EdTech GTA Leadership PD

The Magnificent 60: Introducing your #GTACHI participants

Updated 7/18: The Final Version with EVERYONE

Even when we were kids choosing a team was a big deal. You had to not only think about who was best, but how they would all work together. In the movie The Magnificent Seven (based on the Akira Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai) a small group of farmers must find gunfighters to protect their town from a horde of bandits. To compound the problem they have a small pittance to offer these professional gunfighters. Luckily they find this guy:


Danny Silva aka “Chicago Dan”

Sorry I mean this guy:


Yul Brynner as Chris Adams

Chris, the character played by Yul Brynner,  must quickly find a group of gunfighters who will be the perfect match for this most unusual adventure. He does so by testing some with unusual means


and finding others in unusual circumstances


But in the end it’s the promise of an exciting adventure with a group of compadres that they can trust, that brings them all together. In every team movie there are scenes where we get to know each member of the team. That’s what I’m going to do with this post. I’m going to introduce you to each Google Teacher Academy Chicago 2013 candidate but I’m going to do it my way….

This will be a four-part series which I will publish over the next week. We have already covered the International Gunslingers , the East Coast Young Guns, the Midwest Family of Silverado and  now we move onto the:

Wild Bunch (Way out West)

Know this: I LOVE movies especially kung-fu flicks and westerns. There are a ton of westerns that I could’ve picked for each segment of this blog post but many of the westerns I love involve just one or two main characters and GTA is all about working as a team. Well my absolutely favorite western movie I saved for last. It’s The Wild Bunch by Sam Peckinpaw

“We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closing fast.”

Here below, are the final group of the 2013 Chicago Google Teacher Academy

Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston

aka @edtechchic (nice)

Jessica is an instructional technology specialist in Texas. She is the “product” (her words) of two public school administrator and is a 4th generation educator. Her DNA screams teacher. After teaching 5th grade for almost 7 years she applied to become an instructional technology specialist.

I really like her blog EdTechChic  it’s so clean looking and helpful. There’s just an air of positivity to it. I loved her post “Third Time’s a Charm I’m going to GTACHI!” You can watch all three of her application videos there. Her final video just cracks me up at the beginning. There’s nothing like a tech leaders with a sense of humor that puts you at ease.

She is Twitter famous, but don’t worry she’s a human being just like the rest of us (well just like some of us).  She posts almost as many photos and videos as I do on Twitter and I love that! Most of my favorite tweets are ones where there’s a picture or video attached that deepens the meaning of the tweet or makes the tweet playfully ironic.

Interesting fact: Ask her to draw you an Elephoat.

Stephanie Cerda

Stephanie Cerda

aka @Ms_Cerda

Stephanie works at the University of Texas elementary school.  She was one of the organizers for edcampAustin (that would be a cool edcamp). She led a team of fifteen technology teachers in running the Westonka Technology Teacher Academy. It looked really fun you can watch it on her #GTACHI application clip.

Interesting fact: I really liked her #GTACHI video and I’m going to guess that she did the whole thing while walking and balancing a laptop/webcam in her hand. Well done.

Ben Wilkof

Ben W

aka @bhwilkof

While Jessica was born with “teacher” in her DNA, Ben is powered by tech DNA. His grandparents took him to PC user group meetings starting when he was in the 7th grade. He started leading a special interest group (SIG) not long after that for those of his fellow teenagers who were interested in getting more out of their computers than just games, word processing, and IM.

He was the founding president of his high school’s computer club (of course he was) and quickly moved into teaching. While he started as a 7th grade ELA teacher he quickly moved into his passion of educational technology. He started a blog in 2004 (I wasn’t even born yet… )

By the time the 2006-2007 school year rolled around, he was ready to implement a fully formed blogging curriculum. At various points in the year, he also tried his hand at digital storytelling, collaborative podcasting, wiki projects, and embedded media. His kids ate it up.

Ben has a great blog Learning is Change and is a prolific and valued Twitter user with over 3,000 followers. His YouTube channel has over 100 videos and he shares his ideas and frustrations. I loved this video

I also want to point out that Ben is SUPER helpful. If you are reading this but are NOT in the #GTACHI Google community, you probably don’t know all the little and big things that Ben does for other people. In fact I couldn’t have written this blog post without the Fusion Table map Ben created. It made it so easy to just click on each person and start learning and writing about them. Thank you Ben, I’m looking forward to thanking you in person. (PS and thanks for the nice online bio that made it easy to write about you)

Interesting fact: Ben has over 8,000 people who have included him in a circle in Google+… jeez that’s a lot.

Zoe Midler


aka @zmidler

I love the first line in Zoe’s Twitter bio, “Introvert stuck in an extrovert’s body.” That’s me too- many of my students and friends think I’m an extrovert, but I’m that way because of my job, I really like quiet alone time and time spent with a few people tucked in the corner of a big party.

Zoe is a teacher-librarian in Colorado. Before I continue let me just say that all librarians are gods to me. When I was a kid my mom would drop me off at the public library in the morning and pick me up in the afternoon. I’d spend time running my hands along the spines of books like a kid running a stick down a picket fence. My family goes to the library at least once a week and we grab about 30+ books at a time. Thank you Zoe for being a librarian and I hope one day soon our society realizes the big mistake they are making in reducing the number of librarians we have in our schools and cities.

She has some great posts on her Google+ feed and she participated in  “Embedded Librarianship: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” panel discussion at the Texas Library Association conference (#txla2013) Hmmm that seems to work out well with the theme to this blog post.


Interesting fact: She is NOT a rocking-chair librarian, she has a cool blog and I love the avatar picture on the top of her blog.

Zoe avatar

Before I get to the rest of the applications I just want to note something. Besides two teachers from Texas and two teachers from Colorado the rest of the #GTACHI teachers are from California. I’m not sure how GTA felt about that, but I’m guessing that that made it more than a little competitive to get accepted if you were a California applicant. So well done California applicants I’d drop my favorite LL Cool J video here in the blog post, but it’s doesn’t really work with the theme. [Think California]

Rae Fearing


aka @RaeFearing

Rae is from Crescent City, CA which is about as far north as you can get without being in Oregon.  She earned her credential from Humboldt State University and her masters from the University of Oregon State. I only mention this because my wife went to UC Santa Cruz and looked into going to grad school at Humboldt State. We visited the school together and it rained non-stop. I honestly felt like we were living under a waterfall while there. I asked someone if the amount of rain was unusual and they said “when it’s not raining, it’s unusual.” So yeah it’s wet and green where Rae lives.

