The Tech & Learning Advisory Board features higher education innovators who help shape the content and vision for Tech & Learning University.
Each board member shares their input and ideas on content to ensure we are offering edtech insights that will help readers enhance the student experience and drive innovative learning. The goal is to develop not just an online magazine, but a community of innovators who can collaborate on ideas and best practices.
Dr. Curtis Carver is Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He leads a team of dedicated professionals who support UAB’s mission by providing world-class IT solutions with a focus on innovation, agility, and cost efficiency. A senior leader in higher education information technology, Dr. Carver came to UAB from his position as vice chancellor and chief information officer for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, having previously held key leadership positions at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Marc Cholewczynski is the Associate Director of Technical Services in the Academic Technology department at Oregon State University. He has over 15 years of experience in design, installation, video production, broadcast, and educational technology systems. His major focus for the past 10 years has been helping higher education departments and colleges balance technology aspirations and technical hurdles to make their collaboration dreams come true.
Alec Couros is a professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada. An award-winning educator, Alec helps his undergraduate and graduate students take up the incredible affordances of our connected world through the integration of educational technology in teaching and learning.
Rico D'Amore is currently the Director of the Academic Services Technology at Benedictine University, providing support and management of the online learning environment, Brightspace Design2Learn. He assists instructional designers, professors, and faculty in building out the University's online learning environment for both traditional and non-traditional students. At Benedictine University, he also has the opportunity to teach a College of Education course for pre-service teachers to help them create innovative learning opportunities and infuse technology into their classrooms.
Christopher Dechter, CTS-D, CTS-I, is Principal Learning Space Engineer at Indiana University. In his more than fifteen years of AV and IT, he has focused almost exclusively on the design and integration of technology in higher education at multiple institutions. He wears glasses and usually has multiple tools on him at all times. He collects AV industry certifications, decorative jelly spoons, and souvenir shot glasses.
Phil Hippensteel has taught mathematics and information systems at the college level for several decades. Over the last decade his work has focused on researching and writing about IP video and audio, specializing on the impact of the media on the network. He writes more than 10,000 words per year for industry trade magazines and company white papers. Having moved from positions in IT to work in the industry, he has a unique view of the topic of the integration the two areas.
Julie Johnston is the Director of Learning Spaces for Indiana University. This position manages four entities of UITS Learning Technologies: Classroom Technology Services, Learning Space Design, Collaboration Technologies, and Student Technology Computing. Along with managing these services, she is ultimately responsible for the technology component of the design of Learning Spaces for the campus, specifically active learning classrooms, informal learning spaces, and student technology center spaces. She was actively involved in assisting with the launch of Indiana University's new active learning initiative, Mosaic (mosaic.iu.edu) Julie has more than 20 years working in Instructional Technology Leadership positions in higher education.
Robb Mann has been a member of the Information Technology Services department at UNCW for the last 16 years, and is currently the manager for the Integrated Educational Technologies (IET) group. IET has oversight for all AV on campus, and handles 95% of the design, installation, and programming of AV at the university, as well as providing supervision for AV on capital projects beginning with the Program Phase and running through Commissioning. He has been a finalist for the UNCW Award of Excellence on three occasions (awarded to the outstanding staff member of the year), and has held his CTS certification since 2012 and CTS-I since 2014. Robb has been a member of the NC Classroom Summit organizing committee for the last seven years, as well as being a presenter and breakout session leader on many occasions.
Justin Rexing is an Audiovisual Systems Design Engineer for Western Kentucky University. Justin has designed and engineered audiovisual solutions for various vertical markets from government and enterprise to large stadiums, corporate, entertainment, restaurants, and houses of worship venues. He has assisted in developing courses for AVIXA, and currently holds senior faculty status with AVIXA. Justin is a member of the AVIXA Foundation Board.
Jameson Rinehart is an AV Systems Designer at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Jameson has 15 years of navigating the intricacies of designing for higher education. He is a regular presenter at the annual Avixa conference.
Maddie Vining is Senior Audio Visual Technician at 1 Wimpole Street, home of the Royal Society of Medicine. With more than seven years experience in conferencing and meeting technology, she strives to achieve the optimum user experience utilising the best tech tools available. The 1 Wimpole Street AV Team have been named ‘Best In-House AV Team’ at 2013 AV Awards, ‘Most Innovative and Tech Friendly Venue’ at 2016 Event Technology Awards, 'In-House AV Team of the year' at the 2017 Install Awards and 'best in-house technology' at the 2017 Academic venue awards. Maddie also received the individual accolade of ‘Rising Star’ at the 2016 Install Awards. As well as being responsible for tech support for 700+ meetings and events at the venue a year, Maddie is also very active in the wider AV community and is involved with Women in AV.
Dr. John Thompson is Associate Professor Emeritus at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, N.Y. He also operates his own educational consulting business - Global Learning Institute, Inc. Although retired, Dr. Thompson continues to teach 100% online courses on a part-time basis. He has taught over 150 online courses since 2000. He enjoys the flexibility of teaching online from his home office at all hours of the day and night. Dr. Thompson has chaired conferences, done presentation reviews for many conferences and paper reviews for publications, made presentations at numerous local to international conferences, and has authored various publications in his field. Prior to working in higher education, his career experience included working in urban, suburban, and rural schools as an elementary and secondary classroom teacher (general education and special education), curriculum coordinator, principal, and school superintendent. He also functioned as director of training for two state governments and director of a university-based computer training organization. Dr. Thompson's current research interests include asynchronous online discussions and student engagement in online courses.
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