The  Committee develops strategies and oversees activities that promote both the engagement of new TYCIF members and the continuing involvement of current members, helping them to recognize the value of being part of this Interest Forum.  The Committee also meets every year at the NAEYC Annual Conference to discuss the direction of the Interest Forum.

Meet the Committee members

NAEYC Liaisons:

Diane BalesLynn Hartle

Committee Members:

Amanda Armstron | Mark Bailey | Ilene R. Berson | Bonnie Blagojevic
Warren Buckleitner | Douglas H. Clements | Luisa Cotto | Chip Donohue |Sue Griebling
Sharon Hirschy | Karen Nemeth | Audrey O’Clair | Katie Paciga
Brian Puerling | Dina Rosen | Fran Simon | Priscilla Taylor | Christine Wang | Shimira Williams

Amanda Armstrong

Amanda Armstrong, M.S., is the Program Coordinator for the TEC Center at Erikson Institute.  She earned her M.S. in Child Development with a specialization in Administration from Erikson Institute in 2012, and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Bradley University in 2006.  Amanda has conducted research for Erikson’s Early Mathematics Education Project analyzing how early math is taught in public schools and at the community college level.  She has also worked with nonprofit organizations focusing on after-school and tutoring programs for children.

Amanda has come to TEC Center with an interest in approaches that can be implemented with modern technological devices to assist young children’s development and learning as well as build foundational skills for their future. She is also interested in the types of measurement that can be used to assess their impact on children.  This summer Amanda is working at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development in the animation courses at their Leapfrog Program.  In these courses, Amanda is discovering how learning animation can enhance children’s social and relationship skills, cognition, and creativity, along with building on their everyday experiences.  From her experience of using technology with children, she can assist early childhood educators in building their digital literacy knowledge and skills.

Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey has been exploring the use of pedagogically powerful technological tools to support early childhood education for the past 25 years. As a cofounder of the Oregon Technology in Education Network, he has collaborated on writing and administering two funded Federal grants: Preparing Tomorrowâs Teachers to Use Technology (PT3), and a Technology Quality Enhancement Partnership (TQEP) grant. His work has included explorations of collaborative learning tools and he has written and presented about the manner in which technology should be used with young children.

Mark did his undergraduate work in ECE and Psychology at Grinnell College and then taught preschool and kindergarten for 7 years. While completing his doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin he worked on the NICHD Study of Early Childcare. For the past 13 years Mark has been a professor in the Pacific University College of Education. He currently serves as Director of the Child Learning and Development Center he developed on Pacificâs Forest Grove campus, as well as the ECE specialist for graduate and undergraduate students.

Diane Bales

Diane BalesDiane Bales is an Associate Professor of Child and Family Development and an Early Childhood Specialist with Cooperative Extension at the University of Georgia. Diane has mor than 15 years of experience in early childhood development and education in a variety of settings, including directing a drop-in weekly child care program, teaching community-based training workshops to child care providers and parents, teaching child development and creative activities to undergraduate students, and co-leading the Georgia Better Brains for Babies initiative. She is co-leader of a national Extension team developing the Better Kid Care America web-based resource for child care providers. She is interested in using social bookmarking sites such as Diigo as a tool to identify and share early childhood resources, and has integrated technology use into her creative activities courses.


Ilene R. Berson

Ilene R. Berson, Ph.D., NCSP is a Professor of Early Childhood in the Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies at the University of South Florida. She also serves as the coordinator of the USF Early Childhood doctoral program with an emphasis on social justice and child advocacy. Dr. Berson has extensive experience working with children ages birth to eight, and she is a nationally certified and state licensed school psychologist. Her research focuses on prevention and intervention services for young children at imminent risk for behavioral and mental health challenges associated with child maltreatment and other traumatic events. She leads collaborative reform initiatives, forging linkages between early childhood, child welfare, and health care systems, as well as international studies on the engagement of young children with digital technologies. Dr. Berson has extensively published books, chapters, and journal articles and has presented her research worldwide. She has been the principal investigator on funded grants totaling over $2.5 million. Dr. Berson embodies the characteristics of an engaged scholar who works closely in reciprocal relationships with practitioners and policymakers to develop innovative solutions for emerging and long term issues to promote young children’s well being.


