Don Blake is a Senior Technologist assigned to NEA's School System Capacity unit. His educational background includes studies in secondary education, sociology and technology. At NEA, he is responsible for tracking and interpreting trends in technology and education in an effort to ensure that the Association remains an informed and effective advocate for its members, their profession and the kids they teach.
Deborah Plutzik Briggs
Deborah Briggs was named Director of Marketing and Corporate Development for Firaxis Games in 2004, after eight years serving as company recruiter, special events planner, community relations visionary, and corporate development point person. As a marketing executive for over 25 years, Deborah’s career has spanned many industries from education to entertainment to philanthropy, earning her recognition by The Maryland Daily Record as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for 2004.
A leader in the movement to integrate consumer-off-the-shelf games into classroom teaching, Dr. Briggs holds a Doctorate of Arts in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master of Science from University of Illinois, and a BFA degree from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. She has held Fellowships with Leadership: Baltimore County and the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington DC., taught marketing and public relations at colleges and universities, and consulted widely for small businesses and the non-profit arena.
Jeff Briggs is Founder, President, and CEO of FIRAXIS Games, recognized as a world leader in developing blockbuster titles such as Sid Meier's Civilization III, Alpha Centauri, Gettysburg and Pirates!. Jeff has produced the Civilization franchise since its inception and was Lead Designer of Civilization III, which has sold over 3 million copies. Jeff is lead composer for Civilization IV, scheduled for release in October 2005. Jeff is a Doctor of Composition and Music Theory, with degrees from the University of Illinois, Memphis University, and Eastman Conservatory. His musical compositions have been performed in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and at the Pompideau Centre in Paris, France. In addition he has scored more than 30 games in his career under the Sid Meier, Firaxis, and MicroProse brands. In 2003, Briggs was named Maryland’s Ernst and Young Software Entrepreneur of the Year and FIRAXIS Games was presented with the Baltimore County New Directions Award.
Jan Cannon-Bowers holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. She is an Associate Professor of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and a Senior Research Scientist at the UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training. Dr. Cannon-Bowers is the Founding Director of UCF’s new Center for Research in Education, Art, Technology and Entertainment (CREATE). She previously held the position of Senior Scientist for Training Systems for the U.S. Navy, and has more than seventeen years of experience conducting research into learning and performance in complex systems. She is currently Principal Investigator on several efforts aimed at applying technology to K-12 education and workforce development, including grants from the National Science Foundation to investigate the development of Synthetic Learning Environments and educational games for science education. Dr. Cannon-Bowers is an active researcher, with over 125 scholarly publications and presentations, and serves on the Editorial Boards of several research journals.
Dr. Phoebe Cottingham joined the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) , the research arm of the Department of Education, as Commissioner of Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance in September 2003. She directs the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), one of four centers at the IES.
Dr. David Dockterman is the Chief Academic Officer at Tom Snyder Productions, a Scholastic company, where he has been developing award-winning educational software for over 20 years. Among his credits are Decisions, Decisions, The Great Ocean Rescue, Science Seekers, Science Court, FASTT Math, and the books: Great Teaching in the One Computer Classroom and Weaving Technology into Your Teaching. David is also an Adjunct Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned his Ed.D, and an elected member of the Carlisle, Massachusetts school committee for the last nine years.
Ann Foster is Senior Vice President, eLearning for the Harcourt Education Group. Ann has been engaged in educational publishing for the past 20 years with roles as Publishing Director, Strategy Director, International Publishing Director and eLearning Director and has been involved in the changing world of education from both sides of the Atlantic. Since 2001, she has lead a team at the Corporate level of the Harcourt Education Group to evolve a cross-divisional eLearning strategy to catalyze investment and innovation in the eLearning arena, in support of Harcourt's customers' changing needs. Ann's team led the core investments in product technology at Harcourt as well as partnerships, and evaluation of new technologies and their applicability to the needs of schools and students.
Eugene W. Hickok
Eugene Hickok is Senior Policy Director at Dutko Worldwide, a government relations and public policy firm in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Gene served at the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush. He also served as Under Secretary of Education for President Bush. During his tenure at the U.S. Department of Education he had broad responsibility for the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act and oversaw the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For six years he was Secretary of Education for Pennsylvania. Gene was on the political science faculty at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for many years, as well as the faculty at the Dickinson School of Law. The recipient of numerous awards for his teaching, he has published articles and books on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the role of the judiciary in American society, and American politics and law. In 1986, he served in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. He was a Bradley Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in 1990. Gene received undergraduate degree from Hampden-Sydney College and his Masters Degree in Public Administration and his Doctorate in Government from the University of Virginia. He resides in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Joseph A. Irby
Joseph Irby devoted his early professional years to the management of the Irby Construction Company, an international leader in power line and electrical substation construction. There he served as Vice President and General Manager until 1988, when he resigned to devote full time and energy to the development of private schools for inner-city children. He founded and served as Administrator for two urban Christian schools from 1989 to the year 2000. Also, during this time, he was instrumental in establishing two private scholarship foundations that provide tuition assistance to low-income families. Mr. Irby holds a B.S. in Business Management and an M.Ed. in School Administration, and completed 29 hours of graduate business study at the University of Florida in 2001-02. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Children's Scholarship Foundation - Arkansas, the Faith Christian School, the Irby Corporation, and the Stuart C. Irby Company.
