Meet our #GAFEtalk New York Speakers

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Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager at Texthelp 

Jason has trained thousands on the effective use of Assistive and Instructional Technology throughout the United States and beyond since his start with Educational Technology over a decade ago. His focus is on bridging the gap between the operation of technology and actual implementation and is a popular speaker nationally and internationally on these topics.

Jason is a graduate of the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) from California State University at Northridge, holds an MBA, is a Google Educator, and Authorized Google Education Trainer.  He is a published author, has taught at the University level, and served as an independent consultant prior to his position at Texthelp. 

Melissa Katz

Melissa Katz, ELL Specialist

As the NYC Charter School Center’s founding ELL Specialist, Melissa works to ensure that the city’s charter schools have access to the essential supports, trainings, resources and technical assistance in place to lead their English Language Learners to academic success. Her goal is to advocate for ELLs and strengthen their presence and achievement in NYC charter schools. She worked as a K-5 ESL and dual language teacher for the NYC DOE for five years. During her time in the classroom, she created an inclusive environment through culturally responsive teaching and best ESL methodology, including SIOP. Melissa holds B.A.s from Trinity College (Hartford) in French, Spanish and English, and earned her M.S. in TESOL as a Teach For America corps member from Fordham University.

Ptahra Jeppe

Ptahra Jeppe, Student Literacy Advocate

Ptahra Jeppe was diagnosed with severe dyslexia in the third grade. She began using assistive technology at 10 years old. However, after experiencing almost every educational environment that the New York City Department of Education had to offer, it was clear that they didn't have the resources that she needed. Ptahra was enrolled in a school for children with language based learning disabilities. She then went on to attend Adelphi University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude along with other honors. Ptahra is the former program director at Everyone Reading (formerly New York Branch of the International Dyslexia Association). She also served as Chief of Staff for New York State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, before leaving to attend law school. Ptahra hopes that after obtaining a J.D. she will be able to continue to help individuals with disabilities and others in need.

Peter Bertram

Peter Bertram, Assistive Technology Specialist
Webster Central School District

Peter has been a Special Education teacher for over 15 years, and has been an Assistive Technology Specialist for the past 8 years.  Peter supports students with IEPs & 504 plans, but he also enjoys providing teachers with job embedded training so that they can support all of their students.  In addition, Peter works with the families of students with special needs whenever the need arises. He has worked with students at all grade levels, and  also enjoys teaching summer school each year.

Kimberly Ganley

Kimberly Ganley, Director of Special Services,
Webster School District

Kim is a Speech-Language Pathologist, Assistive Technology Specialist and District Office Leader with over 30 years of experience.  She began using AT in the Rochester City Schools with Apple 2e computers and Touch Talker communication devices. While in Rochester, she was a SETRC Trainer focused on AT and was a Co-author and Co-trainer  for “Reasonable Solutions” which aimed to better prepare Committee on Special Education members to select and integrate assistive technology as an IEP support. She has worked as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University, NTID at RIT and Nazareth College of Rochester. She has spent the past 14 years in Webster as a district-wide special education administrator. She has been able to not only develop her own expertise but foster the expertise of others in her various leadership and supervision roles. She believes in the power of technology to overcome barriers and the power of teams to develop creative solutions together.

The Agenda

9am - 9:10am

Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager at Texthelp

9:15am - 10:00am 

From Grade School to Law School: The Educational Journey of a Student with Dyslexia
Ptahra Jeppe, Student Literacy Advocate

10am - 11:00am

Supporting Literacy through Google Apps for Education
Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager at Texthelp

11:00 - 11:15am 


11:15 - 12:15 

Literacy Supports for English Language Learners
Melissa Katz, ELL Specialist at NYC Charter School Center

12:15 - 1:15

Lunch & Google Cardboard Demo

1:15 - 2:00

Implementation and Assessment Best Practices from a School District's Perspective
Kimberly Ganley, Director of Special Services, & Peter Bertram, Assistive Technology Specialist, Webster Public Schools

2:00 - 2:45

Product Giveaways and Roadmap Insight
Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager at Texthelp

2:45 - 3:00

Wrap up

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