Bonnie Blagojevic

Bonnie-Blogojevic-300x300Bonnie is currently working as an education consultant and adjunct faculty member atThe University of Maine. She was involved with the development of the NAEYC Technology and Young
Children Interest Forum web site “Technology & Young Children“, is a member of the Webmaster team, and contributes to the Diigo group ECETECH and the ECETECH Wiki projects. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2007.

Bonnie has over 20 years experience as an early education professional working directly with children and as an administrator in various child care program settings such as high school lab preschool, a University childcare setting, a family childcare home and a nonprofit childcare center. For the past six years, she provided tech integration support for “Early Literacy for Every Child” classrooms, an Early Reading First Project in Maine and contributed to the Tech Integration & Early Childhood Education web page content based on that work. Bonnie is a consulting editor for NAEYC and has co-authored several technology related articles for NAEYC’s Teaching Young Children.

Warren Buckleitner

warrenbuckleitner-bWarren Buckleitner, Ph.D. is an educational researcher and product reviewer with a specialty in the design of interactive media for children. He is the founding Editor of Children’s Technology Review and covered children’s technology for the New York Times for over a decade. In 2001 he created the Dust or Magic Institute, an annual meeting of leading designers, researchers and reviewers, with the intention to share examples of best practice in children’s digital media. That same year, he started Mediatech Foundation, a non-profit technology center designed to enhance the services of a small town public library with technology. He’s the coordinator of the annual BolognaRagazzi Digital Prize, and the KAPi Awards — a juried prize given each year at CES. He’s an adjunct professor at TCNJ, and has taught in NYU’s ITP program, Rutgers and Michigan State University. He holds a BS in Elementary Education (cum laude), an MS in Human Development and a doctorate in educational psychology (Learning, Technology & Culture) from Michigan State University. He lives in New Jersey, is married with two daughters, and enjoys playing the trumpet.

Douglas H. Clements


Douglas H. Clements is Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Professor at the University of Denver. Previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one year, he has conducted research and published widely in the areas of the learning and teaching of early mathematics and computer applications in mathematics education. His most recent interests are in creating, using, and evaluating a research-based curriculum and in taking successful curricula to scale using technologies and learning trajectories. He has published over 120 refereed research studies, 18 books, 70 chapters, and 275 additional publications. His latest books detail research-based learning trajectories in early mathematics education: Early childhood mathematics education research:  Learning trajectories for young children and a companion book, Learning and teaching early math: The learning trajectories approach (Routledge).

Dr. Clements has directed 20 projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Dept. of Educations, Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Currently, Dr. Clements is Principal Investigator on two large-scale randomized cluster trial projects (IES). He is also working with colleagues to study and refine learning trajectories in measurement (NSF). Two recent research projects have just been funded by the NSF. Clements is PI on the first, Using Rule Space and Poset-based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test, which will develop a computer-adaptive assessment for early mathematics. Clements is co-PI on the second, Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science, and Literacy, developing an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum.

Dr. Clements was a member of President Bush’s National Math Advisory Panel, convened to advise the administration on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics and coauthor of the Panel’s report. He was also a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics and co-author of their report. He is presently serving on the Common Core State Standards committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, helping to write national academic standards and the learning trajectories that underlie them. He is one of the authors of NCTM’s Principles and Standards in School Mathematics and Curriculum Focal Points.

Luisa Cotto


Luisa Cotto holds a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in instructional technology; is a contributing author of Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning. With more than ten years of experience as a teacher and instructor, Luisa has served under numerous United Way-sponsored early childhood community-wide grants. As part of a statewide volunteer reader program, ReadingPals, she adapted a curriculum used by volunteers to read to preschool students. Luisa was awarded the Governor’s Champion of Service Award for her work in ReadingPals.  In 2015, Luisa founded Learning Together to provide professional learning opportunities to early care and education professionals. Luisa also creates engagement opportunities for families and the community through various projects throughout Miami-Dade County and serves as adviser on the use of technology in the classrooms.


