We are delighted to introduce the IABL directors.
Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas, long time teacher and researcher of adult education and educational technologies, has focused for over a decade on exploring and developing blended and mobile learning solutions. Dr. Palalas has been involved in numerous blended learning projects in North America, Ghana and India. Amongst other assignments, she has worked as a Mobile Learning Specialist at George Brown College, Toronto, Canada as well as in a cross-cultural blended learning project involving Ghana, Canada, and the USA. She is currently teaching graduate courses in m-learning, technology-assisted education, and distance education courses at Athabasca University, Canada and the University of New Mexico, USA. She is also consulting on mobile and blended learning educational interventions. Dr. Palalas has published a number of articles and book chapters pertaining to mobile and blended learning. She has been active in local and international professional associations and is a regular presenter at international conferences. In her over-20-year experience as an educator, Dr. Palalas has taught in the classroom and online, reviewed and designed curriculum, provided professional development, worked as a programmer and instructional designer for mobile, online, F2F, and blended learning programs. She is excited to be able to contribute to the field of blended learning as a founding director of the International Blended Learning Association.
Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh, Ph.D., is a retired Senior Researcher with the American Institutes for Research. She is an educational consultant (K-16) and an expert in the field educational communications and technology, as well as in cultural and linguistic competence (CLC). Dr. Willis-Darpoh also has significant expertise in teacher training/culturally responsive teaching, diversity, disproportionality and disparities and is a certified blended learning developer. An educator with more than 35 years of experience, she has presented nationally and internationally on blended learning and conducted research for multinational organizations. Dr. Willis-Darpoh is a two-time Fulbright scholar (Nigeria 1988; Germany 1997) and was a member of the Fulbright Association’s National Board of Directors. In addition, she served on the Research and Innovation Advisory Board of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) and is the Past President and Founding Director of the International Association for Blended Learning. Gwendolyn earned a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, a M.Ed. from the American University, and a B.S. from Virginia State University.
Dr. Hend Merza is an Associate Professor who joined IABl in . 2015 as Middle east Director along with the participation in IABL executive committee where she had the chance to getting in touch with of the best professional experiences. In 2016 she was nominated to handle IABL Secretary role until July 2018, where she was chosen IABL Vice President.
She received a doctorate in Educational Administration in 2004 from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia She has 38 years of experience in public and higher education in Saudi Arabia. She has published many papers and book chapters, and designed and delivered more than 15 training programs for community service and development. Her fields of interest are Quality Assurance, training, and Blended Learning. She is currently working as a teaching staff and Quality Assurance and Accreditation Manager at the Arab Open University/ Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos is a Professor in the Department of Computing and Informatics Engineering at Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology and he also serves as Coordinator of Master of Distance Education in Greece, on behalf of Athabasca University of Canada since 2009. Professor Tsinakos has a number of publications and was the Coordinator (or member of the Coordination Team) in more than 14 national/international projects on the topic of distance education. Additionally he participated in number of world/international/national conferences as invited speaker/presenter. Since 2011 Prof. Tsinakos has joined the Bologna Expert Team, as National Representative on behalf of the Greek Ministry of Education.
Dr. Helmi Norman is currently the Assistant Dean of Teaching and Citra (cross disciplinary studies) and a Senior Lecturer/Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia or UKM). He is also an Associate Fellow of the Center for Teaching and Learning Technologies at UKM. His research interests are in the areas of mobile and ubiquitous learning as well as open and distance education. Previously, he was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of California San Diego, USA and was awarded a visiting post-doctoral fellowship by Erasmus Mundus at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University (BU), United Kingdom. During his PhD, he was awarded the Global Student Mobility Partnership Program for a research attachment in the e-Learning Lab, Center for Driven Innovation, Learning and Design (eLL), Aalborg University. Dr. Norman is currently involved in cross-continental projects such as the Australia’s Innovation Research University (IRU) – Malaysia Research University Network (MRUN) on learning spaces and Erasmus Early Nutrition eLearning Academy South East Asia where he is on the Digital Learning Expert Board. He is also involved in national research projects such as the Massive Open Online Course for Malaysian public universities and Educator 4.0 project organized by the Ministry of Higher Education. He is also an educational technology consultant for Apple where he is involved in national projects for primary, secondary, and higher education in promoting 1:1 pedagogical and learning approaches using the Apple ecosystem.
