The LiDA Community

The success of our Center depends on educators working on topics related to Learning in the Digital Age that are willing to share information and lessons learned, and/or contribute in other ways to projects, networking events or other initiatives. We refer to this group – as listed below – as “our LiDA Community.”

  • Photo of Zhen BAI

    Zhen BAI- Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Technology-Enhanced Learning, AI Education, Social Emotional Learning, Special Education
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    As a computer scientist, I am interested in creating novel learning technologies that support positive development and lifelong learning for children with diverse abilities and backgrounds. I have developed a wide range of embodied and intelligent learning technologies with Augmented Reality, tangible user interface, and intelligent conversational agent to support social understanding, curiosity and groupwork for children with autism spectrum condition and children from under-represented groups in STEM. I am motivated to contribute to the interdisciplinary efforts of the LiDA community in bridging cutting-edge technologies, learning science and education to better understand and address opportunities and challenges of 21st century learners in our increasingly technological world. I am currently collaborating with researchers and educators in the LiDA community on leveraging integration of K-12 STEM and Computer Science education through co-design AI-empowered scientific discovery with high school teachers.

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    Raffaella BORASI- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: online/ blended teacher preparation; online/ blended professional learning; K-12 systemic change; designing technology-rich instruction; supporting technology-rich educational innovations
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    My interest in Learning in the Digital Age is recent, but grounded in my life-long passion for designing innovative instruction, improving the preparation of teachers, and engaging in educational innovations – across contexts and age levels. While my doctoral training was in mathematics education, overtime I added interests and expertise in education reform and teacher education more generally, entrepreneurship, grant-writing, health professions education – and most recently “digitally-rich” teaching and learning. Within LiDA, I especially enjoy opportunities to design digitally-rich learning experiences for adults (so they can personally experience the potential of technology to enhance learning); create programs to prepare teachers across specializations and contexts to leverage digital technology in their teaching – in both traditional and online courses; support the planning and launch of innovations that leverage technology in K-12 schools, universities and other settings; work in interdisciplinary teams to uncover new synergies between STEM fields; and, exploring new educational models made possible by current digital technologies.

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    Zenon BORYS- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Mathematics education, mathematics curriculum, student thinking, teacher preparation, teacher thinking, the influence of digital tools on teaching
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    As a former high school mathematics teacher I became enthralled with student thinking and designing instruction that uncovered students’ sense-making processes. I’ve brought this interest in engaging curricula and sense-making into my research interests. My current research (dissertation study) examines how teachers make sense of digital curriculum resources as they design instruction. To me, we need to consider the tools being used and how they are being used. Participating in the LiDA community has helped fuel and broaden my research interests. It has been a great community where I’ve connected with education stakeholders from various scales — from students experiencing online teaching and learning to researchers examining how it all works, or teachers figuring out how best to use these tools and practices to administrators seeking to support digital conversions. The broad spectrum of perspectives LiDA highlights have been really informative and given me lots to think about.

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    Heather BOYLE- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

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    Throughout my 14-years as a K-12 teacher and administrator, I have experienced the digital conversion within our classrooms. As an administrator, I led a K-8 digital conversion to transform the school’s infrastructure to support digital classrooms, and enhance student engagement and provide personalized learning to all students. As an educator, I enjoyed the digitally-rich opportunities that technology provided for math, science and ESOL students. Currently, my interests have expanded to exploring digitally-rich technologies that promote inquiry, teacher leaders as change agents, culturally responsive and culturally sustaining pedagogy, and professional learning of educators in the digital age. My involvement with LiDA has provided me the opportunity to stay abreast of the constant transformation that our digital age is providing to K-12 settings in order to provide the highest quality education to all students.

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    Lisa BROWN- University IT and Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: online/ blended faculty/teacher preparation; online/ blended professional learning; designing technology-rich instruction; supporting technology-rich educational innovations
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    My interests lie in the intersection of technology and teaching and learning. I have been associated with support of technology in various ways for my entire adult life, most recently in support of academics within higher education. Earning my doctoral degree and advanced certificate in online teaching and learning from the Warner School has brought my technological support to a new level in terms of not only providing the how-to, but also the when and why. Additionally, it has provided me the experience of designing and teaching online courses, as well as mentoring future online instructors. Participating in LiDA has expanded my views of technology tools, provided new ways to use technology to support learning, and provided me with exposure to research in the digital realm.

