K-12 Digital Classroom Practice Conference (part of the National Education Summit)
We introduce you to our conference presenters, chosen for their expertise in the practical use of digital technologies in their classroom and their ability to motivate and inspire. The presenter bios can be found below, we welcome them and thank them for their generous support.

Irene Anderson
Manager, Digital Content
Independent Schools Victoria
Irene Anderson is the Manager, Digital Content at Independent Schools Victoria. She is an experienced educator who has taught in both Independent and Catholic schools. Irene has taught across all primary and secondary year levels and lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programs at the Australian Catholic University. She has special expertise in the middle schooling, having been Head of Junior Secondary at Sacre Coeur, Head of Middle School at Genazzano FCJ College, and both Head of Middle School English and Humanities and Head of Middle School Teaching and Learning at Beaconhills College. Irene has been a Deputy Principal and held various curriculum coordinator roles. Irene is passionate about how information and communications technology (ICT) can be most effectively and creatively used to enhance student learning. She supports schools in the development of ICT vision and strategic direction and in issues around cybersafety.
Zeina Chalich
Leader of Learning & Innovation
St Finbar’s Primary School, Sans Souci NSW & Founding member of @aussieED & @makerEDau
Zeina is a dynamic educator and international presenter with teaching experience in primary schools and university. In her role as Leader of Learning & Innovation, Zeina leads ‘disruptive’ change in digital pedagogy and personalised Learning - creatively integrating technology and design thinking to transform learning experiences and connect communities of learners. In 2015, Zeina was awarded the Brother John Taylor Fellow Research Prize from the Catholic Education Commission (CEC) to further explore innovative ways to develop creative thinking in a Makerspace. She also won a ‘New Voice in Leadership’ Scholarship from ACEL (Australian Council for Educational Leaders) for her work in Digital Pedagogy, Gifted Education and Mentoring with pre-service and beginning teachers. Zeina is a co-founder of #aussieED - Australia’s largest educational professional learning network on Twitter and founder of the #makerEDau twitter chat. She was recently announced the winner of the 2015 Edublogs Awards for the Best Individual Tweeter Category. Connect with her @ZeinaChalich and @makerEDau
Simon Clarke
Kaikorai Primary School, NZ
Simon Clarke has been the leader in implementing a large number of professional development programmes in Dunedin, New Zealand. His expertise have been used by the University of Otago and a large number of other schools, including his own, to motivate and encourage teachers to use information technology effectively and creatively. Simon has a strong interest in interactive whiteboards and other technologies that inspire and motivate students and teachers.
Lynda Cutting
Senior Advisor
Lynda has taught all primary year levels and successfully fulfilled a variety curriculum leadership roles. She has worked extensively in both the Independent and Government sectors. Lynda is a published author, podcaster, blogger and an Apple Certified Trainer. Currently she is a Senior Advisor with Independent Schools Victoria.
Natalie Erwin
Year 5 Teacher and eLearning Leading Teacher
Caulfield Grammar School-Malvern Campus, VIC
Year 5 teacher and eLearning leading teacher. Excited & passionate about enhancing teaching and learning through technology. A life-long learner!
Lachlan Ferguson
Year 5/6 Teacher
Aberfeldie Primary School
Lachlan is a grade 5/6 teacher at Aberfeldie Primary School with great interest and experience in the use of digital technologies in the classroom. Aberfeldie PS uses various programs and Lachlan's aim is to create a classroom where students are free to use any form of digital technology to expand their learning toolbox. The school has used Edmodo, Evernote, LiteracyPlanet, Mathletics, Scratch, Sphero robots and other Robotic programs, and Minecraft to explore all areas of the curriculum. Lachlan believes digital technology can be used in a variety of ways and is very easily integrated into all subject areas. When done correctly it can greatly expand students' engagement and interest.