D. Midian Kurland
Midian Kurland, Ph.D., is Vice President for Technology and Development for Scholastic Education Group, Scholastic Inc. Dr. Kurland is a 25-year veteran of the educational technology industry with a career that has included academic research at the Center for the Study of Reading (Univ. of Illinois) and Bank Street College, cutting-edge development projects as a scientist at EDC and at the Apple Advanced Technology Group, and senior-level executive positions with Computer Curriculum Corporation, Scholastic and various Internet start-up companies. Midian is currently VP Technology and Development for Scholastic Education. In this capacity he manages product development for all technology-based enterprise curriculum products including READ 180, Scholastic Reading Inventory, WiggleWorks, Scholastic Reading Counts, ReadAbout and Zip Zoom English which collectively garner over $100 million in annual revenue. In addition to his roles at Scholastic, Midian also serves on the Board of the Education Division of Software & Information Industry Association.
For nearly two decades Lorne has been focused on the integration of character and environmental design, 3D animation, visual effects, game design, and interactive storytelling. His experience in Aerospace Visualization and as a Technical Director, Art Director and VFX Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues Studios in LA was instrumental in shaping the vision and production approach that would later become the cornerstone of Oddworld Inhabitants which he co-founded with visual effects veteran, Sherry McKenna, in 1994. Lorne serves on the Advisory Boards to the San Francisco Academy of Art University, the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, and the CGSociety. He also serves as the Vice Chairman for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) and on the jury for the Expose Annual: Worlds Best in Digital Art.
His Oddworld games have sold over 5 million copies and garnered dozens of awards not only from the game industry, but also from the music, television, and film industries - as well as illustration & design annuals. Originally trained in photorealistic illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Lorne holds a BFA in Motion Graphics & Visual Effects from the California Institute of the Arts and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the San Francisco Academy of Art University.
Barbara M. Olds
Dr. Barbara M. Olds joined NSF in March 2003 as the Division Director for Research, Evaluation and Communication (REC) in the Education and Human Resources Directorate. In addition, she was appointed Acting Division Director for Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education (ESIE) in May 2005. She is a Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) where she most recently served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. She has also been the Principal Tutor/Director of the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs for Engineers and Director of the EPICS (Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence) Program at CSM. Her research interests are primarily in the assessment of undergraduate student learning. With colleagues she developed Cogito, a computerized version of the King and Kitchener measure of intellectual development. Her current research focuses on development of concept inventories for engineering topics. She has participated in a number of curriculum innovation projects and has been active in the engineering education and assessment communities. She is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education where she served on the Board of Directors from 2002-2004 and was a Fulbright lecturer/researcher in Sweden in 1999.
Howard has twenty-five years of game industry experience serving as Creative Director for Nintendo and LucasArts, VP Development for THQ and Absolute, and Studio Manager and Design Director for Microsoft. Most recently Howard has been working on an “under cover” project at Microsoft that is exploring new ways to fuse technology, game mechanics, and learning.
Steven B. Ritter
Kurt Squire is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Educational Communications and Technology division of Curriculum and Instruction. He is also a research scientist at the Academic ADL Co-Lab participating in the GAPPS research group. Along with Jim Gee, he runs the Room 130 research group examining games, learning, and literacy. He is a visiting Research Fellow at MIT and co-director of The Education Arcade, a research and service project investigating the educational potential of digital gaming. Squire earned his PhD from Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology. His dissertation examined learning through playing Civilization III in three learning environments. He is also a former elementary and Montessori teacher. Squire's dissertation focused on how playing Civilization III mediated students' understandings of world history. Previously, he was research manager of the games-to-teach project at MIT. In 2000, he co-founded with Jon Goodwin joystick101.org, a web community studying game culture.
Brenda Sugrue, PhD, is Senior Director of Research for the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), directing all of its research and benchmarking activities. Prior to joining ASTD in 2003, she was a professor of instructional design and technology at the University of Iowa and owned an e-learning software business. She has published dozens of articles and book chapters on learning and performance improvement, and edited the book Performance Interventions: Selecting, Implementing, and Evaluating the Results, published by ASTD in 1999.