Rae was a high school science teacher, but now she serves her community as the Educational Technology coordinator for the Del Norte County Unified School District. She is also the founder of edcampDel Norte and runs a fun blog called Edtechyness. Her #GTACHI video was way cool, the camera work in the video was EXCELLENT and I loved the Google ball she discovered. Well done Rae.

Interesting fact: She Worked as a zookeeper, trained sea lions, and handled raptors. Her favorite animal was Kizmet, a Bengal Tiger. Now THAT’S teacher prep training.

Interesting fact II: If you take her to a good restaurant she may Vine the experience.

John Eick

John Eick

aka @John_Eick (hey his Twitter handle changed… cool) Dear principal Eick… I love that you are willing to tweet as a principal, so few do, but how about Tweeting a couple of pictures of some of the awesome stuff going on at your school. PS if you go to my Twitter lists (@davidtEDU) there is a list of people for admins to follow and I have a PrinciPAL list.

John Eick was a principal in the Natomas Unified School District, but is leaving that position and is moving into district-wide implementation of Innovative Technology and Common Core State Standards.

I love love love his writing voice in his blog The Practical Principal and I really hope he continues blogging. Here’s just a little taste of the writing from his blog

It was 15 years ago, I’ll never forget it, I had just come back home from a year of wandering abroad and I decided to become a school teacher. I was slinging drinks at a Mexican restaurant and going to school to get my credential when a friend asked, “Hey, don’t you know something about Drama?

The local high school had a drama teacher, but he jumped in his car at lunch and never came back. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Interesting fact(s): John was a volunteer drama director and he could probably tell you a few things about Banana slugs.

Larkin O’Leary


aka @larkinoleary12 (come ON people, Larkin has fewer Twitter followers than the entire #GTACHI circle. I want everyone who reads this to follow Larkin)

Larkin is a middle school teacher near Santa Rosa, California. She teaches at a 1:1 Mac middle school using a Flipped class strategy. I look forward to learning more about Larkin at the #GTACHI.

Interesting fact: She likes taking pictures with other people.

Sean O’Neil

Sean O'Neil

aka @seanjay

I’m going to let Sean introduce himself- he was nice enough to have a complete Bio on his Google+ page.

I am the Technology Coordinator, and Media/Tech Academy Director for Antioch High School where I was Theatre Arts Director from 1996-2012. I am one of California’s inaugural Leading Edge Certified Online Teachers and an adjunct theatre professor for Los Medanos College. After receiving my BA in Drama from UC Irvine and MA in Theatre Directing from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, my penchant for technology and communication collided with the creation of ShakespeareCast.com in 2005. Before teaching, I worked as an actor, director, producer, and Arts Education Administrator for the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. I am Founder and Artistic Director of Antioch Classical Theatre Company and a longtime member of Actors’ Equity Association, Theatre Bay Area, and countless educator and technology groups. I have also presented workshops on Mobile Devices in Education at various conferences across the country.

Hey Sean. That’s an insane bio and I can’t wait to learn from you- Sean has so much good info on his Google+ about page you should take a look at it. I’d just like to point out that Sean graduated from UC Irvine the same year that I graduated from UCI (I wonder if we had coffee/bagel together in the 2nd floor coffee co-op of the Humanities building) and that we both earned our teaching credential from Chapman University.

Interesting fact: He has some cool stuff on his Tumblr: Another Place to Post.  You should check it out.

Kim Randall


aka @scubagirl812 (So apparently there are at least 811 other scubagirls on Twitter, I’m kinda scared just typing that because I don’t want to make them mad)

Kim is a professional development specialist who also happens to be an ADE (Apple Distinguished Educator) and a DEN STAR. She loves to scuba dive and her Twitter profile and background are always a good visual visit.  Even though Kim lives in California she went to Tulane University and George Washington University.

Her photos are completely cool:

Kim Shark

Interesting fact: I think I found a “food buddy” in the #GTACHI group who is willing to try anything once.

Kim Food 1b

Bob Kelly

Robert Kelley

aka @MrKellyIII

Mr. Kelly is a teacher and a football coach (yes finally someone I can have pour over my play diagrams for 6v6 flag football) at Minarets High School near Yosemite, California.

Mr. Kelly blogs at Learning is My Business and I like how he is continuing to blog (at a pretty good pace I may add) during the summer. I particularly enjoyed reading his post “The Return of the Lecture?!?.”

One of my least-favorite stereotypes is that of the jock coach. You know the coach who got the teaching job because he’s a coach. At my school many of the coaches are our best teachers. Mr. Kelly teaches AP Economics, AP US History, and AP Government- that’s right three DIFFERENT AP classes all taught by one teacher. He probably has a better playbook than this guy:

Kelly playbook

Alright Theriault so he’s a football coach and an AP teacher, he’s got a lot of gray hair- he looks kinda square. Yeah then why was I posting on Twitter really late at night when he jumped in and sent me this YouTube link:

Robert Kelly Share 1b

Nuff said.

Interesting fact: I love that the key word in his #GTACHI application video is Trust. You should watch it.

Delaine Johnson

Delain Profile

aka @_delaine Johnson

Delain is a Digitial Media Specialist for the Fresno County Department of Education. That sounds like a cool job. Her Twitter bio is one of my favorites: “Fresno Co Office of Edu, Digital Media Specialist. #GTACHI. MSFT Certified Trainer & Innovative Educator Master Trainer. LEC OT. Grad student. Wife. Mom. Tired!”

I love that last word: Tired. You think Delain?

Her YouTube #GTACHI SLAYS me. If you don’t laugh in the first 15 seconds you’re not human.

And I think I found another “food buddy” for Chicago:

Delaine food1b

Interesting fact: She is a process knitter, reader of horror novels, and apparently have a husbandry for scarves.

Moss Pike

Moss Pike

aka @mosspike

Finally someone I know. Moss is an awesome person who teaches at one of the few schools I’d think about moving to teach at: Harvard-Westlake. Moss is barely qualified intellectually to be a teacher- here I’ll let him tell you in his own caveman-esque grunts and screams.

