The Miller Institute
for Learning with Technology
Mark L. Miller, Ph.D. founded Learningtech.org, incorporating it as The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology, a California 501(c)(3) non-profit, in March 2000. He continues to serve as both its lead technical contributor and its President and Executive Director. The mission of the organization is to help "children of all ages" use technology more effectively for learning. The firm has helped schools throughout California, as well as in several other states, with projects ranging from Classroom Technology Officers to Build-a-Computer to Program-a-Robot. Services include: E-Rate applications; technology plan preparation; network design; grant preparation assistance; server and router configuration and administration; data wiring installation; laboratory setups; workstation cloning; technology impact assessments; purchase recommendations; workshops for students; and staff development for teachers. Institute staff members have contributed to the efforts of Smart Valley (Net Day and PC Day), Challenge 2000, Wired for Good, and the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits. The Institute works closely with K-14 schools and other nonprofits on all aspects of technology.
Prior to founding the Institute, Dr. Miller had served as Lab Director for Learning and Tools at Apple Computer, reporting to the Vice President of Apple's Advanced Technology Group [ATG], where he spent almost a decade heading up educational technology investigations. Apple programs under his direction at various times included: Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow [ACOT]; Apple Global Education [AGE]; Visualization and Simulation; Business Learning and Performance Support; and Multimedia Authoring Tools. Responsibilities at various times included oversight of over three dozen employees, including Apple Distinguished Scientists and numerous engineers with advanced degrees, with budget responsibility in excess of $6M.
Dr. Miller's other major corporate experience includes Texas Instruments, Inc., Central Research Labs, where Miller established its widely recognized Machine Intelligence research program, emphasizing educational applications, expert systems, natural language processing. Miller also co-founded Computer*Thought Corporation (Dallas, TX), a high-tech startup backed by venture capital financing - over $5M equity financing raised during the first three years of operation - where Miller led the technical design of the Ada*Tutor, an advanced instructional system designed to retrain software engineers for the Ada programming language, as mandated at that time by the U.S. Department of Defense for projects such as Space Station.
Dr. Miller's teaching experience includes serving on the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence; Survey of Knowledge Engineering; Design and Implementation of Programming Languages; Compilers, Assemblers, and Operating Systems; Software Engineering Using Ada; Discrete Structures). Miller has supervised successful M.S. and Ph.D candidates. While at MIT he served as both Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Artificial Intelligence and LOGO Laboratories. Miller has also taught high school mathematics as a guest instructor, Filemaker Pro and related topics from time to time at Community Colleges and County Offices of Education and a high school computer science elective that is pending UC A-G approval.
When time permits, which is not nearly as often as he would like, Miller authors articles for his blog site about educational technology, entitled, That Shouldn't Matter.
Dr. Len Erickson holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Stanford University and a B.S. in Biology from Caltech. He has thirty years of experience in a range of high tech industry roles. This has included product design, development and marketing for the manufacturing software that was created to track and control the manufacture of silicon chips. This experience ranges from startup ventures to work as a senior technical consultant in HP's Professional Services group.
Len is especially well-known in coastal San Mateo, where he has developed extensive collaborative efforts to ensure access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics [STEM] for under-served students from Pescadero to Pacifica. His relationship with Learningtech.org began as our key collaborator to create the San Mateo County Community STEM Alliance [SMCCSA]. Some of his recent efforts are available on his companion website, Coastside STEM.
In addition to his high tech industry experience, Dr. Erickson developed and sold a product that provided one of the first graphical interfaces for educational robotics, Hyperbot, developed as full featured product for the Macintosh platform. In the 1990’s these material were used frequently in public workshops at The Tech Museum in San Jose and in school classrooms both many sites in the Bay Area and across the country. This range of experiences provides Dr. Erickson with a direct acquaintance with the critical competencies of the High Tech industries and considerable experience work with students both in in-school and out-of-school camp and workshop settings.
Eileen Miller holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from National University as well as a B.A. in Art History from Occidental College and a B.S. in Computer Science from Coleman College. She had been offering consulting and subcontractor assistance to Learningtech.org since 2005, later joining as a full-time employee and recently being promoted to Vice President to head up both our E-Rate and our Technology Planning operations. She also applies her marketing expertise to assist with many of our marketing, fund-raising and proposal-writing efforts. She brings a variety of additional expertise to the organization, including software programming, technical writing, marketing/research and analysis and product, project and facilities management.
Ms. Miller also serves as President/Owner of They Tell Me, a firm that provides web-based customer satisfaction surveys to her clients. They Tell Me offers a convenient means for gathering actionable information to enhance customer satisfaction and increase revenue. Eileen's entrepreneurial background has been invaluable to Learningtech.org in the design of information-gathering survey materials for E-Rate clients. Eileen's combination of technical expertise with her M.B.A. provides a solid foundation for work on E-Rate, which requires technical understanding of the products and services sought, solid project management and an appreciation of market forces and trends.
