2012 Speakers

The Symposium features speakers that are leaders nationwide in the area of using video games to enhance educational goals. They represent experience with award winning games that are household names, as well as real experience in application to the classroom.


Here are our confirmed speakers thus far. We will continue to update this page as we continue to add new speakers.


Margaret Ashida, Director, Empire State STEM Learning Network
Bio to be updated soon.


Anne Collier, Founder, Editor & Executive Director, Net Family News Inc
Editor of NetFamilyNews.org and founder and executive director of its parent organization, Net Family News, Inc., Anne is a writer and journalist who has worked in the news media since 1980. With SafeKids.com‘s Larry Magid, she co-directs ConnectSafely.org, a Web-based interactive forum and information site for teens, parents, educators, and everybody interested in the impact of the social Web on youth and vice versa. ConnectSafely is a project of Net Family News, Inc.


In 2011, Anne contributed a chapter to Cyberbullying Prevention and Response: Expert Perspectives (Routledge, June 2011), edited by Profs. Justin Patchin and Sameer Hinduja of the Cyberbullying Research Center. Anne and Larry co-authored A Parents’ Guide to Facebook (FBparents.org, 2012) and MySpace Unraveled: A Parent’s Guide to Teen Social Networking (Peachpit Press, 2006).


In 2009-’10, Anne served as co-chair of the Obama administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group, which in June 2010 delivered its report to Congress, “Youth Safety on a Living Internet,” a subject on which Anne frequently speaks. In 2008, she served on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, formed by 49 state attorneys general and Fox Interactive/MySpace and based at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She has appeared on PBS Frontline’s “Growing Up Online” (2008), been heard on public radio and nationally syndicated commercial radio in many states, and been quoted in the New York Times, Business Week, the Associated Press, and many other print outlets.


Anne currently serves on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board and the advisory boards of the London- and Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute and GetNetWise.org, a project of the Washington-based Internet Education Foundation. She founded the nonprofit Net Family News in 1999 on the premise that information empowers parents at a time when kids’ tech interests have become a key part of parenting. NetFamilyNews.org (“kid-tech news for parents”) is a blog, RSS feed, and email newsletter with subscribers in more than 50 countries. Anne worked on print, radio, TV, and Web versions of the Christian Science Monitor, served as an editor in consumer magazines, and has written for Microsoft’s Staysafe.org, GetNetWise.orgChildren’s Technology Review, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s NetSmartz.org.


A Massachusetts native, Anne holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Principia College and the University of Chicago, respectively, and lives with her family in San Jose, California.


Joe Dragone, Superintendent, Ballston Spa School District

Dr. Joseph Dragone has served as Superintendent of the Ballston Spa Central School District since August 2008. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from The College of St. Rose, and a Master of Science, Certificate of Advanced Study and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has served in public education for 20 years, and his previous appointments include Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education at the City School District of Albany, Albany, NY and Principal of Cohoes Middle School, Cohoes City School District, Cohoes, NY.


In 2008, Dr. Dragone created the “Partnership for Innovation in Education” program to actively promote collaboration with business, industry, non-profits and higher education, and was featured in a regional economic overview called “High Tech Hometown” and at “CLICK ’09: A Summit Connecting Business and Education.” Dr. Dragone recently served on an expert panel at the National Summit on 21st Century Readiness in Washington, DC, and has presented “Embracing the Shift: Preparing Our Students to be Lifelong Learners” for the National School Board Association, “Data Driven Decision Making” for the New York State School Boards Association and “Using Data to Support Organizational Change: Leveraging Cross-Sector Collaboration to Drive College and Career Readiness” at the WSWHE BOCES Regional Data Conference.
Through partnerships with national and local businesses, higher education and non-profit organizations, new high school courses have been implemented including Sustainable Design, Video Game Design, Pharmaceutical Research, Biomedical Science, Nanoeconomics and Nanotechnology, which was featured in Education Week. In collaboration with NYSERDA and Hudson Valley Community College, the new Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School Program creates a new regional approach to college and career readiness in emerging technologies as students simultaneously enroll in high school and college.


Since 2010, the Ballston Spa Central School District has received the “Endurance Award” from the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, the “Celebrating Success” Award from Pearson Education, The College Board’s Advanced Placement® Program’s “AP® Achievement District Honor Roll” award and Ballston Spa High School was recognized as one of “America’s Best High Schools” by Newsweek Magazine in 2010, ranked nationally by the Washington Post in 2011 and was listed on the 2012 “Best High Schools” report published by US News and World Report.
A 2008 recipient of the “40 Under Forty” Award from the Capital District Business Review and participant in the 2010 IBM Global CEO Study “Capitalizing on Complexity,” Dr. Dragone is a frequent presenter and guest lecturer regarding building organizational capacity, 21st Century Skills and Data Driven Decision Making. Dr. Dragone currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council and the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Middle States Regional Council of the College Board, Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Saratoga” Program, EdLeader 21 and on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Education Workgroup. Most recently, he has served on the Strategic Plan Workgroup of the Capital Region Economic Development Council.