“I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, before moving to upstate New York to study Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University. After taking a few Classics courses one summer, I found myself absorbed in the ancient world and decided to change my career focus by moving to Los Angeles for graduate school. While working on an M.A. in Classics at UCLA, I discovered historical linguistics, at which point I shifted over to the Ph.D. Program in Indo-European Studies, where I finished the degree with an emphasis in Greek and Latin historical linguistics. I now teach Latin at the Harvard-Westlake School, while continuing to work with the Greek and Latin languages and pedagogy, and I am also the Middle School Dean of Faculty, working toward 1:1 implementation at our school.” [bold typeface put in by me: dt]

So you got that right? Cornell, UCLA, Ph.D…. luckily for us Moss is more interested in searching for obscure craft beer and discussing innovative teaching strategies than he is in making you look stupid, cause trust me he could make you look stupid. [but he’s WAY to nice]

He’s also one of the organizers of the LA Playdate where teachers can come from all over to play and experiment with different technologies. No sessions, just hands-on experimenting. About eight teachers from my school are driving up to LA to attend. I’ll just leave you with two pictures to remember him by.

Interesting facts:

Mathew Needleman


aka @mrneedleman

Mathew Needleman began his career as a filmmaker and is in his sixth year of teaching with Los Angeles Unified School District. He has taught in grades K-2 and video production in a pull out program for middle schoolers. He is currently a literacy coach for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has taught Technology in Education at Antioch University and provided professional development for numerous school districts.

Mathew has founded close to twenty educational web sites which are visited by thousands of teachers daily from across the country.

He is the winner of numerous VIC (Video in the Classroom) Awards for his work in education, including Best Implementation of the District Reading Program for “The City Mouse and the Country Mouse” which was also a finalist for best overall production in the California Student Media Festival.

He has about twenty different websites including Creating Lifelong Learners and Needleworks Education. Click on one of those and prepare yourself to go down the rabbit hole to discover about eleven years worth of material… good luck with getting through it all.

I’d pick this video as a good place to start on your journey

Interesting fact: He has over 2,000 followers on Twitter, but only five photos and videos on his Twitter feed. He has made about a billion videos so, he must HATE posting video and photos on Twitter.

Jo-Ann Fox

Jo-Ann Fox

aka @appeducationfox

Even though we’ve never met I feel like I know Jo-Ann. She, I and others were the co-creators of #CAedchat. She’s one of the nicest, people I’ve ever met on Twitter and she’s active on Twitter at ALL HOURS so we have #latenightcrew meetups all the time. I’m just going to bullet-point a few of her accomplishments:

  • Attending Google Teacher Academy Chicago 2013, #gtachi

  • 1:1 classroom

  • 2012 San Diego County Teacher of the Year

  • 2012 California Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist

  • CA Education Technology Task Force

  • Co-founder of #CAedchat

  • Co-creator of Edcamp San Diego

  • Co-Creator of EdTech2U (a district-wide community based professional development experience)

  • Blogger at www.AppEducation.com

Jo-Ann is a 4th grade teacher in San Diego county. She teaches in a 1:1 classroom and her kids do some #EduAwesome stuff. She has over 3,000 pins on her Pinterest page… you should give her a follow. Her blog post “QR Code Egg Hunt” is probably my favorite of all her blog posts.

Interesting fact[s] she knows that you must make PD “salty” and she is the queen of silly posts late at night:

Jo-Ann silly1b

David Theriault (me)

New Profile for Google

aka @davidtEDU [yeah my Twitter handle used to be @mrtheriaultfvhs until a few friends of mine had a late night intervention] PS my name is pronounced like the word stereo without the S.

I’m an English Literature Teacher who loves to take risks and meet new people. I love everything #nerd, comic books, sci-fi, samurai films, trying new food, and old school hip-hop and punk. I’m curious and I raise my hand WAY TOO often in meetings.

I’ve taught AP English Literature, AP English Language and Composition for eighteen years. I’ve also taught at Mayfair HS in Lakewood and in a continuation school in Bellflower (both awesome experiences). I’ve been the WASC coordinator and lead writer twice and I’ve served as Department Chair twice. I’ve taught computer basics to senior citizens and helped write my school’s digital high school grant.

One year ago my co-worker convinced me to go to ISTE12 and speak about the LMS Canvas. At the time I had not attended a conference in over ten years. I always used technology in my class, but I thought social media was silly. So a little less than a year ago I wasn’t on Twitter, I wasn’t blogging, I wasn’t on Facebook, Tumblr or anywhere else. I told my students “I don’t want people to know who I am, I want to live like a ghostly ninja or jedi. I was only at ISTE12 the day I was presenting and I only had time to go to two sessions. One of the sessions was led by Steve Hargadon: it was called Classroom 2.0 “Find out how teachers can use the web to expand their own learning and passion-based interests.” It was a weird session. No screen, no presentation, he just asked us to grab a few chairs, sit in a circle and talk about what it means to be online as a teacher. I sat right next to this cool librarian [It was Gwyneth Jones– the daring librarian- and I had no clue who she was) the whole time he was talking I kept thinking “why the heck would I want to put myself out their for the world to judge me and who am I to share about myself and my class” but I kept thinking about what he said over the next few weeks and then I joined Twitter and then I started a blog and BAM my willingness to take a risk has been one of the best years of my life.

Both of my parents took a risk and left their families and homeland (they are Acadian from New Brunswick, Canada and speak English as a second language) so I inherited their love of trying new things. I’m a co-founder of #CAedchat and EdcampHOME and I chronicle my educational risk taking right here on this blog. I’ll leave you with a few pictures that might explain who I am and what I like.

Interesting fact: My wife, a kindergarten teacher, is 10x the teacher I will ever be. If I’m a successful bar lounge singer, she’s Nina Simone.

Midwest Family of Silverado

The year was 1985. I graduated from HS that year- moved out and learned how to make do with whatever you had.  I loved this movie, Silverado, the first time I saw it. Each character had a unique story, of course I liked Kevin Kline and Kevin Costner’s characters the most. This scene shows what a good teacher can do when you need to get something done, but you don’t have the resources you should have.

PS The director Lawrence Kasdan WROTE The Empire Strikes Back, The Big Chill and a ton of other great movies.

Patrick Dempsey

 Patrick Dempsey

aka @midschoolsci (nice twitter handle)

Patrick is an 8th grade science teacher in Missouri who moonlights as the robotics team coach. He also loves to run and bike so don’t get tricked into an early morning fun run with him. His GTA application video made me want to go back to middle school, and his YouTube channel is chock full of videos (reminder to self- make a video channel for next year)

Interesting Fact: Patrick can make great pickles from the cucumbers in his backyard. They look so good.

