Alfred Essa, VP, R&D and Analytics, McGraw-Hill Education
Alfred Essa is VP of R&D and Analytics in the Digital Platform Group at McGraw-Hill Education. He leads a team of data scientists and engineers responsible for product innovation in learning analytics. He has extensive experience in industry and academia, including serving as Director of Analytics Strategy at Desire2Learn and CIO at MIT's Sloan School of Management.
David Gappa, Software Architect, SAFARI Montage®
David has 20 years experience in software development, the past 12 years in the K-12 market. He currently leads the design and development of all software products, manages custom projects, researches new technologies, and works closely with the hardware team to bring products to enterprise environments. Prior to joining SAFARI Montage®, David developed vehicle emission testing software based on EPA standards for SPX Corporation. David has a Masters of Science degree in Computer Science from Western Michigan University.
Bradley S. Fordham, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Echo360
As chief technology officer for Echo360, Dr. Bradley Fordham leads a global technology team to deliver differentiated instruction to institutions of higher education that drives outcomes in a measured way. He came to Echo360 from his role as CTO of Amplify Education, heading development of all assessment and intervention products. Prior to that, Dr. Fordham was head of research and product management for Xiocom Wireless, where he managed the product roadmap, research efforts, and new product development across their hardware, software, and service ecosystem for global wireless networking. He was Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, and Director of Online Insight where he brought his experience leading advanced systems research and development to oversee all strategic technology initiatives for the company's flagship guided selling and market intelligence solutions. Dr. Fordham also held key leadership positions in advanced technology and product development with Oracle Corporation, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), AT&T and GE. He was a Professor of Database Theory and Software Development and has advised and consulted with NASA, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), several other U.S. government agencies and Fortune 100 global technology companies.
Bracken Mosbacker, Director of Development, Lumen Learning
Bracken Mosbacker is the director of development at Lumen Learning, a company that provides open courseware and sustainable adoption models for open educational resources. He oversees technical strategy, development, and integration for Lumen's courseware solutions. Bracken actively participates in defining, developing, and ensuring interoperability of many open education standards including work with IMS Global Consortium on LTI and Common Cartridge. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and developer groups promoting education standards, technical integrations, and open education. Prior to Lumen, Bracken was the third developer to join and build Instructure Canvas, where he worked on every facet of the product and led Instructure's efforts in platforms and integration strategies.
Melissa Loble, VP, Platform & Partnerships, Instructure
Melissa is the VP of Platform & Partnerships for Instructure, where she leads the platform strategy for Canvas and Bridge, and focuses on creating a technical infrastructure that seamlessly integrates a broad range of technologies. She also leads Instructure’s partnerships program, encouraging the development of learning ecosystems among districts and universities worldwide by leveraging its strong relationships with industry leaders and innovative third party solutions, Melissa has held a variety of leadership positions in educational technology, including most recently the Associate Dean for Distance Learning at the University of California, Irvine. Melissa earned her BA in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, her MA in educational policy from Teachers’ College, Columbia University, and an MBA in leadership from the Columbia Business School.
Tim Tomlinson, Vice President, Core Services Product Development, Blackboard
As Vice President of Blackboard’s Core Services Product Development group, Tim leads the company’s development of cloud-based and cross-LMS product initiatives, including Blackboard Analytics and Blackboard xpLor, a cross-platform learning object repository based on open standards such as IMS LTI and Common Cartridge.
Tim formerly led the Program Management team for Blackboard’s Learn product division, and previously served as Director of Software Development for ANGEL Learning. His career encompasses nearly 20 years of experience developing software products and leading development teams. Tim is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Chris Vento, CEO, Intellify Learning
Chris is a software product and technology leader with proven experience as a visionary innovator in defining the strategic technology and product direction, underlying architecture, and development of next generation highly innovative and disruptive software solutions spanning the web, mobile and cloud mediums focused in the EdTech, web/mobile and enterprise software industry sectors. In addition, Chris is a leading educational software technology spokesperson, who is very active as a leader and contributor in the edtech industry standards and interoperability initiatives.
Jennifer Whiting, Sr. Manager Product Development, FLVS - Florida Virtual School
Jennifer Whiting has been with FLVS - Florida Virtual School since 1997. She has served in multiple capacities for FLVS including curriculum development, online teaching, project management, learning management system oversight, and information technology. Her broad experience in e-learning has led her to currently focusing on innovating customer support for schools and districts using FLVS content for their own virtual and blended programs.
Ms. Whiting earned her Masters of Science degree in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University. Her Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Physics Education was awarded by the Florida Institute of Technology. Jennifer has worked with IMS Global Learning for many years, lending her secondary school knowledge to several work groups. She served as the co-chair for the Technical Advisory Board for 2 years.