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    Cynthia Callard- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

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  • Photo of Cynthia CARSON

    Cynthia CARSON- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: designing, implementing, and researching; online/hybrid professional development; coaching as professional development; mathematics education; technology-rich instruction; building learning communities online
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    Early in my career, as an elementary educator, I discovered a passion for supporting teachers to develop their instructional practices in mathematics.  When I began my Teaching and Learning doctoral program at the Warner School of Education, I enrolled in the Online Teaching and Learning certificate program.  This program opened my eyes to new ways to support teachers through technology.  Building from my coursework in this program, I worked with the Center for Professional Development & Educational Reform to design and implement new approaches for offering professional development using technology. As I continue to develop and implement professional development experiences online, I have made it a priority to connect with the LiDA community to continue to learn and imagine the possibilities that technology can offer.  In addition to my interests in designing and implementing professional development, as a Ph.D candidate, I have developed a passion for research. I am currently working on two large projects focused on using technology to support teacher learning and teachers’ instructional practices.  LiDA has provides me a space to connect with others that share the same goals of doing research in the digital age and exploring new possibilities that leverage technology to support education.

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    Keirah COMSTOCK - ELA & ESOL Department - Charles Finney School

    INTERESTS: Instructional Digital teaching for K-12; Designing blended learning; Instructional designing of online courses; Developing Digital-rich classroom environments
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    I’ve integrated technology quite often during my many years of teaching experience, and I believe in digital-rich learning. Throughout the doctoral courses, my research area has been focused on integrating technology into teaching. In particular, I’ve studied Instructional technology K-12 Digital-rich teaching as well as classes that focus on in-depth designing of online teaching courses, These have helped me to gain perspective on a greater scale. Furthermore, being involved with LiDA has inspired and motivated me as an educator. LiDA inspires me to think differently and creatively as an educator. I also enjoy being part of a community where we can share our ideas. LiDA is a great resource where we can connect to others and make improvements in our educational field.

  • Photo of Michael DALEY

    Michael DALEY- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: digitally-rich teaching and learning, modeling & simulation practices in science, science data practices, technology to support science inquiry, online and blended teaching
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    As an environmental scientist studying ecosystems, I have participated in the deployment of technology that has exponentially expanded our ability to monitor the Earth. This rapid expansion of technology is not limited to environmental science and we are seeing an explosion of data in all sectors of society. The future of work, along with the jobs and skills needed for this work, is uncertain. Rapid advances in technology including big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will change society in ways that are unpredictable. Educators must ask how do we prepare students for the future of work? My interest in LiDA is in the exploration of engaging students in the practices of science through data-rich experiences.

  • Photo of Eileen DALY-BOAS

    Eileen DALY-BOAS- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Open Educational Resources, Digital Scholarship, Information Discovery and Management, Game-based Education
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    As a librarian, my interests lie at the intersection where students, faculty and libraries meet to further education, teaching and research. I’m currently working with a team of librarians on an edited book focused on faculty and librarian collaborations around Open Pedagogy. The world of digital scholarship in higher education has been rapidly expanding over the last ten years, and I’ve been active with the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) Digital Scholarship Institute, both as an attendee (January 2018) and an instructor (July 2019).  One of my roles as a librarian is working with local high school students who are in IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma programs, helping them navigate independent research, both by using online library sources, as well as digital tools to help manage and track resources.

  • Photo of Linh DANG

    Linh DANG- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: K-12 systemic change; 1:1 computing initiatives; digital conversion-related school policies and reform; social media integration
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    With elementary teaching in my background, my interest in Learning in the Digital Age started in the K-12 realm. As the educational technology teacher leader, my classroom served as the pilot and model for digital conversion through instruction and standardized assessments. While my focus remains on improving student achievement and attainment by way of innovative teacher preparation, training, and support, the scope of my research and practice has extended to include higher education. Upon completion of the Advanced Certificate of Online Learning, I have gained expertise in designing and teaching fully online graduate-level courses. My involvement with LiDA has allowed me to connect with like-minded educators through face-to-face settings as well as social media platforms to share the ultimate goal of transforming learning and to reimagining how public education will change with dynamic school reforms and policies to help students meet the new demands of living and thriving in the digital age.

