls ISD, he worked at Burkburnett ISD for eleven years where he served as a Desktop Technician, Network Administrator and Director of Technology. In all, he has over 20 years of professional experience in K-12 education. In addition to his role in WFISD, he is also a member of ISTE, COSN and TCEA along with being the Past Chair for the Texas K-12 CTO Council. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in BCIS (Business Computer Information Systems) from Midwestern State University.
Phil Hintz is the Director of Student Information for Barrington School District 220 in Barrington, Illinois. In June of 2015, Phil was the recipient of ISTE’s Outstanding Leader of Year Award, in Philadelphia. In 2016, Phil made the list of the National School Boards Association’s top “20 to Watch” in educational technology for 2016. In 2015, Phil collaborated with the team at Gurnee School District 56 to be inducted into the League of Innovative Schools by the Federal, Bi-Partisan organization, Digital Promise. In 2017, Phil helped Gurnee D56 to earn the coveted ISTE Distinguished District Award. Most recently, Phil was awarded the 2019 Withrow CTO of the Year by the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN).
Lisa Nielsen has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. Her areas of expertise include ed tech, digital citizenship, and digital accessibility. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of Teaching Generation Text as well as several other books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tech & Learning, and T.H.E. Journal. For more information you can visit her LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/innovativeedu or Tweet her at @InnovativeEdu. She is also a regular contributor to Tech & Learning.
Nikki Schafer is an Instructional Technology Facilitator, Board Member, grad student, and mom living in Omaha, NE.
Eileen Belastock, CETL, is an educational leader who is fueled by the belief that learning anytime, anywhere, is critical for both our students and educators. Throughout her career in both the corporate and educational settings, Eileen Belastock has encouraged and supported both adult and student learners to challenge themselves to find their passions, be lifelong learners, and be contributing citizens in the 21st global environment. Due to her work and involvement with state and national edtech organizations, she is a 2020 top 100 edtech influencer. Through her published articles in publications such as Tech & Learning, eSchool News, EdScoop, and EdTech_K12, she supports and highlights educators and administrators on their work to ensure digital equity and student safety.
TL HIGHER EDUCATION ADVISORS
Dr. Curtis Carver is Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He leads a team of dedicated professionals who support UAB’s mission by providing world-class IT solutions with a focus on innovation, agility, and cost efficiency. A senior leader in higher education information technology, Dr. Carver came to UAB from his position as vice chancellor and chief information officer for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, having previously held key leadership positions at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Alec Couros is a professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada. An award-winning educator, Alec helps his undergraduate and graduate students take up the incredible affordances of our connected world through the integration of educational technology in teaching and learning.
Rico D'Amore is currently the Director of the Academic Services Technology at Benedictine University, providing support and management of the online learning environment, Brightspace Design2Learn. He assists instructional designers, professors, and faculty in building out the University's online learning environment for both traditional and non-traditional students. At Benedictine University, he also has the opportunity to teach a College of Education course for pre-service teachers to help them create innovative learning opportunities and infuse technology into their classrooms.
Christopher Dechter, CTS-D, CTS-I, is Principal Learning Space Engineer at Indiana University. In his more than fifteen years of AV and IT, he has focused almost exclusively on the design and integration of technology in higher education at multiple institutions. He wears glasses and usually has multiple tools on him at all times. He collects AV industry certifications, decorative jelly spoons, and souvenir shot glasses.
Julie Johnston is the Director of Learning Spaces for Indiana University. This position manages four entities of UITS Learning Technologies: Classroom Technology Services, Learning Space Design, Collaboration Technologies, and Student Technology Computing. Along with managing these services, she is ultimately responsible for the technology component of the design of Learning Spaces for the campus, specifically active learning classrooms, informal learning spaces, and student technology center spaces. She was actively involved in assisting with the launch of Indiana University's new active learning initiative, Mosaic (mosaic.iu.edu) Julie has more than 20 years working in Instructional Technology Leadership positions in higher education.
Robb Mann has been a member of the Information Technology Services department at UNCW for the last 16 years, and is currently the manager for the Integrated Educational Technologies (IET) group. IET has oversight for all AV on campus, and handles 95% of the design, installation, and programming of AV at the university, as well as providing supervision for AV on capital projects beginning with the Program Phase and running through Commissioning. He has been a finalist for the UNCW Award of Excellence on three occasions (awarded to the outstanding staff member of the year), and has held his CTS certification since 2012 and CTS-I since 2014. Robb has been a member of the NC Classroom Summit organizing committee for the last seven years, as well as being a presenter and breakout session leader on many occasions.
Justin Rexing is an Audiovisual Systems Design Engineer for Western Kentucky University. Justin has designed and engineered audiovisual solutions for various vertical markets from government and enterprise to large stadiums, corporate, entertainment, restaurants, and houses of worship venues. He has assisted in developing courses for AVIXA, and currently holds senior faculty status with AVIXA. Justin is a member of the AVIXA Foundation Board.
Jameson Rinehart is an AV Systems Designer at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Jameson has 15 years of navigating the intricacies of designing for higher education. He is a regular presenter at the annual Avixa conference.
Dr. John Thompson is Associate Professor Emeritus at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, N.Y. He also operates his own educational consulting business - Global Learning Institute, Inc. Although retired, Dr. Thompson continues to teach 100% online courses on a part-time basis. He has taught over 150 online courses since 2000. He enjoys the flexibility of teaching online from his home office at all hours of the day and night. Dr. Thompson has chaired conferences, done presentation reviews for many conferences and paper reviews for publications, made presentations at numerous local to international conferences, and has authored various publications in his field. Prior to working in higher education, his career experience included working in urban, suburban, and rural schools as an elementary and secondary classroom teacher (general education and special education), curriculum coordinator, principal, and school superintendent. He also functioned as director of training for two state governments and director of a university-based computer training organization. Dr. Thompson's current research interests include asynchronous online discussions and student engagement in online courses.