Kelly Kermode

 Kelly Kermode better

aka @coachK

Kelley is a Teacher (English) and so much more: Learning Consultant, Yearbook Adviser, Web Creator-  she loves integrating technology so that it makes life more of a challenging, creative, engaging and interactive experience. She is also a potter, photographer, and a mom of two great kids. She is a talented website designer and a social media enthusiast. Her current learning goals include animation, motion graphics, gamification, and javascript. She also loves baseball/softball and regularly communicates with many of us who also love baseball with various baseball related hashtags on Twitter. She is also one of the organizers of edcampHOME and she created our awesome logo.

Interesting fact: Her YouTube video for GTACHI rocked 

Kristin Straumann

 Kristen Straumann

aka @KristinStrauman (where’d the extra N go?)

Kristin is a Chemistry and physics teacher, Technology Integration Specialist, SMART Exemplary Educator, mom of 3 boys, and a big YA reader. (I’ll have to ask her for recs for my son- he’s a voracious reader)

Interesting fact: She seems to like superheroes, which makes sense, since she must be a super-mom based on those awesome photos of her sons reading all over their house. Great job creating life-long readers Kristin.

Sue Simonson

 susan simonson

aka @susan_simonson

Susan  is a Mom, Teacher, Tech Integrationist, Chicago Bound Google Certified Teacher, Chromebook School, DECA Advisor and she’s excited to launch her school’s Chromebook 1:1 initiative next year!

You should read her blog post #Perseverance to get into #GTAChi it’s a great read. She applied to GTA FOUR TIMES and never gave up. That’s awesome.

Interesting fact: She survived the climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Jason Just

 Jason Just

aka @verticalcrush (he needs to Tweet pictures more often, based on his profile picture I have a feeling he has a TON of awesome pictures)

Jason is a science teaching in Lakeville, Minn. He is teaching or has taught AP Chemistry and he has an interest in BYOD and Gamification. He has also taught Physics and Chemistry in the Community. He has coached football, basketball, and track and field and he was the captain of his college football team while playing quarterback.

His GTACHI application video showcased his school’s end-of-the-year science show. He has an online Picassa photo gallery of the whole event. It’s pretty cool. 

Interesting fact: His favorite “Pi” is a Raspberry Pi and he’s a big fan of Minecraft in the classroom.

Matthew Switzer

 Mathew Switzer

aka @mattew2switzer

Matthew teaches at Cedar Falls Community School in Iowa. He has a blog but you can only read it if you are invited to read it. Hopefully one day he will open his blog to the world. (It looks like perhaps his blog is actually a class blog for his 6th grade class and perhaps he was worried about privacy concerns- it would still be cool to get a glimpse, but I understand) Matthew majored in philosophy at the University of Oregon and is currently a 6th grade teacher with aspirations of being an administrator one day.

Interesting fact: Hears tornado warning sirens outside his classroom window far too often. That would flip me out. I don’t know how people live anywhere where there are tornadoes. I live in earthquake country and yet tornadoes seem 100x worse.

Rebecca Wildman

Rebecca Wildman

aka @RebeccaWildman (that’s easy enough)

Rebecca is a 4th grade teacher at Boyne City Elementary in Michigan in a class that’s 1:1 with iPads. She runs http://www.ipadpd.com/ with her principal Fred Sitkins. She loves using Twitter and has over 1,100 followers on Twitter so obviously more than a few people love what she is doing. Her class started a class Twitter account.  I am jealous of her summer because she has these:

Rebecca Wildman lollapaloza

Interesting fact: She became a GTA and ADE in the same year- 2013

Jo Bailey

Jo Bailey

aka @lovephyed

Jo Bailey is a P.E. teacher at D.C. Everest Senior High in Wisconsin. Jo is obsessed with psychology, brain research, sport, technology, health, and wellness. Really obsessed with rugby. (Maybe we can talk All-Blacks or Sevens- I actually have a rugby badge on my Edmodo site) She is quite obsessed with running as well. Perhaps she could keep up with (or dominate) Patrick Dempsey in a morning run. She earned the 2013 Midwest Teacher of the Year award. She has a TON of followers on her Twitter account, if you just look at her photo and video feed you can get a hint why, or perhaps it’s her tagline: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy tea and that’s kinda the same thing.”

She started the blog Love PhyED: Move to Learn this June and hopefully we will see this blog take off.

Interesting fact: She is originally from the UK and spent time in Hong Kong

Kurt Wismer

Kurt Wismer

aka @wismerkurt (nice)

Kurt is a Business, Marketing & Information Technology Teacher at Shiocton school district in Wisconsin. He cares about environmental and sustainability issues, good music and even better food with a conscious.(I wonder if he’s a slow-food person or vegetarian? We are vegetarian in our house) He also loves to run, cross-country ski, and ride his bike on single-track technical runs.

He has a cool personal website called Kurt Wismer and a professional YouTube channel.

Interesting fact: He loves stuff like this:

Kurt Wismer loves Kayaking

Ben Hommerding

Ben H

aka @bhommerding (yeah I doubt too many people were fighting for the Hommerding handle, but I could be wrong- btw I LOVE this picture)

Ben is the boys’ and girls’ head track coach at Winniconne in Wisconsin (so many runners in the cohort- coincidence?) and lives over an hour from his work, so both he and I wonder how he ever has time for anything.  He is also an assistant basketball coach for the girls’ team and I believe he’s involved in Special Education.

Ben is fairly active on Twitter and fairly active on his blog, but guess what he has that most (all) of us don’t? Google Glass! (So jealous… sigh)

His review of the his Google Glass experience is fantastic you really should take some time to read it. I’m sure the Google team has read it. 

Interesting fact: He received his Google Glass acceptance notification on April Fools Day (psych)

Extra Credit interesting fact: He played guitar with Les Paul during a Google in Education Summit (I’m even more jealous of THAT then the Google Glass)

Rita Mortensen


aka @mortensonr

Rita is the Educational Technology coordinator at Verona Area High School in Madison, Wisconsin. (My brother-in-law earned his PhD there while living with my sister and their kids- cool area) She has a degree in business and is currently working on her MBA at the University of Madison-Wisconsin. She is also a yearbook advisor and works with her school’s Student Council. You can read more about her from her blog Rita is an ADE, a DEN Star teacher and now a GTA, pretty impressive.

Interesting fact: She is an EXPERT snow angel creator.

Tammy Lind

Tammy Lind Bio Shot

aka @Taml17 (she has a HUGE Twitter base of almost 3,000 followers- wait she has over 16,000 Tweets- that’s Ryan “Braun”esque)

Tammy is a super nerd (just check out her cool Google+ profile pic). She is currently a Technology Integration Coach for the School District of South Milwaukee.  She is a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer and has been instrumental with “Going Google” in South Milwaukee.