Chip Donohue

1ChipChip Donohue, PhD, is Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education and Director of the TEC Center at Erikson Institute in Chicago. He is a Senior Fellow and Member of the Advisory Board of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, where he co-chaired the working group that revised the 2012 NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center Joint Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs serving children from Birth through Age 8. Chip is the editor of Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning, co-published by Routledge/NAEYC in 2014, and is editing a new book, Family Engagement in the Digital Age: Early Childhood Educators as Media Mentors to be published in 2016. In 2012 he received the Bammy Award and Educators Voice Award as Innovator of the Year from the Academy of Education Arts & Sciences. In 2015, he was honored as a children’s media Emerging Pioneer at the KAPi (Kids At Play International) Awards.


Sue Griebling

Susan Griebling, EdD, is an Academic Director for the Early Childhood Online Education program at the University of Cincinnati. Sue has 10 years of teaching experience in early childhood and 12 years of administrative experience at Head Start. Sue teaches early childhood courses both online and on campus. She is a facilitator of the University of Cincinnati’s study group of the Reggio Inspired Approach to ECE. She has an added interest in the arts in early childhood and the use of technology in the early childhood classroom.

Lynn Hartle

Remember Commodore 64 computers? Our preschoolers used these back in early 80’s with LOGO! Remember, the first MacIntosh computers? – that’s where our school management and finances was processed! After 10years of teaching young children in both Michigan and as a Directress, teacher, founder of a Montessori Children’s House in Cookeville, TN, the families provided much support for me to continue my terminal degree and pursue higher education. I have enjoyed teaching undergraduate and graduate Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education courses in every area. My research areas include teaching diverse learners and my service work with community agencies leads me to other research. In the past 20+ years, I have gone through many computer upgrades and every electronic toy I can buy. Rarely do the college students call; they email and I lead them through their needs and around their busy schedules. In the past few years, I rarely saw students, but felt very connected through my online or partially online, field experience-based classes. Currently I am teaching more F2F classes with technology components, exploring exciting adventures through a blended or hybrid model that supports students with the most effective delivery to fit their learning needs.

Sharon Hirschy

Sharon Hirschy is Professor of Child Development and Education at Collin College in Plano, Texas. She has worked with children for over thirty years. She has been a child care consultant, social worker, public school teacher, child care administrator and teacher, and parent educator. Her main areas of interest and research have been technology and parent education. She is a Certified Family Life Educator and has authored many materials for parents and educators on children’s development.

She teaches courses online as well as in the classroom, and serves on the Online Advisory Board at Collin, which reviews and approves online courses for the college. She has a particular interest in training early childhood educators in the use of technology for themselves and the children in their classroom.

Karen Nemeth

Karen_NemethKaren Nemeth, Ed.M. is an author and consultant specializing in supports for first and second language development in young children.  She has worked extensively with programs on using technology to broaden their access to resources that reflect the languages and cultures of the children and families they serve.  Karen is a consulting editor and author for NAEYC and she is on the board of NJTESOL-NJBE.  Karen is the co-author, with Fran Simon, of Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Early Childhood Education (2012)  Karen has worked in the field of early education for more than 25 years, serving in every capacity from college instructor to training provider to classroom teacher to state education specialist.


Audrey O’Clair

Audrey O’Clair operates The Kinder Garden, a NAFCC accredited family childcare home in Newburgh, Maine. The Kinder Garden has achieved a Step Four (highest level of quality) rating on Maine’s Quality Rating System. Audrey was selected to be a “Maine Maven”, one of eight in the state, to serve as a mentor to other child care providers working to improve the quality of care they offer to children and participating in Maine’s Quality Rating System.

Audrey’s additional projects include; †family literacy consultant for RSU #3 in Waldo County and co-creator of a 100 hour early intervention program for children at risk for reading struggles prior to the start of Kindergarten. This program, providing children opportunities to hear wonderful books, draw and dictate stories, and experience other rich literacy experiences,†has proved so successful and has had such a positive impact on children it has expanded from one to four school districts.†When asked how Audrey feels about all that is happening for her at this time, she says cheerfully that her “cup runneth over with letters and little ones!”

Katie Paciga

Katie Paciga is an Assistant Professor of Education at Columbia College Chicago and is the first ever Early Career Research Fellow of the TEC Center at the Erikson Institute and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Mediaat St.Vincent College (with generous funding from the Grable Foundation). She holds a PhD in Literacy, Language, and Culture (University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011) and is a licensed elementary school educator as well. Her teaching and research interests focus on the social, emotional, cultural, and cognitive bases for language and literacy development, with a focus on the ways in which educational policies, human interaction, individual interests, printed media (i.e., children’s literature) and interactive media (i.e., web- and app-based games and tools) contribute to language and literacy teaching and learning.