Brock R. Dubbels, Ph.D., Educator , Dept. Computer Software Engineering, McMaster University
Many attendees of the 2009 Games in Education symposium will remember Brock’s motivating presentation on “The Jekyll and Hyde Effect: Play, Games, and Learning in the Clasroom/ Professional Identities Torn Asunder?”. Brock has been working as a teacher and teacher educator since 1999. As a researcher, Brock is affiliated with the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Minnesota, and specializes in reading comprehension, engagement, and exploring new technologies for assessment, delivering content, and investigating ways people approach learning.


Brock is a former Fulbright Scholar, as well as a recipient of a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. He is currently in his 4th year teaching Videogames as Learning Tools at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and is expanding the curriculum to become a 20-credit certificate for teacher professional development on the integration of games and play. He is also the principal learning architect of a game designed for work force development to train nursing assistants. Brock recently started his own company called vgAlt which focuses on school district learning and assessment consultation and video game development.


Lucas Gillispie, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Pender County Schools, North Carolina, and Author of the Edurealms.com Blog
Instructional Technology Coordinator, Pender County Schools, North Carolina, and Author of the Edurealms.com Blog Lucas has been an educator for over ten years in the state of North Carolina, having taught high school Biology before taking his current position as his district’s instructional technology coordinator two years ago. There he works with teachers to assist them with incorporating new technologies into the classroom and promotes online professional development through social networking and virtual worlds like Second Life. Recently, he earned a Master of Science in Instructional Technology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, completing his thesis work on the effects of a 3D video game on middle school students’ achievement and attitude in mathematics. He has been a gamer as long as he can recall, but was introduced to MMORPG’s by a student in 1999. Since then, he has been the leader of the Harbingers of Light guild, a guild consisting primarily of students, teachers, and other individuals from around the world.


Lucas is passionate about sharing his experiences with gaming and students in the online world. His presentations at GLS 2008, NCTIES and for the NCDLA on video games and education have been well-received as he seeks to inform educators about today’s student-gamer and the games they play. Lucas is a proponent of MMORPG’s and the potential of the genre for education.


 Click here to learn more.


Michael Gerrish, Artist and Educator, WhyART.com
Information about Michael’s work can be seen at the http://whyart.com/.


A full bio will be available soon.


Chris Haskell, Department of Educational Technology, Boise State University
Serving as a Special Lecturer in the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University, Chris specializes in instructing pre-service teachers in methods and applications of technology integration in the classroom. In addition to instilling fundamental skills, Chris focuses on the use, adaptation, and implementation of emerging technologies in teacher education including gaming, mobile communication devices, portable media players, social networking tools, and virtual worlds.


Chris has is a regular conference presenter in these emerging areas and continues to research and explore tools used by millennial students.  Chris, and co-inventor Dr. Lisa Dawley, created 3D GameLab, a game-based/quest-based learning management system.


Chris is currently completing his doctoral degree at Boise State University.


Eddie Kim, Artist & Teacher, Pierrepont School
Eddie Kim teaches theater at the Pierrepont School in Westport, CT.He has written and directed several pieces, and his recent work has been presented at the Brick Theater, Monkeytown, and HERE Arts Center in New York City. In 2007, he began pioneering Machinima Theater, a new genre in which video game characters are manipulated in real-time as digital puppets. His recent full-length collections of machinima pieces include Thank You, But Our Princess is in Another Castle and
Grand Theft Ovid. 


Information about Eddie’s performances can be seen at his website EKTheater.com and at the NYTimes.


Chris Lawrence, Project Director, Hive Learning Network, NYC
Information about Chris’ work can be seen at the http://explorecreateshare.org/.

A full bio will be available soon.


Joel Levin, “The Minecraft Teacher”, Technology Integrator, Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School
Joel is a Technology Integrator at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, New York City.  He teaches first and second grade computer skills classes, as well as high school computer electives. Joel recently achieved notoriety for using the popular sandbox game Minecraft to teach young children.  He is also one of the organizers of QuakeCon, the world’s largest free gaming LAN party.  Joel has been teaching with technology for 8 years, but has been playing games since the dawn of the Pong Era.

Click here to learn more.


Allisyn Levy, Sr. Director, Educators Experience, BrainPOP
Information about Allisyn’s work can be seen at the http://www.brainpop.com/.