Prior to becoming a technology integration coach Tammy worked as an elementary classroom teacher, a special education teacher and a math specialist in the Milwaukee Public and South Milwaukee School Districts.

Tammy is a co-contributor of the Teacher Tech Talk Podcast which highlights current classroom technologies and former contributor to the Mobile Reach podcast which highlights current issues in the area of mobile learning in schools.  She is one of the two person team that brought the first Edcamp to Wisconsin and hosted the event in South Milwaukee.  The planning team has already started planning for EdcampMKE 2013! (Thanks for the bio Tammy- you make it so easy to share your successes) She blogs at Tammy’s Tech Tidbits

Interesting fact: She seems to be an avid Bucks and Brewers fan- any teacher who is a sports fanatic is a friend of mine. Hopefully the Brewers bullpen hasn’t destroyed her faith before #GTACHI.

David Tess

David Tess

aka @davidgtess (He must be the youngest GTA ever- I mean look at that photo- there’s no way he’s older than 7- he’s the Doogie Howser of teaching.

David does something in Milwaukee. He’s very mysterious. He was born the day after Christmas. He has some cool stuff on his blog, it’s called David’s Blog but I can tell he’s been a bit too busy to blog lately.

After doing a Google Image search to try and find a more current picture of him besides what’s on his Google+ and Twitter profile I found some more information about David. David currently serves as Coordinator of Online Instruction at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. He assists instructors in designing, building, and implementing online courses. Before that, he spent seven years teaching middle school and serving as a technology coordinator.

Interesting fact: David takes pictures of grammar mistakes and he looks like this:

David Tess Older

I think…

Sue Gorman

Sue Gorman

aka @sjgorman (dang my Twitter warning siren just went off- Sue has almost 6,000 followers- I think that’s more than the President of the United States- I’m not going to fact check that)

Sue has perhaps the greatest opening sentence on her Google+ account EVER. Just one word. “Blessed.” Dang that is so cool- I instantly broke into a smile. She gets life. She is a Director of Innovation (wonder if she knows @HollyEdTechDiva) an ADE, a Discovery DEN Star Teacher, and works with the Racine Unified School District in Wisconsin. She is a queen of iPad apps. Sue “only” has 3,100+ followers on Pinterest- that’s only about 3,090 more than my Pinterest account.

Interesting fact(s) In addition to knowing how to ROCK a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, she created a hashtag for her daughter’s wedding #gormantimmwedding (now that’s a 21st century mom)

Judith Epcke


aka @jepcke (another Twitter Goddess with over 5,000 followers- dang)

At first glance Judith might be the most mysterious superstar ever. Her Twitter profile says that she is the Director of Technology somewhere in Northern Illinois and her Google+ profile says- and I quote “Someone requested I add info to my profile. Here you go: http://twitter.com/jepcke

Luckily there’s a link to her blog EdTechapooloza where we can find out more about Judith. She “ran a K-5 school computer lab for 3 years and spent many years as a 4th grade teacher. It has been my pleasure to present at national and local education conferences on topics such as: curriculum development, the reading/writing process, and technology integration. Recently, I co-authored a book for teachers on using the software application, Comic Life.”

Interesting fact: No one appreciates a new penny design like Judith.

Caroline Haebig

Caroline H

aka @haebig (okay that’s a rocking easy Twitter handle are you sure you didn’t want to add an underscore or number to that Caroline? And such a cool Twitter profile pic. Love it.

Caroline D. Haebig currently is the Instructional Technology Coordinator at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, in Lincolnshire, IL. Prior to becoming an Instructional Technology Coordinator, Caroline taught Advanced Placement Psychology and Sociology at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to presenting at state and national conferences, Caroline Haebig is an invited blogger for the ISTE Connects Blog and writes for Learning & Leading Magazine.

Caroline is an active member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Young Educator Network and the Apple Distinguished Educator Community. Haebig was named as the ISTE Outstanding Young Educator in 2012, and a Jacobs Educator for the Indiana University School of Education in 2012-2013, AND an ISTE Emerging Leader (2011). (ummm I think she might be doing okay for herself in the EDU world)

Interesting fact: Caroline is a “wizard” at taking an iconographic photos for use in social media and online. I MUST discover her secret. (PS she GETS the use of white space and how both white space and a clean design aesthetic and draw and maintain interest/eye contact)


yes… yes she is

Nick Giacobbe

 Nick picture for blog post

aka @richmanlobster (okay there’s a story behind that and I’m curious as heck. I even read every single one of his Tweets to try and figure it out I also saw the Flickr and Lollapalooza accounts but nada. Maybe it’s a lobster roll reference )

Nick teaches or taught in the Chicago area. I think he is a triathlete based on this photo.

Nick triathlete photo

Nick is a new dad (four month-old son) and is really quiet in a group and you always have to watch out for those. That quiet mouth is backed up by eyes that say “I’m up to something that you’ll find out later.” If you were in our #TeamNavin group you would know what I mean.

Interesting fact: Has the ability to defy the laws of gravity in his Twitter profile picture.

Martin Moran

 Martin Moran

aka @MartinMoran21 (probably a Sammy Sosa reference)

Martin Moran is the director of the Parker Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning in Chicago, IL, as well as a technology and curriculum advisor and teacher of history. Martin has authored Themes in World History, a textbook for high school history students, as well as several articles for various professional journals.  He has been a featured speaker at several national and regional conferences in both social studies and technology and is one of the National Association of Independent School’s “Teachers of the Future” for the 2011-2012 school year. He attended DePaul University. (I always thought that would be a cool school to attend) (Thanks for the great Google+ bio Martin)

Martin blogs on WordPress and I loved his article The Nuance of Hacking

Interesting fact: He played a staring role in an AWESOME video (I’m a HUGE Beastie Boys fan)

Angela Sutherland

 Angela Sutherland

aka @Sutherland60510 (probably the Chicago version of 90120)

Angela is a District Instructional Technologist for the Batavia Public School District. She is a pretty active poster on Google+ so you should give her a follow. She has a way cool blog called Instructional Technology 101.  I loved her idea of “beta testing” Google eyelids (it allows her to imagine/dream of things) in her #GTACHI application video. So creative.

Interesting fact: She may be a triathlete because she tweets out run and bike times and her mile is pretty darn quick.

Matthew Rich

 Matt Rich

aka @MattRich0722 (hoping it’s a birthday)

Matthew (or should I say Mr.) Rich is Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at Downers Grove School District 58. I am completely stoked to see an Assistant Superintendent using Twitter. Way to model leadership Mr. Rich. He seems completely nice and tweeted out a bunch of our #GTACHI application videos (Thanks sir)

Interesting fact: He loves smores (I just build a firepit with my son just so we could make smores in the summer) and he’s a Welcome Back Kotter fan.