Hannes Högni Vilhjálmsson
Dr. Vilhjálmsson is a research scientist at the Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education (CARTE) at University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute. His research focuses mainly on the role of nonverbal cues in face-to-face interaction and how these cues can be autonomously generated in interactive animated characters based on linguistic and social context. At CARTE, he has been one of the principle creators of the Tactical Language Training system, that teaches basic verbal and nonverbal communicative skills in a foreign language using advanced gaming and tutoring technology. Dr. Vilhjálmsson completed his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Laboratory in 2003, where he was a member of the Gesture and Narrative Language Group. His thesis dealt with how to improve online collaboration in shared virtual environments by using a model of face-to-face conversation to animate avatars, representing each of the participants. He received his M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences also from the MIT Media Laboratory and has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Iceland.
Deborah Wince-Smith is President of the Council on Competitiveness. An internationally recognized expert on science and technology policy, innovation strategy, and global competition, Wince-Smith was most recently appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the NASDAQ Stock Market and as Chairman of the Secretary of Commerce's Strengthening America's Communities Initiative Federal Advisory Committee. Wince-Smith served as the first Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy in the Department of Commerce Technology Administration from 1989 to 1993. During the Reagan Administration, she served as the Assistant Director for International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science Technology Policy. Wince-Smith graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude from Vassar College and received her master's degree from King's College, Cambridge University.
Michael Zyda is the Director of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's GamePipe Laboratory, located at the Information Sciences Institute, Marina del Rey, California. From Fall 2000 to Fall 2004, he was the Founding Director of The MOVES Institute, located at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, California and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NPS as well. From 1986 until the founding of the MOVES Institute, he was the Director of the NPSNET Research Group. Professor Zyda's research interests include computer graphics, large-scale, networked 3D virtual environments, agent-based simulation, modeling human and organizational behavior, interactive computer-generated story, modeling and simulation, and interactive games. He is a pioneer in the fields of computer graphics, networked virtual environments, modeling and simulation, and defense/entertainment collaboration. He holds a lifetime appointment as a National Associate of the National Academies, an appointment made by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences in November 2003, awarded in recognition of "extraordinary service" to the National Academies. He served as the principal investigator and development director of the America’s Army PC game funded by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He took America's Army from conception to three million plus registered players and hence, transformed Army recruiting.
Henry Kelly, Ph.D., has been the president of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), since July 2001. Prior to joining the FAS, Dr. Kelly spent more than seven years as Assistant Director for Technology in the Office of Science and Technology in the White House. There he helped negotiate and implement administration research partnerships in energy and the environment, information technology, and learning technology. These partnerships included new automobile and truck technology, housing technology, bioprocessing technology, and information technology. Dr. Kelly convened the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee and translated their advice into a large expansion and refocusing of federal information technology research. He also was instrumental in creating major federal programs in learning technology for children and adults, including an executive order accelerating the use of instructional technology for training federal civilian and military employees.
Kay Howell is FAS Vice-President for Information Technologies projects and director for FAS’ Learning Federation Project, a partnership joining companies, universities, government agencies and private foundations to promote a national research plan to create improved approaches to teaching and learning enabled by information technology. Her team at the FAS is developing of three educational games: Discover Babylon, designed to foster interest and excitement in Iraq's role in the history of world mathematics, science and culture; Immune Attack, which will teach complicated cell biology concepts to high school students; and Mass Casualty Incident Response, which will be used by FDNY to train fire chiefs. Ms. Howell is a computer scientist with extensive experience managing and directing multi-team projects in support of federal science research programs. Prior positions include: Director of the National Coordination Office for Computing, Information, and Communications at the National Science and Technology Council, Executive Office of the President; Director of the Dept. of Defense’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program; and Director, Center for Computational Science at the Naval Research Laboratory.
Carol Ann Meares
Carol Ann Meares is Senior Policy Analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. She joined FAS after an outstanding 30-year career with the Federal government, including 17 years as a Senior Policy Analyst in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Working at high-levels of government on a wide range of national science and technology issues, she developed deep expertise in: technology and science policy, the U.S. research and development enterprise, innovation management, the science and engineering workforce, industrial competitiveness, advanced technologies for education and training, and the defense industrial base. She is co-author of Technology and the National Interest, an Executive Office of the President report on technology policy. She also was the architect of the White House National Science and Technology Council’s Working Group on Advanced Technologies for Education and Training, a policy initiative involving 14 Federal departments and agencies.