Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas
President & Founding Director
Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas, long time teacher and researcher of adult education and educational technologies, has focused for over a decade on exploring and developing blended and mobile learning solutions. Dr. Palalas has been involved in numerous blended learning projects in North America, Ghana and India. Amongst other assignments, she has worked as a Mobile Learning Specialist at George Brown College, Toronto, Canada as well as in a cross-cultural blended learning project involving Ghana, Canada, and the USA. She is currently teaching graduate courses in m-learning, technology-assisted education, and distance education courses at Athabasca University, Canada and the University of New Mexico, USA. She is also consulting on mobile and blended learning educational interventions. Dr. Palalas has published a number of articles and book chapters pertaining to mobile and blended learning. She has been active in local and international professional associations and is a regular presenter at international conferences. In her over-20-year experience as an educator, Dr. Palalas has taught in the classroom and online, reviewed and designed curriculum, provided professional development, worked as a programmer and instructional designer for mobile, online, F2F, and blended learning programs. She is excited to be able to contribute to the field of blended learning as a founding director of the International Blended Learning Association.
Dr. Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh
Past-President & Founding Director
Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh, Ph.D., is a retired Senior Researcher with the American Institutes for Research. She is an educational consultant (K-16) and an expert in the field educational communications and technology, as well as in cultural and linguistic competence (CLC). Dr. Willis-Darpoh also has significant expertise in teacher training/culturally responsive teaching, diversity, disproportionality and disparities and is a certified blended learning developer. An educator with more than 35 years of experience, she has presented nationally and internationally on blended learning and conducted research for multinational organizations. Dr. Willis-Darpoh is a two-time Fulbright scholar (Nigeria 1988; Germany 1997) and was a member of the Fulbright Association’s National Board of Directors. In addition, she served on the Research and Innovation Advisory Board of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) and is the Past President and Founding Director of the International Association for Blended Learning. Gwendolyn earned a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, a M.Ed. from the American University, and a B.S. from Virginia State University.
Vice President & Founding Director
Przemyslaw (Pshemek) Pawluk is a professor at the School of Computer Technology at George Brown College in Toronto, teaching mobile, web and game development. He has worked successfully with Research and Innovation Office at George Brown College on various research projects advising both industry partners and participating students. Przemyslaw holds a Master of Science in Software Engineering degree from Wroclaw University of Technology and Blekinge Institute of Technology. While being a student in Wroclaw, he worked as a back-end developer and tester. Thanks to that experience, he graduated with both extensive understanding of theory and practical experience in various innovative technologies and domains (telecommunication from Siemens, GIS from Geotechnologies, banking and call center systems from Lukas Bank). Working in these companies he had an opportunity to observe, learn and take an active part in each phase of the development process: from design through development to tests. Now, he has been applying this expertise and experience in the projects conducted by Mobi-Learning Inc. and GBC. Przemyslaw is an active researcher. His work is focused on two areas: mobile education and cloud computing. His previous research interests covered also software engineering, database development and optimization, as well as data quality and data integration. Przemyslaw has published several research articles pertaining to software engineering, data quality, cloud computing and mobile education. He presented his work at major local and international conferences. He is a co-founder and vice-president of Mobi-Learning Inc. responsible for technological aspects of their solutions. In each area, he is trying to mix theory and practice. In Mobi-Learning Inc., Przemyslaw shares his passion and expertise, contributing his understanding of technology and experience in software engineering. He has developed a number of mobile and web solutions for education; he also provides consulting services in the broad area of software development covering mobile, web and database design and development.
Dr. Hend Merza
Secretary & Founding Director
Dr. Hend Merza is an Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and the Director of Quality and Accreditation Department at the Arab Open University , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She received her Bachelor degree from the United States of America, while she received her Master’s and Doctoral degree from King Saud University. She worked for twenty five year in public education , but Dr. Hend decided it was time for change and retired early . Retirement gave her the opportunity to work three different jobs at the same time: teaching at three local universities, writing a weekly column in a local newspaper, and delivering training programs. She published a number of papers and books, and there are some more on the way. Participating in conferences and workshops in her field of training, Quality Management, and higher education is her favourite activity, where she can meet colleagues with whom she can establish a professional relationship.
Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos
Treasurer & Founding Director
Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos is a Professor in the Department of Computing and Informatics Engineering at Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology and he also serves as Coordinator of Master of Distance Education in Greece, on behalf of Athabasca University of Canada since 2009. Professor Tsinakos has a number of publications and was the Coordinator (or member of the Coordination Team) in more than 14 national/international projects on the topic of distance education. Additionally he participated in number of world/international/national conferences as invited speaker/presenter. Since 2011 Prof. Tsinakos has joined the Bologna Expert Team, as National Representative on behalf of the Greek Ministry of Education.
Dr. Helmi Norman
Member-at-Large & Founding Director
Dr. Helmi Norman is currently the Assistant Dean of Teaching and Citra (cross disciplinary studies) and a Senior Lecturer/Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia or UKM). He is also an Associate Fellow of the Center for Teaching and Learning Technologies at UKM. His research interests are in the areas of mobile and ubiquitous learning as well as open and distance education. Previously, he was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of California San Diego, USA and was awarded a visiting post-doctoral fellowship by Erasmus Mundus at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University (BU), United Kingdom. During his PhD, he was awarded the Global Student Mobility Partnership Program for a research attachment in the e-Learning Lab, Center for Driven Innovation, Learning and Design (eLL), Aalborg University. Dr. Norman is currently involved in cross-continental projects such as the Australia’s Innovation Research University (IRU) – Malaysia Research University Network (MRUN) on learning spaces and Erasmus Early Nutrition eLearning Academy South East Asia where he is on the Digital Learning Expert Board. He is also involved in national research projects such as the Massive Open Online Course for Malaysian public universities and Educator 4.0 project organized by the Ministry of Higher Education. He is also an educational technology consultant for Apple where he is involved in national projects for primary, secondary, and higher education in promoting 1:1 pedagogical and learning approaches using the Apple ecosystem.
Dr. Elżbieta Gajek
Member-at-Large & Director
Dr hab. Elżbieta Gajek is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Applied Linguistics University of Warsaw, Poland. She is Head of Department of Glottodidatics and Head of New Media in Applied Linguistics Lab. As she graduated Warsaw University of Technology, Department of Electronics and then completed her PhD at University of Warsaw, Department of Modern Languages her main research areas cover Computer Assisted Language Learning, and Methodology of Computer Enhanced Teaching Languages, Distance Learning and Mobile Assisted Language Learning. She has worked as an English teacher and teacher trainer for many years. She participated in many European research projects. She also coordinated academic telecollaborative projects with American and Chinese universities. As a Polish national expert she has been involved in eTwinning programme since 2004. She is an author and co-author of over 100 books, book chapters, and journal articles on CALL and MALL, on teacher training for media, and ICT-based instruction published worldwide.
Dr. Mohamed Ally
Dr. Mohamed Ally is Professor in Distance Education and a researcher in the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University in Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada. His current areas of research include mobile learning, e-learning, distance education, and use of information and communication technology in training and education. Dr. Ally is Past-President of the International Federation of Training and Development Organizations (IFTDO) and is one of the Founding Directors of the International Association of Mobile Learning (IamLearn). He was also on the board of the Canadian Society for Training and Development. Dr. Ally chaired the Fifth World Conference on Mobile Learning and co-chaired the First International Conference on Mobile Libraries. He recently edited seven books on the use of mobile technology in education, training and libraries and is currently editing three additional books. His book “Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training” won the Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for significant contribution to distance education. Two of his research papers won the best research paper award at national and international conferences. Dr. Ally has published in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in books and encyclopedia and served on many journal boards and conference committees. He has presented keynote speeches, workshops, papers, and seminars in many countries.