James Eichmiller

James Eichmiller

aka @jameseichmiller (nice)

James is the Director of Instructional Technology for Forest Park School District 91 in Forest Park, IL. He used to be a math teacher for nine years.  I love love love the way he gamed his #GTA application video to create a video that was technically longer than one minute, but not really. It instantly made me think that a “choose your own adventure” narrative GTA application video would ROCK. Feel free to “use” that idea future GTA applicants and thank James when you do. I think he originally got this idea from his blog post back in 2012 called Interactive YouTube Video  His blog is pretty cool, maybe if I twist his arm at #GTACHI I can get him to update it with a post or two. (I also wouldn’t mind seeing a cool background on his Twitter profile)

Interesting fact: I think he used to wrestle, and I also think he knows how to completely renovate a room including plumbing and concrete work. (I’ll find out if I’m right later)

Noreen Joan Kane

Noreen Kane

aka @NoreenJoanKane

 Noreen teaches business and entrepreneurship at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago and an online technology class for the Illinois Virtual School. She earned an MBA from Northwestern University and is completing her doctorate in instructional technology from Northern Illinois University. In 2006, she achieved National Board certification for Career and Technical Education. After 20 years in the software industry, she returned to teaching 10 years ago and has thoroughly enjoyed integrating technology into her school’s business curriculum.  (Thanks for the bio Noreen- so helpful)

Interesting fact: She has a dog named Tuffy

Anna Searcy

Anna Searcy

aka @misssssearcy (that’s FIVE letter S not sure how to remember that on your cell phone when you Tweet her, but I’m sure she has a memory trick for her friends)

She is currently a high school history teacher in Chicago. She got here by way of North Carolina. She uses all sorts of tech in her teaching, but she loves ancient Socratic seminars as much as she loves technology. When she’s not reading about history, teaching, or experimenting with edtech, she’s cooking or baking or pickling (someone else in the cohort who loves to pickle) or swimming or fantasizing about elaborate choreographed dance routines or listening to comedy podcasts or knitting or watching terrible TV. (I hope she read my MS3TK blog post)

Her GTA application video was BOSS level bad-donkey (loved the VCR and Slide Projector)

And her spacesuit avatar always reminds me of Sandy Cheeks from Spongebob Squarepants which is an AWESOME thing. Anna has 72 videos uploaded on her YouTube channel and her blog The Tech Tank   (Tank Girl anyone?) is locked and loaded for maximum #EduFirepower

Interesting fact: She takes some rockin photos and uses Spotify in her history class.

The East Coast Young Guns (posted 6/29 updated 7/10 with Joan Le and Marek Beck)

Just because you’ve read about someone doesn’t mean you really know them

To stand out on the East Coast you have to bring it. There’s no room for a shy gunslinger in the Young Guns posse. Let’s take a look. Two NEW East Coast Teachers were added since originally posting the East Coast Young Guns. I placed them first in line.

Joan Le

Joan Le

aka @beenschooled

Joan Le is a high school science teacher who teaches at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA. She majored in Geology at James Madison High School. Geology- how cool is that? The background image for her Twitter profile is beyond cool and her profile pic always makes me feel happy and ready to take on the day.

Her website beenschooled.com is RAD. I get completely jealous just looking at it.

Her classroom video channel on Vimeo The Science Room is barrel of monkeys level awesome.  Not only the videos that she and her students created like:

but also the videos that they “liked.”

Her classroom website is THE BOMB. In fact her name should be Mrs. Le BOMB. She uses my favorite WordPress template as the design for her site and then kicks it up a notch or two with great typography, background images, color selection etc… I’m uber jealous.

Science Room Website

She also has student videos on her classroom site including a fun one about Mars exploration that has a surprise cameo at the end of the JPL Mohawk guy that my son is emulating with his most recent haircut.

Honestly visiting her beenschooled.com site is like going down the rabbit hole. I end up someone else everytime. It’s amazing and I keep getting new ideas every time I visit. I need her to stop being awesome cause my brain is going to explode. For example you can start reading her debate on WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org and then you end up here where she muses on things you could do with a classroom website that she hasn’t tried yet.

Interesting fact: Her last name is NOT pronounced Le like the word key, it’s Le like the French pronoun which is why she is Mrs. Le BOMB.

Marek Beck

Marek Beck

Aka @GCDInstitute

Marek has worked as a Teacher, Educational Consultant, Director of Professional Development, Adjunct Professor, Presenter, Vice Chairperson (Chairperson in 2014) for the Commission on Professional Development for the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) whew…. That’s a mouthful.

Oh and did Marek have a rap video where he rolled up in a fancy car and threw it down old school hip-hop style? Yes he did. (I want to know where he got that car, cause if that’s HIS car then he’s buying every meal while we are in Chicago)

Marek doesn’t tweet a ton, but I think we can cure him of that while we are in Chicago. He said he hosted a Twitter chat, but I can’t figure out which account he used, because you can’t host a chat without a ton of Tweets. So far I’ve found two Twitter accounts that he has used- perhaps it’s… nope can’t find another one.

Marek hosted a session at ISTE13 on Dynamic Assessments with Google Apps.

Interesting fact: Marek knows who Big Daddy Kane is.

Mike Arsenault

Mike Arsenault2

aka @marsenault (I’m going to be able to CRUSH pronouncing his name)

Mike has worked in K-12 education since 1990 as a math teacher, technology coordinator and integrator. Mike has also taught courses for the University of Southern Maine and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in technology in education. (Thanks for having a filled out G+ profile Mike)

Mike has a blog and my favorite post on his blog is called “The Little Things We Do.” I really liked his reflection and discovery in the post.

Interesting fact: if you watch the videos on his Twitter account you will see what Mike thinks of the paper vs. iPad debate. (There’s a great sense of humor inside that button-down shirt)

Joanne Leight


aka @joleight

Joanne is an associate professor at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and is focused on teaching technology to future PE teachers. Professor Leight is a pretty prolific Twitter user and has some great pictures on her Twitter feed. Dr. Leight has a published book on Amazon called Technology for PE Teacher Education. How cool is that: I’m not a doctor and I’ve never published a book and yet I was picked in the same group as Dr. Leight. I can’t wait to learn from her. I used to LOVE teaching PE when I substitute taught and I coach several youth sports.