Matthew Gordon
Managing Director
Matthew Gordon has been consulting, teaching and supporting technology in Victorian schools for well over a decade. Matthew’s roots were in teaching Networking and Programming technologies at a Tertiary level. With a solid background in training Matthew took a more technical hands-on role and provided direct technical support to Victorian schools for years. Matthew has seen technology progress from wired to wireless, from desktop through thin client to notebook and tablet and also pioneered wireless technologies in Victorian colleges. Matthew now spends his days consulting and helping schools build and deliver meaningful and valuable BYOD solutions for their parent/student communities. From full BYOD through managed BYOD to school supplied programs, Matthew and Edunet have provided value and support in all formats to ensure success for the school and program.
Paul Hamilton
Head of Learning Technologies (Primary)
Matthew Flinders Anglican College, QLD
Head of Learning technologies at MFAC (Primary), App developer and bestselling author. Featured in 'The Age, 'Sydney Morning Herald'​, 'Canberra Times'​ as a leading pioneer in the edtech field. Visionary of the EduBeacons App - One of the first creators/users of iBeacon technology in the Educational field in the World. Creator of "Edtech Synchronicity"​, a reflection framework for integrating technology in education. Global Keynote Speaker with recent speaking engagements in South Africa, America and Australia.
Grant Jones
Technology Teacher
St Marys Public School, NSW
Grant has been a teacher across both catholic and public education systems for the past 15 years. He has taught K-6 throughout his time in the classroom while taking on advisory and coordinator roles in technology. Grant has been at the forefront of technological integration in all the schools that he has taught at. He has been fortunate enough to present at conferences on qr coding, app building, flipped learning and the integrating of technology into the classroom.
Sally Kent
Deputy Principal
Sumner School, NZ
My name is Sally Kent and I am the Deputy Principal at Sumner School in Christchurch, New Zealand. I teach a play-based New Entrant/Year One class. I have been teaching for 14 years and have a passion for digital technology and play-based learning. I am passionate about using STEM and Maker Education in the Early Years and integrate the use of robotics and coding across the curriculum. I am currently completing a post-graduate qualification in Digital and Collaborative Learning.
Eleni Kyritsis
Year 6 Teacher
Firbank Grammar School, VIC
Eleni Kyritsis is an IB PYP teacher at Firbank Grammar an Independent School in Melbourne, Australia. She is a Google Certified Trainer, Google Certified Innovator, Hapara Certified Educator, the host and founder of TeachTechPlay, and the creator of the Genius Hour Fair. Eleni is the 2016 Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria Educator of the Year. She incorporates a range of technology into her classes to enhance teaching and learning.
Lynette Lingard
EAL/D Teacher
Education QLD
I am an EAL/D (English as an Additional Language) teacher working across a number of schools in the North Coast Region of Education Qld. I began my career as a Secondary Art and English teacher in 1985 and returned to University in 1999 to gain my TESOL qualifications to teach EAL/D. Since then I have taught in a number of schools within our region as a Visiting EAL/D teacher. Last year, I was a member of the team that was awarded the 2015 Showcase Award for Excellence in inclusive education for our program, Kilcoy Connections.
Annabel Nelson
EAL/D Teacher
Education QLD
I commenced primary school teaching in 1990 and taught in both rural and metropolitan areas. In 2000 I completed further study in teaching second languages and began working as an English as an Additional Language/Dialect teacher for the North Coast Region of Education Queensland. I am passionate about using ICT to engage students and improve learning outcomes. In 2011 I began designing and creating interactive programs to improve and accelerate the English language acquisition of my EAL/D students. In 2014 I won the North Coast Region Acer Award in recognition of innovation and excellence in teaching and learning using ICT, and also received the Regional Showcase Award for excellence in Inclusive Education for my program ESL Connect. In 2015 our EAL/D team won the Queensland State Showcase Award for excellence in inclusive education with our program Kilcoy Connections.