Twitter:@allisyn, @brainpop

Since joining BrainPOP in 2007, Allisyn Levy has played an integral role in the creation, launch and continued development of BrainPOP Educators, our professional development resource. With a strong focus on supporting teachers as they brought technology into their classrooms, Allisyn grew BrainPOP Educators into a rich community with more than 185,000 members. Currently, as Senior Director of Educator Experience, she leads the outreach efforts for BrainPOP’s newest feature, GameUp™, a collection of top online game titles that tie right into curriculum. A National Board Certified Teacher, Allisyn spent more than 11 years as an elementary school teacher, coaching an award-winning Lego Robotics team and working with students on a number of documentaries, animations, and public service announcements. She has been published in THE Journal as well as on TeachersNetwork.org, and received grants from Donors Choose and Nike.


Marianne Malmstrom, Technology Educator, The Elisabeth Morrow School
Marianne Malmstrom has been an educator for over 25 years. Her fascination with using emerging technologies in the classroom led to her current position as a middle school technology teacher at The Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, NJ. With her colleague, Sarah Rolle, she has developed a program rich in the use of multimedia. Her school has received two JPMorgan Chase awards for “Excellence in the Use of Multimedia” as part of WLIW’s Teaching & Learning Celebration.


In Second Life, Marianne is known as Knowclue Kidd. She has volunteered as an ISTE docent since May 2007 and has been responsible for organizing several projects such as the SLEDcc 2008 Machinia Festival. As an early adopter of machinima (video created using 3D virtual worlds), Marianne has been keenly interested in how this new medium can be used for education. Her machinima work includes “ISTE in Second Life”. and “No Future Left Behind”. Working with her 8th grade tech club, she is currently exploring the use of machinima in the classroom. http://www.knowclue.com


Lori Quigley, Ph.D., Professor and Dean of the Esteves School of Education, The Sage Colleges
Information about Lori’s work can be seen at http://www.sage.edu/academics/faculty/education/quigley/.


Peggy Sheehy, Instructional Technology Facilitator and Media Specialist, Suffern Middle School, and Founder, MetaVersEd Consulting Ltd
Very active in her district teacher technology training program, Peggy is a passionate enthusiast for the meaningful infusion of technology in education. In 2006, Peggy established Ramapo Central’s educational presence in Teen Second Life: “Ramapo Islands,” and put Suffern Middle School on the map as the first middle school to use the virtual world for education. After great success with the first group of 400 8th grade students, Ramapo Islands now hosts nearly 1000 students and their teachers and supports all curriculum areas.


Peggy has presented her work with students in Teen Second Life at the Tech Expo, NYSCATE, NECC, EdNet, and the Tech Forum NY 2007. She attended the Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose where she made a strong case for the blending of the technology industry and education. As a true pioneer in teaching in virtual worlds, she is sought out for advice, curriculum direction and professional development for those that would follow in the footsteps of Ramapo Central. Her vision encompasses a globally collaborative 3-D virtual world campus where learning is student-centered, product-based, playful, and creative.


Click here to visit her website.



Bron Stuckey, Educational Technologist
Bio to be updated soon.


Mark Eisenhardt, Director of Technology, The Albany Academies

Mark is a recovering business software designer, having left the world of manufacturing and distribution for a new turn at educating the next generation of American technology users. His design skills are now put to use developing fun projects for Middle School students, largely focused on the topic of Space and Astronomy.


Jay Shaffstall, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Muskingum University

Jay is a fervent believer in the value of games in education. As a Computer Science professor, using games normally means capitalizing on kids’ interest in video games to teach them how to create video games themselves. His GamesByTeens program has, for the past four years, taken local middle and high school students with no experience in computer programming and taught them how to program video games.

As a Dad, Jay has made certain his daughter has always been exposed to various sorts of games. She’s a board game fanatic and can always be counted on to jump into roleplaying at the drop of a hat. At age 7, her levels of critical thinking are pretty amazing. Jay’s vision for the future is a world in which kids are educated through games, and keep their imaginations and sense of play alive.

Patrick C. Connor Jr. Technology Teacher, Pine Valley CSD, Communications Director, Arcane Wonders

Husband, Father, Educator. Patrick earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY College at Fredonia. He also holds a Bachelors in Computer Information Science and Earth Science Education. Currently, he teaches elementary computer courses at a small school in western NY. Patrick has been using games and simulations in education since beginning his teaching career in 1994.

Patrick worked for six years as an earth science teacher before accepting a coordinator of staff development position with Erie 1 BOCES in western NY. During his tenure with CSLO / Model Schools, he was able to develop his public speaking skills, as well as, hone his knowledge of curriculum and instruction pertaining to technology integration. After exploring the world of educational administration, Patrick returned to the classroom to focus on educational technology and its impact on student motivation, achievement and growth.”