Dr hab. Elżbieta Gajek is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Applied Linguistics University of Warsaw, Poland. She is Head of Department of Glottodidatics and Head of New Media in Applied Linguistics Lab. As she graduated Warsaw University of Technology, Department of Electronics and then completed her PhD at University of Warsaw, Department of Modern Languages her main research areas cover Computer Assisted Language Learning, and Methodology of Computer Enhanced Teaching Languages, Distance Learning and Mobile Assisted Language Learning. She has worked as an English teacher and teacher trainer for many years. She participated in many European research projects. She also coordinated academic telecollaborative projects with American and Chinese universities. As a Polish national expert she has been involved in eTwinning programme since 2004. She is an author and co-author of over 100 books, book chapters, and journal articles on CALL and MALL, on teacher training for media, and ICT-based instruction published worldwide.
Dr. Mohamed Ally is Professor in Distance Education and a researcher in the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University in Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada. His current areas of research include mobile learning, e-learning, distance education, and use of information and communication technology in training and education. Dr. Ally is Past-President of the International Federation of Training and Development Organizations (IFTDO) and is one of the Founding Directors of the International Association of Mobile Learning (IamLearn). He was also on the board of the Canadian Society for Training and Development. Dr. Ally chaired the Fifth World Conference on Mobile Learning and co-chaired the First International Conference on Mobile Libraries. He recently edited seven books on the use of mobile technology in education, training and libraries and is currently editing three additional books. His book “Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training” won the Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for significant contribution to distance education. Two of his research papers won the best research paper award at national and international conferences. Dr. Ally has published in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in books and encyclopedia and served on many journal boards and conference committees. He has presented keynote speeches, workshops, papers, and seminars in many countries.
Joe Ganci is President of eLearningJoe, LLC, a custom learning company located outside Washington. D.C. Since 1983 he has been involved in every aspect of multimedia and learning development. Joe holds a degree in Computer Science, and writes books and articles about eLearning. He is widely considered a guru for his expertise in eLearning development and technology, and he consults with clients worldwide. Joe is also a frequent teacher and presenter at industry conferences and at client sites, especially on the subject of eLearning development tools. His tool reviews appear each month in Learning Solutions Magazine (http://learningsolutionsmag.com/authors/4/joe-ganci) and he is the recipient of several awards and many letters of recommendation for his work in eLearning, including a Lifetime Achievement Award way back in 1999 and the second ever eLearning GuildMaster Award in 2013. His mission is to improve the quality of eLearning with practical approaches that work. He loves to help others achieve their goals.
He is a currently a Senior e-Learning Specialist at Department of National Defence (DND), Canada. He was hired in 1983 as an educational technologist by Canadore College. He started developing interactive multimedia products in 1984 when he was hired to be part of a team that developed Canada’s first Level III Interactive Videodisc. He contributed as the videographer, graphic designer, programmer and instructional designer. He’s been developing “elearning” ever since. In 1995, he was hired to develop and Coordinate the Interactive Multimedia post-graduate program. It was in this program that the class produced the first online newspaper with streaming video in 1996. In 2011, he developed and taught the first dedicated Mobile Application Development program in North America. This one year program teaches non-computer science students how to develop interactive and engaging mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms. He was also previously on the team that developed Canada’s first Interactive Videodisc (IVD). He still works at home on numerous e-learning projects and commercial mobile applications. He is a published author and wrote a book for Thomson on database driven websites. The book was part of the Web Warrior Series. Mr. Cowcill also travels internationally to speak and host workshops at educational and training conferences.
Przemyslaw (Pshemek) Pawluk is a professor at the School of Computer Technology at George Brown College in Toronto, teaching mobile, web and game development. He has worked successfully with Research and Innovation Office at George Brown College on various research projects advising both industry partners and participating students. Przemyslaw holds a Master of Science in Software Engineering degree from Wroclaw University of Technology and Blekinge Institute of Technology. While being a student in Wroclaw, he worked as a back-end developer and tester. Thanks to that experience, he graduated with both extensive understanding of theory and practical experience in various innovative technologies and domains (telecommunication from Siemens, GIS from Geotechnologies, banking and call center systems from Lukas Bank). Working in these companies he had an opportunity to observe, learn and take an active part in each phase of the development process: from design through development to tests. Now, he has been applying this expertise and experience in the projects conducted by Mobi-Learning Inc. and GBC. Przemyslaw is an active researcher. His work is focused on two areas: mobile education and cloud computing. His previous research interests covered also software engineering, database development and optimization, as well as data quality and data integration. Przemyslaw has published several research articles pertaining to software engineering, data quality, cloud computing and mobile education. He presented his work at major local and international conferences. He is a co-founder and vice-president of Mobi-Learning Inc. responsible for technological aspects of their solutions. In each area, he is trying to mix theory and practice. In Mobi-Learning Inc., Przemyslaw shares his passion and expertise, contributing his understanding of technology and experience in software engineering. He has developed a number of mobile and web solutions for education; he also provides consulting services in the broad area of software development covering mobile, web and database design and development.