John Pearce
Deakin University, VIC
Having spent more than thirty years teaching in primary schools John Pearce now tutors at Deakin University. John’s ongoing interest in the use of ICT across the curriculum has seen him present at local, national and international conferences. Lately he has become interested in digital curriculum including coding and Makerspaces. His web based resources attract readers from all over the globe.
Jill Pears
Associate Principal
Sumner School, NZ
Jill Pears is currently Associate Principal at Sumner School in Christchurch New Zealand. She is also a doctoral candidate at University of Canterbury researching strategies to increase the participation of girls in STEM subjects. Jill was an early adopter of Robotics and Coding in the classroom, originally having set up Robotics and Coding curriculum at an independent girls' school in 2002 and more recently being involved in school Makerspace development. Jill has a wide range of teaching and leadership experience having been in leadership positions at both independent and state schools and at secondary and primary schools. Jill has presented at a number of conferences including the inaugural Scratch conference an Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New Zealand Principal's conferences, Arts conferences and ULearn. Currently Jill is involved in a research project exploring the use of Robotics to increase the participation of minority girls in STEM subjects and careers.
Angela Rogers
Numeracy Coach
St Monica's Primary School Moonee Ponds, VIC
In 2014 I completed my PhD at RMIT university. My research looked at the development of an online and pen and paper based assessment tool for whole number place value in Years 3-6. I am currently working at St Monica's Primary School as a Numeracy Coach, helping to design and implement a comprehensive program in Place Value. I am very interested in developing digital resources to support teachers to assess and teach mathematics.
Mark Roper
Head of Technology and Digital Literacy
Island School, HK
23 years in education 18 in the international sector Most recently 16 year in Hong Kong at Island School where I teach Design & Technology, Digital Literacy and applied ICT. Leader of the Technology Faculty and have whole school involvement in 1:1 implementation, learning technologies development and ICT strategy. For the last 6 years I have been invovled with a group of teachers working in skills based assessment of ICT. Within this cooperative we have developed the IE Award in Applied ICT which was originally accredited by Cambridge International Examinations and now ASDAN. Additionally, I have co-authored the IE Award in Digital Literacy which is a whole school approach to developing digital literacy. I believe the best way to educate students about and with technology is to immerse them in genuine problem situations and that their fostering creative process skills is the best way to structure this learning.
Grantly Saint
Hamilton Secondary College, VIC
A background in Design and Photography. Mainly teaching within Secondary schools with a focus around the use of ICT.
Mark Sampson
Client Services Director
Mark has over 20 years experience in education and learning technology. He now oversees a team at LiteracyPlanet that is focused on empowering and supporting thousands of principals and teachers around Australia, in their effective implementation of digital technology for literacy teaching. LiteracyPlanet is an online education program for schools that brings together best practice literacy teaching with cutting edge digital game design. In his special session for this conference, Mark will talk about the positive ways gamified mechanics engage students, and how gamification is changing student learning in Australian classrooms.
Ian Thomson
School Leader IT & Flexible Learning Centre. Professional Associate 'Inspire Centre' University of Canberra
Amaroo School/University of Canberra, ACT
Ian is the School Leader of ICT & the flexible learning centre at Amaroo School, the largest public school in the ACT where he has recently worked to introduce a BYOD and GAFE program across the school . He is a professional associate at the University of Canberra's Inspire Centre, a learning commons that looks to empower education, government and community organisations around engagement and innovation. He has recently completed his Masters in Education in ICT leadership, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra. Ian is also an accomplished professional film maker who has had his work play at a number of premier national and international festivals. Ian is passionate about the use of digital media in the classroom and beyond, the development of a student 'start up' culture, creative educational design thinking and the use of authentic STEM based curriculum in the classroom.
Rob Torok
Claremont College, TAS
Rob Torok is a teacher in Tasmania, Australia and has been using LEGO MINDSTORMS with his students since 2001. Rob works for LEGO Education Australia part-time as a workshop presenter and Content Editor for LEGOeducation.com.au