Gia Abello, Learningtech.org's Office Manager, joined the firm in 2008. A parent from the local San Carlos community, Gia has two children attending local schools and has served as a volunteer editor of Parent Newsletters for local schools. She joined Learningtech.org with a decade of prior experience in adminstrative support, customer service and marketing roles. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines with a major in Journalism. She has worked for major publishers including Simon & Schuster in New York and has also worked in merchandising in Vancouver, B.C. Gia's primary responsibilities involve bookkeeping, accounting and assisting senior management with financial planning.
Linda Cecil joined Learningtech.org as E-Rate Project Coordinator in 2010. Linda has two decades of experience in Executive Assistant, Editorial Asssistant and Project Coordinator roles, having worked in a variety of organizations including credit unions and banks, the U.S. Navy, Xerox Corporation, and Renaissance Executive Forums. Many of these assignments required specialized document preparation with strict attention to detail, accuracy and format. This background was ideal preparation for Linda's unique role in supporting Learningtech.org's team of E-Rate experts, such ensuring that all applications are supported by properly executed Letters of Agency and initiating online form filings as required by the E-Rate program. In her role as project coordinator, Linda has interacted with nearly every Learningtech.org client in recent years.
Byron Davies, Ph.D. joined Learningtech.org in 2009 as Branch Manager, Arizona Operations, sharing his lifetime of experience in information technology with deep interest and involvement in K-12 education. Dr. Davies first became involved with learning technology as a board member for the Arizona Learning Technology Partnership (now known as eSATS, eLearning Systems for Arizona Teachers and Students). For six years he used learning technology platforms to teach IT to healthcare professionals at the Arizona School of Health Sciences.
In addition to his work with Learningtech.org, Byron also teaches part-time at a charter high school, where since 2007, Dr. Davies has helped this innovative Arizona charter school craft their business, technology, and growth strategy. Additionally, he remains active as the Chair and Executive Director of AHITA, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the adoption of electronic health records in small and medium medical practices.
Peter A. Farrell joined Learningtech.org in 2012 as an Instructor for Mathematics and Computer Science offerings including our high school computer science elective for Summit Public Schools. As the lead day-to-day Instructor for the San Jose campus, Peter introduced students to computer programming, robotics and related topics. Holding a B.A. in Mathematics from Merrimack College, MA, Peter has taught math as a credentialed teacher for eight years in middle schools and high schools, as well as summer school sessions in algebra and computer skills. He has also managed inventory as an Analyst for a major textbook publisher. Peter has taught mathematics and science at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center, Stanbridge Academy, Mills High School and other schools both locally in the San Francisco Bay Area and on the East Coast.
In addition to his role at Learningtech.org, Mr. Farrell continues to operate a sole proprietorship based in San Mateo, Farrell Polymath, emphasizing the use of technology to enhance mathematics tutoring. Previously, Peter had served as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching Mathematics and English in Naro Moru, Kenya from 1988-1990.
Andree joined Learningtech.org in 2008, when she moved to California with her family, from New York. There she worked with school districts and universities on Student Information Systems (notably PowerSchool), teacher professional development, and technology management. She ran her own consulting firm, Miller Educational Data Services, and has a great deal of relevant experience; most recently, she worked as a PowerSchool implementation trainer for Pearson.
Andree holds a B.S. in Computer Science from City College of New York and an MS. Ed. in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from Hofstra University. She belongs to the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the Help Desk Institute (HDI). She also holds various credentials and certifications including: Pearson PowerSchool IPT Trainer; Langevin Training Instructional Designer; Novell Network Administrator; and Brainbench Excel Fundamentals. Andree's background and contributions are significant assets of great benefit to our clients.
Chris Miller has been with Learningtech.org since 2001, when he merged his own successful computer consulting proprietorship with the company, to the enrichment of both organizations. A widely-recognized expert on Macintosh Server installation and configuration, Chris is Apple-certified and has been working on Macs since childhood. Chris is at home with the Unix command line and has written numerous programs in Java, C, Python and other languages. He teaches robotics and computer programming to middle school and high school students at our summer camps and in-school electives. He has installed and configured countless servers in K-12 schools throughout California. Working closely with Dr. Mark Miller, Chris serves as one of the main day-to-day Instructors for Learningtech.org's high school computer science elective offering.
When not sitting at an X-Serve's keyboard, Chris is playing keyboards professionally at local jazz/funk/rock venues. As a Camp Instructor, his favorite topics besides programming robots include sharing his musical experience through tools such as Garage Band on iPads.