She coached softball (9 years), volleyball (5 years) and soccer  (1 year). She has been a faculty member at SRU since 1996 and also served as Head Softball Coach from 1996 to 2003. (I think Kelly Kermode and her are going to get along great)

Interesting facts: 

1. She is an avid Philadelphia sports fan and retired fast-pitch softball player.

2. I think she would enjoy seeing a White Sox game while we are in Chicago. If you look at her Twitter photos you can see she is a baseball nerd. I wonder if she has a subscription to Baseball Prospectus ?

Lee Green

Lee Better

aka @lgreen_FCBOE (another potential candidate for a Twitter intervention)

Lee has done a TON in his short time here on earth. He has taught at multiple levels in Georgia, he is an integrator of technology for the Floyd County Schools and is currently working on his doctorate. The photo area of his Twitter feed shows real promise and maybe one day he can challenge mine for most eclectic EDU twitter photo section.               (Currently I’m the reigning champion)

Tim has a great sense of humor and is uber nerdy in all the right ways. I love that he posted this video on his school based blog just to help students relax before testing season.  His summer goals blog post is awesome in so many ways.

Interesting fact: Lee has taught middle school and has worked as a probation officer- one of those was MUCH easier than the other. I’ll let you guess.

Cat Flippen


aka @CatFlippen

Cat is an Ed Tech doctoral student at the University of Florida and an eight-year educator with many roles, including including high school instructor, educational researcher, and development and conference presenter. She specializes in using and teaching effective digitized pedagogy, and my research interest resides in emergent trends, topics and technology in education, and, specifically, games-based learning the gamification of education. She is also a Games-Based Learning Advocate. Emergent Education Specialist. Futurist. All-around super geek.

She is extremely active and popular on Twitter. She co-founded edcampAtlanta and as you have probably found out already she is extremely active, proactive and helpful. She has set up a Google Spreadsheet of everyone in the #GTACHI cohort before I could even think of it and had started a Twitter list as well. She is someone who can not only teach you something, but can inspire you to step your game UP. She is currently working on her doctorate at the University of Florida which is where my nephew Will attends.

Her blog Ctrl Alt Teach is #EduAwesome and is constantly updated with Stone Cold Steve Austin level information. It’s not easy to keep your blog awesome AND updated. Hats off to you Cat. Seriously go check out her blog…. I’ll wait around.

One of my goals this summer is to figure out how to gamify my class. I’ve made Twitter friends with Alice, Rory, and Michael, but it’s going to be nice to chat face to face with a teacher who is into gamifying education.

Interesting fact: She created the music for her GTACHI application video by herself using “Reason” and “Sonar.”

Bradley Lands

Lands better

aka @MrLands (wow nice Twitter handle I’m jealous)

Bradley is an Instructional Technology Coach who strives to provide students with the skills that they will need to become life-long learners and creative problem solvers. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia and is a Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Apps for EDU Certified Trainer, National Board Certified Teacher, Siemens STEM Academy fellow. (Whew)

Bradley gets the power of Twitter to ask important questions and share important information while having fun with his peers:

Bradley Twitter

I also like how he uses Twitter to document student work and lesson ideas. Pictures are an awesome way to share ideas.

Bradley Twitter pic

Bradley has a really nice website, he was savy enough to grab a personal url and his site screams I know what I’m doing let me help you” but my favorite part of his website is his Bradley Lands blog The Landscape of Learning.

Interesting fact: His birthday is the day before mine (well it’s interesting to me); He posted a cool Lego video somewhere on his digital footprint- I’ll give you a hint start with his Google+ page- I’ll give five bucks to the first person who posts the direct link to the section of his digital footprint that houses the video. Last fact, he volunteer taught in Peru.

Phillip Vinogradov


aka @pvinogradov (nice)

Phillip is an instructional technology specialist, scientist, dad, and Pokemon trainer. (probably not in order of importance) He works in Pennsylvania. He has some cool videos on his YouTube channel. He also has a cool Scoop.it! site called Thoughtful Tech  You can get a peek at his 21st century learning lab, it’s pretty awesome- I want to take my students there tomorrow. Our learning spaces look nothing like that… sigh. And then something extra just for the fun of it from Phillip.

Interesting fact: Phillip is into Scratch. 

Cindy Wilson-Hyde

CWH avatar (1)

aka @cwilsonhyde

Cindy works in Florida. According to her YouTube video she created a concept called “Stealth PD” where teachers learn without realizing they are learning. I look forward to learning more about her in Chicago.

Chris Kauter


aka @ChrisKauter

Chris is a social studies teacher and professional development instructor at Deer Park high school in New York.  He seems to be a Google maps pro or at least has a huge passion for Google maps and what it can do in your classroom. Chris enjoys watching and talking about baseball and took his son to his first baseball game at the Long Island Ducks ballpark. You can find classes taught by Chris Kauter by clicking on the link.

Interesting Fact: Chris has developed HTML 5 apps for teaching Social Studies and History.

Andrew Stillman


aka @astillman

So if you watched the video in the intro you saw someone fail to recognize Billy the Kid. Don’t make that mistake with Andrew. If Andrew walked on your campus, he wouldn’t turn a single head, unless he was carrying donuts, but if he showed up at a GAFE conference someone would be bringing HIM donuts-probably maple bars with bacon on top (unless he’s vegan- I’ll find out in Chicago.) See Andrew Stillman is the force behind Doctopus, Autocrat, FormMule, and the site youpd. My co-worker JR Ginex-Orinion pretty much speaks of Andrew in either reverent whispers or joyous shouting and I understand. To give you a sense of the difference Andrew has made on Google users think of this: on Twitter Andrew has almost 650 followers, on Google+ Andrew is included in the circle of almost 4,000 users. That’s right FOUR THOUSAND.

Andrew is a 10 year veteran NYC public school science educator and administrator, founder of successful urban STEM school, builder of online spaces and author/coder of popular free tools for schools. He also likes to cook and sail.

I want to make clear Andrew is not some sage on the stage persona. Based on what I’ve read and heard about him, he very approachable, helpful, curious and more excited to learn from you than you from him. He would be fired up if you came up to him and told him “I’ve found an easier way or better code for …” If you look at his youpd website you will see how it encourages collaboration and shared discovery.

Interesting fact: If someone in the GTA is teaching us script tools like Autocrat or Doctopus it’s going to be really interesting watching them teach those concepts with the creator in the audience. It should be a fun and memorable experience for all.

