Our Team

Esther Wojcicki

Journalism/English teacher at Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA for the past 25 years. Built the journalism program from a small group of 20 students in 1985 to one of the largest in the nation including 500 students, three additional journalism teachers, and five award-winning journalism electives: newspaper (The Campanile); magazine (Verde);online (www.voice.paly.net);television (InFocus); and Viking, a sports magazine. Selected by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as 2002 California Teacher of the Year. Over the past 20 years, the publications have won Gold and Silver Crowns from Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the PaceMaker Award and Hall of Fame Award from National Scholastic Press, and best in nation from Time Magazine in 2003. The website was honored with two Webby Awards in 2005. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of Creative Commons. She is also President of the Friends of the Lurdes Mutola Foundation to support girls' education in Mozambique. She is a consultant for Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Hewlett Foundation. She is on the Advisory Board for University of the People and she is married to Stanford University Physics Professor Stanley Wojcicki, and mother of three grown daughters, Susan, Janet and Anne.

Paul Kandell

The 2009 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year and the 2009 California Journalism Teacher of the Year, Paul B. Kandell is adviser to Palo Alto High School’s Verde magazine and the school’s online Web presence, The Paly Voice. Director of the East Palo Alto Summer Journalism Institute and Co-Director of the Internet Youth Journalism Advising workshop at San Francisco State University, Kandell has a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in the 90s for Newsweek. He serves on the board of the Journalism Education Association of Northern California and on the Student Press Law Center’s Advisory Council Steering Committee.

Amrita Thakur

Amrita is a recent graduate of the Stanford University School of Education's Learning, Design and Technology program. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees Computer Science, and worked as a senior developer at a technology firm for around 6 years. Amrita worked extensively in R&D to create product roadmaps, and was also involved in cross-functional work including product management, researching new business opportunities and working with 3rd party developers. Amrita has always been passionate about children, and wants to give them learning experiences which are fun, interactive and which encourage creativity and collaboration. She strongly believes in human-centered design, and understands that the intersection of education, design and technology can create powerful, user-centric learning tools for students, which will lead to widespread, affordable learning experiences. She hopes to achieve some of her future goals by helping build the 21st Century Literacy project.

Anthony Schloss

Anthony worked on www.21stCenturyLit.org as part of his final Master’s project for the Learning, Design, and Technology program at the Stanford School of Education. After graduating from Wesleyan University as a Studio Art major, Anthony worked as a cabinetmaker, sculptor, and third grade teacher until eventually settling into a 10 year career as an recording studio owner, audio engineer, producer and arts educator. Anthony now teaches digital media production to middle and high school students in Brooklyn, NY and leads RHI Radio, an online radio station staffed entirely by teens. His future plans include creating art and technology programs for young people to help them learn valuable skills, express themselves, and have fun.

Anthony Kao

Anthony Kao is currently a student at UC Berkeley who began developing and designing 21stCenturyLit.org in the summer after his junior year of high school. In his free time, he enjoys clicking the "Random Article" button on Wikipedia, and completing projects for BWC Productions, his freelance web and graphic design firm. As a student, Anthony recognizes the importance of cultivating technological literacy among today's youth.


Fabrice Florin- Newstrust.net

Fabrice Florin is executive director and founder of NewsTrust, where he manages creative and business development for this next-generation social news network.

NewsTrust helps people find good journalism online, so they can make more informed decisions as citizens. Its curated website publishes a daily feed of quality news and opinions from trusted mainstream and independent sources, based on ratings from its reviewers. NewsTrust's online review tools enable the public
to evaluate facts, fairness, context, sourcing and other core journalistic principles -- and become more discriminating news consumers in the process.
With a 30-year track record in new media and technology, Fabrice has developed a wide range of leading-edge entertainment, education and software products.

His previous ventures include:

  • Handtap, a wireless content service for mobile phones;
  • shockwave.com, a web entertainment site at Macromedia;
  • Apple Computer's Multimedia Lab, a new media R&D group; and
  • Videowest, a producer of rock journalism for ABC, MTV and public TV.
Fabrice earned four patents for his interactive TV work at Apple and was recently elected an Ashoka Fellow for his work as social entrepreneur.


Dan Russell- Google for Educators

Daniel Russell is a research scientist at Google where he works in the area of search quality, with a focus on understanding what makes Google users happy in their use of web search. He is deeply interested in how people think about search, and what it takes to help them become skilled, expert searchers.

As an individual contributor, Dan is best known for his recent work on the large, interactive IBM BlueBoard system for simple shoulder-to-shoulder collaboration, and for his studies of sensemaking behavior of people dealing with understanding large amounts of information.

Before joining Google, he also held research positions at IBM’s Research Almaden Research Center (San Jose, CA), Apple’s Advanced Technology Group (ATG), and Xerox PARC. Dan has also been an adjunct lecturer in computer science at University of Santa Clara and at Stanford University. Dr. Russell received his B.S. in Information and Computer Science from U.C. Irvine, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Rochester (1983). While at Rochester, he did research work in the neuropsychology of laterality, models of apraxia and aphasia, coordinated motor movements and computer vision.
Dan enjoys long-distance running, music and wordplay, becoming disgruntled when all three don’t happen in a single day.

Howard Rheingold

Full online bio:

Howard Rheingold is the author of:
Tools for Thought
The Virtual Community
Smart Mobs

editor of Whole Earth Review http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Earth_Review
editor of The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog
founding executive editor of Hotwired
founder of Electric Minds http://www.rheingold.com/electricminds/html/
Non-resident Fellow, Annenberg Center for Communication, USC, 2007 http://www.annenberg.edu/info/rheingold.php
Visiting Professor, De Montfort University, UK (Honorary Doctorate of Technology, 2008)

Has taught:
Participatory Media and Collective Action (UC Berkeley, SIMS, Fall 2005, 2006, 2007 ) Seed Wiki Link & Berkeley Link
Virtual Community/Social Media (Stanford, Fall 2007, 2008; UC Berkeley, Spring 2008, 2009) http://socialmediaclassroom.com/host/vircom
Toward a Literacy of Cooperation (Stanford, Winter, 2005)
Digital Journalism (Stanford University Winter, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 ) http://socialmediaclassroom.com/digitaljournalism09

Current projects:
Social Media Classroom http://socialmediaclassroom.com
The Cooperation Project http://www.cooperationcommons.org
Participatory Media Literacy https://www.socialtext.net/medialiteracy/
HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation grantee
21st Century Literacies 40 min video http://blip.tv/file/2373937 6 minute vid interview, same subject: http://bit.ly/eFqeI