Loren Parkhurst has been working with Miller Institute for Learning with Technology on E-Rate projects since 2006. Mr. Parkhurst's contributions to the organization include technical writing of Technology Plans, conducting of bid analysis, data analysis and network design. His background includes: Military service in the Army Security Agency, semiconductor design, testing and manufacturing, computer programming, and Local Area Network design, installation and service. Before joining the Institute, Loren was President/Owner of MicroLAN Consultants, where he worked with such clients as International Video Network, Cellular Phone Distributors, and The Oakland Raiders' Oakland Football Marketing Association. Loren provides wide-ranging understanding of technology infrastructure and telecommunications and, as our leading Windows expert, "tries his best to keep our Mac experts from drinking too much of the Cupertino Kool Aid."
Anne Petrie, MBA, is a frequent contributor to Learningtech's E-Rate and Technology Plan team. Her primary efforts for Learningtech E-Rate clients include assistance with E-Rate workflow processes, client document archiving, and quality assurance efforts to insure E-Rate clients are fully compliant with E-Rate requirements. Anne's prior experience with governmental program operations and compliance includes health plan consulting for Medicare Advantage plans in the areas of enrollment, claims operations, provider network management, strategy and business processes, and systems configuration to support claims payment. She has broad expertise in health plan operations, product management, provider contracting and education, and Medicare regulatory compliance. Before joining Learningtech in a consulting capacity, Anne served in senior roles with Ingenix / Medicode, Pacificare, United Healthcare and FHP International.
Derek Rochelle joined Learningtech.org in 2012 as an Educational Technology Consultant. Previously, he had spent two years working for the management-consulting firm BearingPoint, which was retained by the Universal Services Administrative Corporation [USAC] -- the organization responsible for administering the E-Rate program -- where he created and implemented the Helping Applicants To Succeed [HATS] program. Derek visited hundreds of schools on behalf of USAC as a HATS site-reviewer where he assisted schools and libraries with E-Rate applications. Previously, Derek had also worked for RingCentral, selling VoIP phone systems to small businesses and at The Bohle Company as a publicist for consumer electronics companies.
In addition to his contributions to Learningtech.org's E-Rate and Technology Planning operations, Derek has played in important role as an Instructor, helping to deliver our after school STEM programs and planning our Extreme STEAM summer camp offerings. Currently based in the San Francisco area, Derek plans to relocate to the Los Angeles area, where he will continue to contribute to E-Rate while helping Learningtech.org to launch on-site STEM enrichment offerings for our clients in that region.
Mr. Rochelle earned his MBA from Willamette University in 2011 specializing in non-profit project management and consultation. He holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Derek also holds a minor in music performance from UNC as an accomplished jazz and classical trombone player.
Christopher "Bully" Soares joins Learningtech.org from Hawaii. In his previous role, he served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Hawaii's Charter School Administrative Office (HCSAO) as well as the Certified Tech Plan Approver for all of Hawaii' Charter Schools. HCSAO provided services to all 31 of Hawaii's Public Charter Schools. Bully (or "Uncle Bully," as he is affectionately known throughout the schools in Hawaii) has served as technology support and liaison for Hawaii"s charters, wearing many hats in the process, from simple application support to complex facilities including critical infrastructure planning for school networks and telecommunications infrastructure. Bully is an open-source advocate and former board member of the Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation. Having previously served as Technology Coordinator for several Hawaiian Public Charter Schools, Bully has a wide scope of knowledge specifically targeting teacher and student needs. He has also established good communications and working relationships with administrators and staff of the schools where has has worked in both Hawaii and, more recently, California.
Bully was instrumental in procuring, implementing and supporting the Student Information System (IST) procured by the CSAO for the majority of Hawaii's Charter Schools. He also served on Hawaii Department of Education's Ethnicity committee, AYP and NCLB committees as well as the Growth Model committee regarding the State-wide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). He served as the liaison for the Charter School's annual OEC (Officical Enrollment Count) reconciliation closely working with the Hawaii Department of Education's OEC Department, headed by Tom Saka.
On a side note, Bully has also worked as a professional musician for many years, including with the legendary Hawaiian entertainer and icon, Don Ho.
Tom Wilkerson has been with The Miller Institute since 2001. Tom is a first-rate network administrator and desktop technician. Tom holds an Apple Certification on Mac OS X v10.4. Tom has probably cloned more Macintoshes in K-12 schools in the Bay area than any other single individual. His experience prior to joining included extensive experience in customer support roles relating to technology. Through this experience, Tom has become a patient teacher and excellent troubleshooter. His hobbies include automotive customization and audio engineering; Tom is an expert on Pro Tools, yet still enjoys getting children started with Garage Band. He also has considerable experience teaching computer troubleshooting skills to middle school students through our summer CTO workshops. Tom also plays a major role in providing technical support both internally and for our IT Services clients.