  • Photo of Xueyan DUAN

    Xueyan DUAN- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: online professional development, student engagement in online education, education equity and online education, online professional development especially in rural areas
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    My interest in ‘Learning in the Digital Age’ stems from my own personal background and experiences. I grew up surrounded by poverty in an underdeveloped, rural region in Inner Mongolia, and witnessing first-hand the dearth of educational opportunities in such a remote area fostered a deep appreciation of having access to a high quality education. To me, ‘Learning in the Digital Age’ translates into millions of students who, despite facing inherent logistical challenges due to their location and their socio-economic status, gain access of low cost, accessible, flexible, and convenient educational opportunities through the advent of new technologies. The SyncOn project that I am participating in as a research assistant is an archetype of this passion. As a part of the LiDA strategic initiative, the goal of SyncOn is to foster rural middle school mathematics teachers in taking up dynamic and responsive instruction. My studies in online professional development help me gain expertise in effective online instructional design, along with research in online learning. I also find LiDA sessions extremely energizing on a personal level. By participating in the LiDA community, I have made many meaningful connections with other colleagues in my respective field. Additionally, I have kept up to date on the latest online educational developments. Most importantly, exposure to many great pioneers and trail blazers in this field have ignited the passion that I have for my work, and has shown what the possibilities for the future very well could be.

  • Photo of Eric FREDERICKSEN

    Eric FREDERICKSEN- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Online teaching and learning; higher education; faculty development; online learning leadership; educational technology innovations; educational research on the faculty and student experience
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    My interest in Learning in the Digital Age goes back more than 25 years. All of my experience is in higher education and focused on online learning. My definition of online learning is broad and applies to the entire continuum from enhancing traditional courses to blended/hybrid courses all the way to completely online courses. While I have provided leadership to online education initiatives at three major universities, my background also includes being an online professor and designing, developing and teaching online courses. I have also been a PI and researcher focused on faculty and student experiences in online courses. And I have even been an online student – earning one of my graduate degrees completely online. This blend of experience has been essential in my understanding and appreciation for the field. I strive to contribute the higher education community in the US through my commitment to the Online Learning Consortium and my service on the Board of Directors and my current role as President of the Board.

  • Photo of Syeda (Farzana) HAFSA

    Syeda (Farzana) HAFSA- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: online education, online teacher preparation and professional development, teacher identity development, using technology in TESOL
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    With a background in English language and literature teaching, and being interested in teacher development I came to Warner School to pursue a PhD in education. Initially my research interest was in English teacher training and professional development. After taking a hybrid-online course at Warner I developed interest in online teaching learning and saw its great potential not only in developed countries like the US but also in developing ones like Bangladesh. With my new found interest, I pursued the Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching which allowed me to gain knowledge about online teaching learning, affordances and limitations of online education, designing and teaching effective online courses and understanding where online and face-to-face education intersects. This ultimately led me to choose to do my dissertation research on online teachers’ identity development. While my broad area of interest still remains teachers’ professional development, I would like to continue my research on online education and would like to promote it in my country and to contribute to preparing effective online teachers. I am also interested in using technology in language teaching- specifically teaching English and Bengali. Being a LiDA member allows me to connect with people interested in the use of technology in education, learn about what people are doing in this field, share views and ideas and to get support in my own professional endeavors.

  • Photo of Yu Jung HAN

    Yu Jung HAN- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Computer-assisted language learning (CALL); educational technology; digital literacy; interest-driven learning; online affinity spaces; extramural English
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    I am a second language person, and my specific interest lies in extramural English in online affinity spaces as well as computer-assisted language learning (CALL). After joining the LiDA from its very first semester of launching, I have become a part of the LiDA community, especially in terms of facilitating LiDA Colloquium series. In addition, I have completed the Advanced Certificate of Online Learning at Warner School, which helped me greatly to convert face-to-face master’s TESOL course into a fully online one.

  • Photo of Kimberly DAVIES-HOFFMAN

    Kimberly DAVIES-HOFFMAN- River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Faculty-librarian collaborations, instructional design, developing engaging real-world learning experiences, professional development for librarian teachers
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    Academic librarians are typically not trained in pedagogical theory/practice like other educators, though our roles require the instruction of various literacies which some students find uninspiring. Through specialized training, I adopted the social learning theories of constructivism and from there, I’ve experimented with teaching design to create engaging classroom experiences. As our tools for research predominantly lie in digital formats, “learning in the digital age” is inherent as I approach teaching. Beyond the typical exploration within digital databases, I have used tools that go beyond searching traditional subscription-based library resources. Tracing back sources that live on the free web and in social media (like Twitter) are within a student’s reach if they understand the necessary criteria for evaluating information for specific needs. The use of wikis, padlet, Voicethread, and Google docs bring classroom communities together to share their research discoveries and learn from each other. Video, website, and infographic creation can bring different dimensions to student projects than simply the written word. My latest projects involve open publishing where again, scholars can share their discoveries which become open to the world and invite a greater audience to learn and interact.

