Graduate School of Education
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Senior Manager, Stanford Digital Learning Initiative, GSE Dean's Office Operations
BioFor over 10 years, I have worked in the fields of international relief, development, and conflict resolution, building capacity in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as educating students in the U.S. and other Western countries who aspire to work in these fields.
I've worked as an academic and filmmaker, creating educational documentaries on liberation movements around the world, which I've then used with university students in my classrooms. I've had several programs distributed by the Discovery Channel, which has been rewarding, but what has been especially remarkable to me is the response of my students. I've come to appreciate the power of narrative and immediacy of film to transform students' perceptions of the world and their place in it.
I also focus on interactivity. On top of narrative and immediacy, I've built programs that draw students into the learning experience through exploration and interaction - with a dynamically shifting experience based on student choice and response.
I've taken this work to scale. In my work for the U.S. Government and international humanitarian organizations, I've created courses that have been completed by more than 30,000 students and practitioners, not only at the State Department, USAID, and relief agencies in the U.S., but also at comparable institutions in other countries, and even in internet cafes and refugee camps around the world. I've earned about a dozen awards for these various efforts.
I'm continuing this work at Stanford. My focus now is using new media and technology to bring university students in the U.S. and other high-income Western Countries into extended contact with students in fragile states and zones of conflict, measuring advances in learning and shifts in attitude through qualitative and quantitative methods.
This is an extraordinary time for those who use media and technology in teaching and learning. Blended in smart combinations, especially with traditional in-person learning, the new tools we have are powerful:
- Visual narrative, through its expression in digital cinema
- Expanding and interconnecting networks of lifelong learners
- Complex interaction, including multiplayer computer simulation
- Targeted feedback, dynamically reshaping the experience to meet individual learner needs
- Statistical data analysis, upon which to base informed iterative design
- Worldwide electronic distribution, especially to inexpensive mobile devices
If we do this right, the world will be much better for it.