|Meet the Toads|
Shawn Mishler is an expert technology integrator, and leader in the field of educational technology. He served as the Director of Communications Technology for The School at Columbia University. His primary responsibilities included the design and implementation of communications technology systems and overseeing The School’s educational technologists to find effective methods for the implementation of technology into the curriculum. Shawn began his work with learning technologies in 1991 at the Hawaii Community College Learning Center while attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo. At HCC, he designed and implemented the first data network to support tutorial services and SQL database to track student usage. Between 1993 and 1997, Shawn was the Assistant Director of Technology at Columbia University’s Institute for Learning Technologies. His experience there involved innovation with both wide and local area networked systems for further education efforts; his responsibilities included creating collaborative networks to promote communication within and among educational institutions by capitalizing on emergent Internet technologies. He co-taught “Telecommunications, Distance Learning and Collaborative Interchange” at Teachers College and developed a program for training schools’ technology coordinators. From 1997 to 2002, Shawn served as Director of Technology with The Ross School to direct the Information Systems Support, Software Development and Instructional Technology groups. He then served as the Director of Communications and Technology at The Ross Institute, where he designed systems to forward their extensive community and education online programming and oversaw the media and communications technology design of four new buildings. Shawn holds a B.A. in English from the University of Hawaii and an M.A. in Instructional Technology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Through it all Shawn has said, “It’s the people who matter most in a school; the technology is just icing on the cake. “
Educational Technology Consultant
Amy Wright received her B.S. from Cornell University. While in college she became enamored by two fledgling technologies that were coalescing, multimedia and the Internet. Amy’s interests led her to work for FunnyBone Interactive, a small interactive CD-ROM publishing company. While at FunnyBone she worked as an animator and designer on fourteen CD-ROM titles such as “Paws in Typing Town,” Fisher-Price’s “Ready for Pre-School”, Warner Brother’s “Animainiacs” and Puddle Books Leap into Learning six CD series. Amy was the author of Yolanda Yellsalot, one of the books in the Puddle Books series. After her time at FunnyBone, Amy worked for McGraw-Hill, creating complimentary learning resources and interactive Web-based activities for their textbooks. Throughout all of her work experience Amy always had the goal of becoming and educator at an innovative school. In 1998 Amy was employed by The Williams School, a small private institution in New London, CT. Amy moved to the Ross School, a technology rich school, in East Hampton, NY. At Ross Amy was able to combine her interests in teaching, coaching and software development, After three years at Ross, Amy began collaborating with a select group of educators to build a school for Columbia University. Amy was the first faculty member hired at The School. She began work as the Lead Educational Technologist in 2003. Amy was responsible for the integration and evolution of technology in all facets of The School’s community. She worked with faculty, academic staff, students, and families discerning their needs and helping them with the challenging aspects of technology, promoting it as a tool that supports and enhances The Schools’ perspective on education and educator’s. Her work in educational technology has earned her the prestigious title of Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), a small community K-20 educators selected by Apple. July 2006 she was selected by Apple to travel to Berlin and Prague with approximately 50 ADEs from around the world to work on their on Global Awareness Summer Institute: Explore, Create and Share. Amy was part of a group focused on developing curriculum around Peace, Conflict and Security. Amy empowers those around her to take on responsibility and welcomes challenges. She leads by example and with a smile.
Educational Technology Integration Specialist, Information Technology Systems Specialist
Ryan received his Bachelor of Business Administration at Stetson University in Florida. He served as IT manager at Runtime Technologies in New York City for three years, acting as project manager and key client contact for major education accounts such as The School at Columbia, Columbia Law School, the Mouse Squad, Schoolnet and The National Academy Foundation. Drawn to education, Ryan became Senior Systems Administrator at The School at Columbia University, working with architects, construction staff and vendors for a newly constructed K-8 school, as well as coordinating faculty training, maintaining a 1:1 laptop program, and teaching technology classes. During the time he was in New York, Ryan was also an independent consultant with several K-12 schools. In 2006, Ryan came west to work as Director of Technology at the Stanford New Schools, managing technology operations, faculty training, professional development, and the integration of technology into the Stanford University sponsored newly founded K-12 charter schools. He currently serves as Director of Technology at San Francisco Friends School where, among many other responsibilities, he is working directly with architects, electricians, and vendors in renovating a 90,000 square foot historic Levi's warehouse that is the K-8 school's home. Ryan also serves on the board of School Is Open, a non-profit that focuses on teacher training in Afghanistan.
Educational Technology Integration Specialist
Arana received her B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her M.A. in Education with an emphasis on language acquisition from Pepperdine University. Arana taught first grade in Inglewood, CA for three years. She served as her grade level's chairperson and also as teacher liaison to the PTA. This small district encouraged teachers to take ownership of their curriculum allowing Arana to develop her skills as an author of curriculum. Arana's strengths as a constructivist educator and curriculum creator were sought after by The School at Columbia University; where she was hired as a founding faculty member to write curriculum and teach second grade. Arana's educational philosophy is rooted in the belief that educators must also be engaged learners, ready to broaden their knowledge base and update their skills sets. Arana believes that teachers must make use of the most effective teaching tools available to facilitate learning in their students, whether pencil and paper, or dv camera and Final Cut. Arana's desire to bring new media technologies into the classroom prompted her to migrate from the classroom to the technology team at The School and to the Lead Educational Technologist position at the Ross Institute, where she integrated technology into K - 12 classrooms at both The Ross School in East Hampton and Ross Global Academy, a charter school in New York City. Arana has presented her research and work at several prestigious educational conferences. She worked closely with renowned Teacher's College professor Herb Ginsberg on her presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2004 and 2005. Her work focused on algebraic thinking in elementary school children. Arana also presented at the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYAIS) in 2005. The focus of this presentation was on digital story telling and stop motion animation; Arana was asked to present her work in digital story telling and stop motion animation to a wider audience. She did so at the National Association of Laboratory Schools (NALS) in 2006. Arana also presented at a Columbia University technology conference on the behalf of smart technologies to demonstrate authentic uses of interactive whiteboards in the classroom.