I quite often get asked to provide a short biography for talks, program committees, etc, and usually have to ask how many words are needed. Here is a small selection to choose from:
Generic 50-word blurb
Professor Jon Dron is the Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Athabasca University, Canada, and a British National Teaching Fellow. His latest book, How Education Works: Teaching, Technology, and Technique is scheduled for publication by AU Press in Spring 2023. Website: https://jondron.ca/
Generic 75-word blurb
Jon Dron is a full professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment at Athabasca University, Canada. He is a UK National Teaching Fellow, and author of Teaching Crowds: Learning and Social Media (2014, with Terry Anderson), and Control & Constraint in E-Learning: Choosing When to Choose (2007). His latest book, How Education Works: Teaching, Technology, & Technique is due out in Spring 2023. His personal website is at https://jondron.ca/
Generic 100-word blurb
Jon Dron is an associate dean and full professor at Athabasca University, based in the Faculty of Science and Technology. He has received national and institutional awards for his teaching, is author of various award-winning research papers and is a regular keynote speaker. His research is cross-disciplinary, straddling many areas of technology, learning, and education, about which he has authored three books. He sang swing for a living for 10 years, before becoming an IT support manager and, finally, an academic. He has formal qualifications in philosophy, information systems, university education, and learning technologies.
Generic 200-word blurb:
Professor Jon Dron is a member of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute, and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Athabasca University. Jon has received both national and local awards for his teaching, is author of various award-winning research papers and is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences in fields as diverse as education, learning technologies, information science and programming. Jon has a first degree in philosophy, a masters degree in information systems, a post-graduate certificate in higher education and a PhD in learning technologies. Apart from his work in education, he has had careers in technology management, programming, and marketing, as well as over ten years as a professional singer. He is the author of Teaching Crowds: Learning and Social Media (2014, with Terry Anderson), and Control & Constraint in E-Learning: Choosing When to Choose (2007). His latest book, How Education Works: Teaching, Technology, & Technique is due out in Spring 2023. He lives in beautiful Vancouver where, when he is not spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, he sails, cycles, writes, sings, and plays many musical instruments. You can find out more about him at his personal website: https://jondron.ca
After a first degree in Philosophy at the University of Sussex, UK, Dr Jon Dron spent most of the next ten years singing for a living. He developed an interest in computers and learning, eventually leading to an MSc in Information Systems, where his dissertation was on Educational Multimedia. From there he went on to manage a technical support team at the University of Brighton, where he developed a series of innovative web-based learning technologies in the early 1990s. After being the technical lead on a project to develop Web authoring tools for teachers and acquiring a taste for academic research, he started a PhD with a working title of Getting Rid of Teachers. In fact, the work was much more about enabling everyone to be a teacher, leveraging the the vast numbers of people who could help one another to learn, individually and as a collectively intelligent teacher. The PhD centred around developing a self-organizing web-based application, CoFIND (collaborative filter in n-dimensions), which was perhaps the first open-corpus adaptive hypermedia system, one of the earliest uses of tag clouds, and one of the earliest uses of social navigation in a learning context. Shortly after starting his PhD, Jon became a lecturer at the University of Brighton. From the beginning, he made extensive use of the Web and other Internet technologies in his teaching. He eventually became a principal lecturer, and Head of Learning Environments, as well as leading programs in web-based systems and online learning. In 2005, he became a National Teaching Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Meanwhile, his research continued to evolve, gaining increasing recognition and awards. He published his first book, Control & Constraint in E-Learning: Choosing When to Choose in 2007, providing theory, principles and patterns for effective online social learning. Later that year he joined Athabasca University, Canada’s online and open university, to work with many of the world’s leading online and distance learning researchers in the newly formed Technology Enhanced Learning (later ‘Knowledge’) Research Institute. At Athabasca University, Jon is a full professor in the Faculty of Science and Technology, and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment. He has developed leading theories and models of online and distance learning, a social learning site known as The Landing, and many teaching innovations. His last book, Teaching Crowds: Learning & Social Media (coauthored with Terry Anderson) was the culmination of two decades of work on online and social ways of learning. Since then he has been working on a grander endeavour, exploring and explaining the nature of education itself as a highly distributed, social, technological phenomenon. His latest book, How Education Works: Teaching, Technology & Technique, is in press, but you can read a summary of some of its main themes in his 2021 paper Educational Technology: what it is and how it works. Jon lives, works, and teaches at a distance from his home in Vancouver, BC.