Brian Puerling


Brian Puerling, MS, NBCT is a National Board Certified Teacher and author of, Teaching in the Digital Age: Smart Tools for Age 3 to Grade 3. He is a graduate of the Erikson Institute and is a former preschool teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. He is currently the Director of Education Technology at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago.  Brian is on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Metro Association for Education of Young Children, has worked as an early childhood teacher coach, a curriculum reviewer, and as presenter and consultant for for the Chicago Public Schools, the Erikson Institute, United Way Miami-Dade, and the Early Childhood Council of New Zealand. He has also been a guest blogger for the Fred Rogers Center for early learning and children’s media.  Brian currently serves on the National Advisory Board for Media Smart Libraries; is a former participant on the Sesame Workshop Teacher Council, and was a recipient of the PBS Innovative Educator Award and PBS Teacher’s Choice Award in 2010.

Dina Rosen

Dina Rosen is an Assistant Professor at Kean University. A graduate from New York University (Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Administration and Technology) and Wagner College (M.A in Special Education), she has made important contributions to the fields of teacher education, education and technology education. Applying her instructional experience at the middle school, elementary, and early childhood levels, she has directed and evaluated sponsored research projects. Dr. Rosen holds many important leadership positions that have allowed her to steward the Early Childhood field toward inclusion of technology. She has publishing many peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and conducted more than 80 presentations at professionalconferences. Dr. Rosen has provided keynote addresses in the United States as well as abroad for the Organization of American States (OAS). Her work has been published in important journals such as Action in Teacher Education, Young Child, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Early Education and Development, and Computers in the Schools. Her research on case-based multimedia instruction earned the honor of NAECTE Dissertation of the Year Award.

Fran Simon

fran_simon__mediumFran Simon, M.Ed. has been an early childhood educator and an avid technologist since 1981. Early in her 15 year career as a multi-site child care administrator, she learned that using technology was one of the most powerful skills in her administrative toolkit, so she set out to learn more and do more to connect early childhood educators to technology. During the next phase in her journey, Fran used her passion for technology in her positions at Teaching Strategies, Inc., and the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). A frequent presenter at national conferences, Fran is a consultant with her own company, Engagement Strategies, LLC. She is also the founder of Early Childhood Investigations Webinars, an ongoing series of free webinars for early education professionals, and Co-Founder of Early Childhood Technology Network. Fran is Co-Author of a new book, Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology for Early Childhood Education.


Priscilla Taylor

Priscilla Taylor is a graduate student and teaching assistant at West Chester University where she works in distance education. She is currently pursuing a certificate and Master’s in early childhood education as well as a certificate in educational technology. Her current research interests include technology and young learners, digital storytelling and mobile devices in higher education. She has presented at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference, RECAP Conference, and the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference.

Christine Wang

Christine Wang, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003.

She is interested in technology in young children’s learning and social development, and ECE teacher education. She has been investigating young children’s social construction of their computer experiences in the classroom. She is also involved in several other projects, such as evaluating children’s websites, providing training and support to teachers in a high-need local elementary school, and teaching pre-service teachers to evaluate educational software and to develop electronic teaching portfolio. In the past, she participated in several online educational technology projects while working as a research assistant with the Technology Research Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications from 1998 to 2000.

Shimira Williams

Shimira Williams is an innovator, educator and economic stimulator of technology education and STEM advocate. Williams is a Pittsburgh native and entrepreneur, who aspires to be a catalyst in eliminating the digital divide, especially in urban communities. She lives, works and plays all things STEM! Williams is the owner of Productivity, LLC, which offers organizations technical consultation to adapt and enhance technical processes in their operations. In addition, individuals can register for professional development seminars offered throughout the year. She is also the owner of TekStart, a STEM-based after-school program (including a summer program) kick starting technology education to grow the innovation economy. A notable program is Lunch & Learn a career exploration lunch series for students to meet people that work in S.T.E.M. driven careers. The Digital Literacy Project has identified this program as example of exemplary use of technology with children. Before branching out, Williams was employed as a Database Analyst in the financial sector and Chief Financial Officer for a local development firm. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University – Behrend in Business Economics.


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