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The University of Florida is leading the way forward for learners everywhere

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This newly forming institute coalesces the power of researchers in educational technology, learning analytics and related fields to find data-driven emerging and advanced technology-based solutions to dramatically improve learning outcomes globally. 

The institute supports learning technology faculty and student researchers, state of the art labs and teaching facilities, and academic, industry and government partners, who are all driven by a passion to transform education. In addition to the creation of cutting-edge labs, the institute will demonstrate the university’s power in creating and disseminating advanced learning technologies that improve learning outcomes on an international scale. Research, development and distribution of innovative learning technologies – including software, algorithms and applications – will position UF as a leader in the field. These technologies promise to provide precision, optimized learning experiences enabling successful content mastery for all learners ranging from early childhood through adulthood.

Our Researchers

Thomas (Tom) Dana, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Tom Dana, Ph.D. is the Director of the Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies, a Professor of Education and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education at the University of Florida. Prior to joining the dean’s office in 2008, he held the post of director (chair) of the School of Teaching and Learning for five years.  He led the college’s effort in creating models and support systems to launch and grow distance learning programs. 

Pavlo (Pasha) Antonenko, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, College of Education and Director, Educational Neuroscience Lab

Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Director of the NeurAL Lab in the School of Teaching and Learning. His research has been funded by state and federal agencies and focuses on developing, implementing, and studying technologies for scaffolding learning. 

Kara Dawson, Ph.D.

Professor, College of Education

Kara Dawson, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. Her scholarship focuses on the ways educational technologies influence teaching and learning within the contexts of K-12 education and online post-secondary environments. She has published over 100 articles in various journals and has also secured over 3 million dollars in external funding.

Maya Israel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, College of Education

Maya Israel, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. She is also the research director at the Creative Technology Research Lab. Dr. Israel’s research focuses on strategies for supporting students with disabilities and other struggling learners’ meaningful engagement in STEM with emphases on computational thinking, computer science education, and Universal Design for Learning. 

Swapna Kumar, Ed.D. 

Clinical Associate Professor, College of Education

Swapna Kumar, Ed.D. is a clinical associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on the integration of technology for teaching and learning in higher education. Her research interests include the design, implementation, facilitation and quality of online professional programs; online mentoring; and open online education.

Bojan Lazarevic, Ph.D. 

Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Education

Bojan Lazarevic, Ph.D. has an educational background in instructional technology with an emphasis on online learning, media development and emerging technologies. Currently, he is a principal researcher for the following two projects: a) VR Across Disciplines and b) Facilitating Community of Inquiry through Screencasting and Video Announcements. The project VR Across Disciplines is focused on identifying effective teaching practices in using VR devices and immersive media in areas such as medicine, natural sciences, mathematics, business, language learning, sociology, art, marketing and education. 

Albert Ritzhaupt, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, College of Education and Associate Director, Graduate Studies

Albert Ritzhaupt, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Computer Science Education, and the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. His primary research areas focus on the design, development, utilization, and evaluation of theory-inspired, technology-enhanced learning environments; teaching practices and instructional strategies; operationalizing and measuring technology integration in education; and the professional competencies of individuals in the field of educational technology.

Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, College of Education

Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Florida in the in the School of Teaching and Learning’s Educational Technology program. An award-winning researcher and developer, his design-based research focuses on three-dimensional virtual learning environments, mobile learning, and online learning interventions. In the design and evaluation of these technologies, Dr. Schmidt applies reflexive inquiry using a variety of design-based methodological approaches such as design-based research, learner/user experience design, design thinking, rapid prototyping, etc.

Wanli Xing, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Wanli Xing, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the in the School of Teaching and Learning’s Educational Technology program. His research focuses on how emerging technologies can deeply transform STEM education and online learning. He creates learning environments using cutting-edge technologies, such as computer simulations and modeling, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and augmented reality to support learning in diverse classrooms and online environments.