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Expert Biographies

John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar and advisor to the provost at University of Southern California (USC) and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. Prior to that Dr. Brown was the chief scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where he served for nearly two decades. He co-founded of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL), and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and of AAAS, and a Trustee of the MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Brown also serves on numerous private and public boards of directors including Amazon, Corning, and Varian Medical Systems. He holds a BA in mathematics and physics from Brown University, and and a Ph.D from the University of Michigan in computer and communication sciences.

Mimi Ito

Cultural anthropologist Mimi Ito is a leading authority on how mobile technology, digital media and social networking impacts both personal lives and society as a whole. She is a Professor in Residence, Department of Anthropology and Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Ito has been named the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation chair in digital media and learning. This digital media and learning initiative aims to determine how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. Her research is reflected in her book Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (The MIT Press). Dr. Ito also authored the recently published, Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software. Additionally, Ito co-edited both Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life and the book series Technologies of the Imagination: New Media In Everyday Life. She holds doctorates in education and anthropology from Stanford University.

Diana Rhoten

Diana Rhoten has designed and evaluated educational policies, programs, organizations and technologies since she began her career as an educational analyst in Massachusetts. Over the last decade, Dr. Rhoten has served on the faculty at the Stanford School of Education, acted as co-director of a nonprofit research institute dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration, co-founded Startl, a new social enterprise dedicated to supporting the innovation of effective, affordable, and accessible learning products, and consulted with multiple large educational institutions seeking to innovate. She has also founded three different programs focused on the future of learning at both the Social Science Research Council and the National Science Foundation. Dr Rhoten regularly publishes in numerous journals and most recently co-edited a volume on the future of higher education called Knowledge Matters. She earned a Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Educational Policy and an MA in Sociology from Stanford University, as well as an M.Ed. from Harvard University and an AB from Brown University.

Nichole Pinkard

Nichole Pinkard is a visiting associate professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. Dr. Pinkard has led efforts to implement one-on-one computing in urban schools, integrate new media into core instruction, and create new media learning opportunities outside of the school day. Her research interests focus on developing visualizations to support teacher analysis of practice and student learning, the cultural context of learning and literacy, and issues surrounding urban education. Additionally, Dr. Pinkard researches the relationship between gender and technology, and explores how culture influences the design and use of learning environments. She has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Early Career Award and the AERA Division C Jan Hawkins Early Career Award. Prior to joining USI, she was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Education. Dr. Pinkard holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University, an MS in Computer Science from Northwestern University and a Ph.D in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University.

James Paul Gee

James Paul Gee began his career in theoretical linguistics, working in syntactic and semantic theory. He initially taught at Stanford University and later in the School of Language and Communication at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. After researching psycholinguistics at Northeastern University in Boston and at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Holland, Dr. Gee's focus switched to studies on discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and applications of linguistics to literacy and education. As chair of the Department of Developmental Studies and Counseling in the School of Education at Boston University, he established new graduate programs centered around an integrated approach to language and literacy, combining programs in reading, writing, bilingual education, ESL, and applied linguistics. Additionally, Dr. Gee taught at the Linguistics Department at the University of Southern California. Throughout the past decade, his work over has centered on developing an integrated theory of language, literacy, and schooling. His recent research extends his ideas on language, literacy, and society to deal with the so-called "new capitalism" and its cognitive, social, and political implications for literacy and schooling. Dr. Gee holds a BA in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MA and Ph.D in linguistics from Stanford University.

Katie Salen

Katie Salen is Professor of Design and Technology, and Director of the Center for Transformative Media at Parsons the New School for Design. She also runs a non-profit called the Institute of Play that is focused on games and learning, and is co-editor of the International Journal of Learning and Media. Professor Salen co-authored of Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, and The Game Design Reader, and edited The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. She worked as an animator on Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed animated feature Waking Life, and co-developed Karaoke Ice, an ice-cream truck turned mobile karaoke unit deployed to collect and curate idiosyncratic performances of tinkle-pop songs. Professor Salen is lead designer of Quest to Learn, a 6-12th grade public school in New York City which uses a game-based learning model, supporting students within an inquiry-based curriculum. She is also collaborating with David Birchfield and Mina Glenberg-Johnson at ASU on the design of math, science, and wellness-based games for a mixed reality platform known as SMALLab, and was lead designer of Gamestar Mechanic, an online game designed to teach kids designing skills. Salen holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Texas, and an MA in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins is the Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He arrived at USC in Fall 2009 after spending the past decade as the director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. Dr. Jenkins wrote and/or edited twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture; Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture; and From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. His newest books include Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. Dr. Jenkins is currently co-authoring a book on "spreadable media" with Sam Ford and Joshua Green, and has written forTechnology Review, Computer Games, Salon, and The Huffington Post. Jenkins holds a BA in Political Science and Journalism from Georgia State University, an MA in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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