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    Ahmed GHAZI- Department of Urology, University of Rochester

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  • Photo of Paul HERBERT

    Paul HERBERT - New York Chiropractic College

    INTERESTS: Anatomy education; Healthcare education; Designing mixed reality environments for instruction; Unity; Technology-rich healthcare education
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    Approaching anatomy education from a new perspective, my interest in Learning in the Digital Age is focused on the next generation of healthcare providers. With a background in anatomy and Chiropractic, I’ve chosen to integrate mixed-reality technologies into the anatomy lab in order to understand the human body from different perspectives. Training the next generation of healthcare providers will need support from all types of digital learning and teaching technologies. My involvement with LiDA not only supports my individual efforts, but also allows me to interact with the broader network of individuals that share interest in current and emerging technologies. Further involvement with LiDA will allow me to explore new technologies and shape future healthcare classrooms to be in alignment with 21st century learners.

  • Photo of Jayne LAMMERS

    Jayne LAMMERS- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Digital literacy; online affinity spaces; informal, interest-driven learning; virtual ethnography; online research ethics
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    My interest in Learning in the Digital Age has roots in my former work as a software trainer and secondary literacy educator. I have long been interested in understanding how young people leverage technology and the internet to gain access to spaces, resources, and people who can help them pursue their own learning and cultivate their identities. Framed by perspectives such as “new” literacies and connected learning, my research and teaching recognize participation in online spaces as central to what it means to be a literate member of our global community. Within LiDA, I especially enjoy my work to prepare the next generation of educational researchers to rigorously and ethically study learning in online environments. I also appreciate how LiDA creates opportunities for us to make connections with researchers, educators, designers, and learners from such a wide range of contexts and from across disciplines.

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    Nick LIND- Special Education Department, Monroe One BOCES

    INTERESTS: K-12 digital integration leadership; facilitating interactive digital expressions of student understanding; utilizing digital tools for mindful teacher organization and communication; using digitally-curated data to tailor RTI systems; facilitating coaching and professional development in digitally-rich instructional techniques; mental health/social-emotional learning; alternative education; special education
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    Using my ongoing practice as a secondary teacher in the community, my goal is to collaborate with others in the LiDA community and beyond to share experiences, coordinate opportunities, and best-position our schools to fully-leverage digital technologies.  As a student of teaching and learning I’ve engaged in coursework at the Warner School in K-12 school leadership, digitally-rich teaching, and educational policy, and I’m passionate about implementing those backgrounds to design effective solutions in schools.  Specifically, I’ve worked on grant-writing assignments; professional learning workshops, study groups, and PLCs, and various building and district committee groups to best-support students in a variety of settings.  Moving forward I’m excited to curate our growth via the LiDA blog!

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    April LUEHMANN- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

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    Kimberly MCLEAN- Math Department, Spencerport High School

    INTERESTS: kmclean@spencerportschools.org
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    With digitally rich teaching and learning at the forefront of my educational interest, I am working to transform my secondary mathematics classroom into an environment where students have control over the pace, path, and place of their learning. Having recently taken a course on Digitally Rich Teaching and Learning at the Warner School of Education, and currently working towards becoming an ISTE Certified Educator, I use the SAMR and TPACK models and pedagogical models like Blended Learning to guide my instruction. My involvement with the Warner School of Education and LiDA has allowed me to connect with like-minded educators and share ideas of how to best meet the needs of learners in a digital classroom.

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    Dave MILLER- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: ed-tech innovation and integration in K-12, building and supporting knowledge-sharing people networks in K-12 education, online teaching, digitally-rich teaching and learning
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    As an ever-recovering serial entrepreneur, my interest in Learning in the Digital Age lives at the intersection of ed-tech innovation; online and digitally-rich teaching and learning; entrepreneurial approaches to program and project development and implementation in K-12 and higher ed; and mentoring students and dreamers to become highly effective practitioners in their chosen realms. In alignment with the mission and vision of the Center for Learning in the Digital Age, my greatest wish is to continue helping students and practitioners discover and navigate the exciting challenges and uncertainties that impact teaching and learning and the future of work.

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    Michael OCCHINO- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: K-12 and Higher Ed STEM applications of instructional technology; Integration of probeware in STEM learning; Next Generation Science Based Teaching and learning.
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    As a secondary science teacher who was on the cutting edge of implementing technology in the 1990’s I have a long standing interest in the affordances that probeware, simulations and other digital tools can provide for student led conceptual learning of science. This passion for using the tools of science to do science has driven my work in higher education as well.

