The Global Learning XPRIZE is privileged to work with an expert set of judges who will ensure a fair and rigorous competition. Their professional insight will be imperative as we look to award teams who have successfully developed open source scalable software solutions that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.
John Comings is Senior Technical Consultant at World Education and Adjunct Faculty at the Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts (Amherst). In his early career, Dr. Comings spent 12 years as a Vice President at World Education working on adult education projects in Asia, Africa, and the United States. On one domestic project, he served as the director of the State Literacy Resource Center in Massachusetts, and this allowed him to bring what he had learned overseas back to the U.S. Eventually, he was spending half of his time working in the U.S. and the other half working in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. From 1996 to 2008, Dr. Comings was Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), based at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2008, he left Harvard to become a Principal International Technical Advisor at the Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton, MA. He received an Ed.D from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
David Dockterman is a nationally recognized pioneer in the development and implementation of technology for classroom instruction. A former classroom teacher, Dr. Dockterman helped found Tom Snyder Productions in 1982. At Tom Snyder, and later at Scholastic and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, he designed dozens of award-winning computer programs including Science Court and The Great Ocean Rescue. Most recently, Dr. Dockterman served as a key advisor for the development of MATH180, a revolutionary math intervention program. He is a Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where his courses in innovation, technology, and instructional design draw students from around the world. Dr. Dockterman is a Fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education, an Editorial Board Member for the journal Science of Learning, and a Senior Fellow for the International Center for Leadership in Education. He received an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Linda Dyck graduated from University of Calgary and completed post graduate work at Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia. She is a Grade 4 teacher at Maple Green Elementary in the Surrey School District, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Ms. Dyck was honored as the 2014 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the International Society for Technology in Education which noted that she "is recognized for demonstrating outstanding achievement in, and understanding of, educational technology implementation as well as her passion for teaching.” Ms. Dyck has presented at many district, provincial, and international conferences and workshops including ISTE2016. She has participated in British Columbia provincial educational committees on integrating technology in education and online education. She is Past Conference Chair and Past President of Computer Using Educators of British Columbia. Her students have been recognized for their videos, and blogs.
Tracy Fullerton is a game designer, educator and author with twenty-five years of professional experience. She is Director of the USC Games Program and a Professor and Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In December 2008, she was installed as the holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of Interactive Entertainment. Professor Fullerton is the author of Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Designing Innovative Games. Her research lab, the Game Innovation Lab, is a leading center for game design research. Prior to joining the USC faculty, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Professor Fullerton was also a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive. Additionally, she was Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California.
Louis Gomez is a professor in the UCLA Department of Education and the Urban Schooling Division and the Principal Leadership Division at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Dr. Gomez is an expert in the Learning Sciences, applied cognitive science, organizational learning, and STEM teaching and learning. He was first drawn to practical research that is theoretically rich during his time in the late 1980s as a member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. While at Bell, Dr. Gomez worked on projects applying cognitive science to things like creating technology to bring the Internet into classrooms. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from University of California, Berkeley.
Stephanie Gottwald is an experienced researcher and expert on reading disabilities and literacy curriculum development. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Content at Curious Learning, a non-profit that has created a global, open source platform solution to support child-driven learning for literacy. At Curious Learning, she drives the creation and deployment of literacy and cognitive assessment and learning apps. Stephanie also serves as the Assistant Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University where she directs investigations into evidence-based solutions for struggling readers, including the development and longitudinal, NICHD-funded, efficacy testing of the RAVE-O program, an evidence-based fluency and reading comprehension curriculum. Her professional publications focus on her research and clinical interests in psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and learning disabilities and she is the co-author of the newly released Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century: The Literary Agenda. Stephanie holds an M.A. from Boston College and a Ph.D. from Tufts University in Linguistics and Literacy.
Tami Katzir is a globally respected neuroscientist focused on reading fluency and learning disabilities. Dr. Katzir is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa, Israel. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Mind, Brain and Education program. From 2009-2011, Dr. Katzir was a Visiting Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, as well as a scholar-in-residence at the Stephan Wise Academy School at Bel-Air. She received a Ph.D. in Applied Child Development from Tufts University.
Marguerite Khakasa Miheso-O’Connor has more than 30 years of experience educating on mathematics and mathematics education. Dr. Miheso-O'Connor is a Lecturer at the Department of Educational Communication and Technology at Kenyatta University in Kenya and a Doctoral Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Previously, Dr. Miheso-O'Connor lectured extensively on mathematics and mathematics education at MOEST, the SMASSE project and the Kenya Science Teacher’s College. She received an M.Ed. and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Kenyatta University.
Hanifa K.F. Mponji is a preprimary school teacher with 20 years of experience in teaching and supervising teachers in practice. She is the Head of the center Mlimani Preschool at the University of Dar es Salaam. Ms. Mponji was a trainee in one of the programs known as GraphoLearning and attended training for the latest scientific knowledge and practices on teaching and learning to read. The Program provided hands-on experience of literacy assessment and intervention. She has experience in teaching literacy in early grades and how to use the GraphoGame Kiswahili (ICT technology) in teaching reading skills.
Ms. Mponji holds a GraphoLearning Diploma from the Niilo Maki Institute in Finland and received an M.A. in Education from the University of Dar es Salaam.
Barbara Trudell has spent the last 30 years researching and promoting the use of local languages for learning and communication, first in Latin America and then in Africa. Areas of research and publication include language policy formulation and implementation, community-based processes of language development, the links between language, literacy and development, and the use of local languages for learning. She is active in the Multilingual Education Network of Kenya, the Global Literacy SIG of the Comparative and International Education Society, and the International Literacy Association. Dr. Trudell earned an M.A. in applied linguistics and education from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in international education from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She lives in Nairobi, Kenya, where she is currently the Director for Research and Advocacy for SIL Africa. She also does consulting work for organizations including UNESCO, UNICEF, USAID, World Vision and the Hewlett Foundation.
Claudia Urrea has more than 20 years of experience in the field of education and technology. Dr. Urrea is currently working the MIT’s Strategic Educational Initiative managing a new Pre K-12 Initiative. She also holds a research scientist position with the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. Dr. Urrea has worked at the Inter-American Development Bank as a consultant in the Education Sector and as Director of Learning at One Laptop Per Child. She received a Master's degree in educational media and technology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in media arts and sciences from the MIT Media Laboratory.