The International Gunslingers: Tears of a Black Tiger (posted 6/27)

This is such an interesting cowboy film

Patty Zamora

Patty Zamora

aka @pattyshanti

Patty is an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) who organized the first Latin American Summit in Mexico City. She blogs at Tech-Mex and my favorite Tweet from her Twitter feed was:

Interesting fact: She attended the University of Alabama.

Chris Webb

Chris Webb

aka @webby37

Chris teaches is Taipei, Taiwan at the Taipei Adventist Preparatory Academy. He blogs at at site called Chris Webb (sounds mysterious) and posts funny stuff on his blog. The funny stuff is awesome, but it  just makes me mad that he doesn’t blog more often:


My favorite picture from his Twitter feed was:

Chris Webb Yum Pic

I can sense a disturbance in the Force… and a future food-buddy in the making. 

Interesting facts: Loves the Kansas City Chiefs and Flip-flops, not sure which is more important. Every time I get a message from him in my email inbox I think that somehow Chris Webb the ex-Michigan NBA star has finally learned my email and wants to be my friend.

Lauren Teather

Lauren Teather

aka @LaurenTeather

Lauren is a middle school teacher who teaches in South Korea. She currently teaches math and science to 6th grade students. She blogs at Smarty Pants Blog. I love the look of her site and I really enjoyed her blog post on grading.

I’m not going to embed everyone’s GTA application video but I wanted to embed Lauren’s because it’s criminally negligent that she only got 46 views. Such a fun, creative, and well done video.

Interesting fact: She wrangled bugs at a zoo. Probably need a follow-up question on that fact. She also has some experience or love of crafting… I want to see some more pictures of those crafts on her Twitter and Blog.

Pierre Sarazin


aka @pierresarazin 

His Twitter profile is very mysterious. No bio or information except that he likes coffee beans (not sure about coffee, maybe just the smell of the beans), he looks good in a tie, and he can raise one eyebrow LIKE A PRO. Did I mention he teaches in Canada. That’s right baby THE MOTHERLAND. He’s a STEM teacher and seems VERY comfortable around technology and problems of any kind.

Oh and he had one of the videos that slipped by me and is very cool to watch:

Interesting fact: I think he speaks AT LEAST three languages fluently.

Joy Paton

Joy P

aka @joyp (what a great Twitter handle) This picture

makes me want to go play tag or hide-and-go-seek RIGHT NOW

Joy teaches 10-11 year olds and loves movies, music, and art. She’s from New Zealand. I had family live in New Zealand for five years, my brother @MrJTripp taught science in New Zealand and is now living in the Arlington/Baltimore area. I love Kiwis.

She has an AWESOME blog called Creative Voice where she chronicles each year of her classes. It’s fifty times better than a year book. She has a ton of video and it’s just a joy to wade through. I’m not being punny when I say that there is a ton of joy in Joy’s room- I’m sure she is going to bring that element to the #GTACHI experience.

Her GTACHI video is so fun (of course)

When her student throws out “digital footprint” it just SLAYS me.

Interesting fact: She has TWO blogs and classroom blog and a Professional Learning blog– that’s impressive to blog your learning- so cool.

Julie Millan


aka @jsm2272 (there better be a good story behind that handle)

Julie is an instructional leader with the Technology department of the Toronto District School Board.

Interesting fact: Julie is a Pinterest addict. I follow her boards. She has 26 boards and over 1.250 pins. That’s some Pinterest love.

Julie Pinterest

Maureen Cullen

Maureen Cullen

aka @MaureenCullen

Maureen attended the University of Iowa, but now lives in New Delhi, India. She is the Tech Coordinator for the American Embassy High School. I bet she has some amazing stories. She also attended the State University of New York in Buffalo. She had an interesting video that talked about the use of space in learning. Very similar to Eric Demore’s Space to Place GTACHI application video. Like I recommended to Eric, Maureen should read Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn book.

Interesting fact: She doesn’t like computer carts… I think they haunt her in her dreams.

Lise Galuga


aka @lisegaluga

Lise is a technology integration specialist from Ottawa, Canada. That’s right CANADA! Based on what I can see from her Twitter, YouTube video and everything else, she seems wicked smart and way comfortable in a leadership position. She studied industrial and manufacturing engineering at the University of Windsor. You can tell she has a good sense of humor because she has this video on her Twitter feed:

and she posted this Tweet on her Twitter account-

Interesting fact: Even though she is bilingual, well maybe she speaks more than two languages, I cannot sense even a hint of a French accent in her YouTube video. I would also like to point out that apparently Canadians are very skilled at making videos with long tracking shots and awesome endings. I think it’s something in the crystal clean water.

Troy Gordon

Troy Gordon Bigger Better

aka @tgordontech

Troy Gordon attended John Hopkins University and co-coordinated one of the first 1:1 iPad programs in Southern Africa. He also taught an online class on flipping your classroom way back in 08/09.

Interesting fact: He chased gorillas in Uganda and ran away from hippos in Zimbabwe. I think he might be able to beat my substitute teaching stories.

Shaun Kirkwood

Shaun Kirkwood

aka @shaunyk

Shaun is a tech integrator at Singapore American School working with lower primary using iPads predominantly. He became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2010. He blogs at Kirkwood Learning and his blog looks sharp, real sharp. He has worked at Singapore American School as their technology coach since 2011. He was an engineering student in college and has taught both 2nd and 3rd grade. Third grade was always my favorite to substitute teach. They can tie their shoes, read, and yet they are still nice to grown ups. Such a golden age.

Interesting fact: He re-tweeted the following picture which is just about my favorite Calvin and Hobbes picture ever. It pretty much summarizes how I get work done.

Shaun RT

Amy Koo

Amy Koo

aka @awykoo

Amy integrated ICT across the curriculum in Hong Kong. She lives in Toronto CANADA during the summers away from school and she attended York University before moving into education.  I absolutely LOVE how important it is for her that he students CREATE. They are digital storytellers and look like they have a blast doing it.

Interesting fact: She Tweets about fire drills at the GAFE Summit… she may need to become our emergency team leader- every class should have one.

I thought there was supposed to be 50… but I count 60- where did I go wrong?


  1. “Every time I get a message from him in my email inbox I think that somehow Chris Webb the ex-Michigan NBA star has finally learned my email and wants to be my friend.”

    You are going to be sooooooo disappointed.

  2. I have a feeling that you’re not a fan of too much downtime. This must have taken (is taking) several hours to make–SOOO glad that you did. First day in Chicago we’ll all be like, “Oh yeah, you’re that one that does the thing and she’s that one that doesn’t like that other thing (computer carts perhaps?) Now let’s get started!”

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