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    Sarah PEYRE- Medical Cemter, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Technology-rich instruction in healthcare; simulation including AR/VR; online learning for the professions; media-rich teaching for engagement; designing and supporting technology rich educational innovations
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    As an educator in healthcare, Learning in the Digital Age is an emerging passion, much like technology-rich instruction is an emerging field. Technology has been a disruptive innovation in healthcare, and it’s time for it to be a disruptive innovation in healthcare professions education.  Although my doctoral work was focused on deconstructing surgical expertise, I spend most of my time developing and guiding experiential learning and systems based educational initiatives. I believe we are at an interesting time in education in healthcare – one of transformation – and technology rich instruction will help us develop skills in addressing disparities in healthcare, improving quality and safety, and strengthening clinical care teams for better patient care.  Whether it’s simulation or online learning, technology is at the heart of health professions education. It enables busy working professionals to develop their expertise and have a life long relationship with learning. Being a part of the LiDA community helps me to continue to learn and develop my own skills, as well as be a resource and a partner to other educators throughout the UR community, which is committed to excellence in education.

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    Joseph SUTORIUS- Chief Information Officer, East Irondequoit CSD (retired)

    INTERESTS: K-12 leadership in the digital age; technology integration; K-12 systemic change; coding
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    My excitement about Learning in the Digital Age stems from the 23 years I’ve spent supporting technology integration in K-12. The benefits of leveraging technology for learning were somewhat elusive in the late 1990s, but that has clearly shifted in the last 8 to 10 years. The technology has finally arrived to deliver manageable, seamless, ubiquitous, 24/7 access to digital resources for the entire learning community. The challenge ahead is to create awareness in K-12 schools about the enormous potential of digitally reach teaching in their classrooms and, more importantly, how to go about creating a culture to embrace, support and sustain it.

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    Kristana TEXTOR- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: interinstitutional collaborations, media literacy, wide dissemination of findings, teaching as an art form, design thinking, innovation, multimodality, connected learning, AR/VR/MR/XR, e-sports, online instructional design, and digital media studies
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    I am a doctoral student at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education where I study the intersection of engagement, learning, and video games. I frame learning as play and fun. I believe in interdisciplinary and interinstitutional collaborations, media literacy, wide dissemination of findings, and teaching as an art form. Expanding research and teaching interests include design thinking, innovation, multimodality, connected learning, AR/VR/MR/XR, e-sports, online instructional design, and digital media studies. I came to academia after nearly two decades of working in non-fiction television, and strongly advocates for media literacy and teaching the craft of storytelling through video. I briefly held the high score on the Tetris cabinet at a now-defunct arcade in Okoboji, Iowa under the initials “TRK”.

  • Photo of Judith VAN ALSTYNE

    Judith VAN ALSTYNE - Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Personal Information Management; K-12 digital literacies; online/blended teaching and learning
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    As a K-12 school librarian since 1997, I have been teaching digital literacies for years. Teaching simple searches of the online library catalog or web sites has burgeoned into helping students navigate a huge variety of digital environments, from Learning Management Systems to Google Drive. Taking online and hybrid courses as a student and working towards Warner’s Advanced Certificate of Online Learning have inspired me not only to advocate for digital spaces that are fully accessible to all learners, but to help teachers leverage the best that technology has to offer while recognizing its limitations and coping with the new dilemmas technology creates in our daily lives. I am particularly interested in researching personal information management for students, with the goal of developing heuristics or habits of mind that help youth become savvy managers of their digital information. Whether discovered online or created, valued digital information—from favorite photos to research data and citations—should be easily accessed and safely preserved within one’s own digital spaces. We all have much to learn in this regard.

  • Photo of Xiaoyu (Ella) WAN

    Xiaoyu (Ella) WAN- Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

    INTERESTS: Education technology; learning analytics; educational data mining; designing technology-enhanced learning experience
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    I have been engaging in digital initiatives since my master’s study and through my doctoral studies at Warner. With the passion for leveraging technology in enhancing learning experience design and improving learning outcome, I have been working on research topics such as: Designing interfaces in teaching machine learning for STEM students; Examining learning interactions in online learning environments; Analyzing MOOC learner retention rate, MOOC learning experience with Self-Determination Theory, and MOOC instructional design; Analyzing education technology policy through a genealogy perspective; Designing Innovative pedagogies design in online and blended learning space.