Screen_shot_2010-10-08_at_9.22.57_AM.pngDr. Hiller Spires is a Professor of Literacy and Technology in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; she received her Ph.D. in literacy education from the University of South Carolina. She served as the founding director of The William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation from 2002-2006 and currently serves as FI Senior Research Fellow. Her research focuses on the effects of digital literacies on learning, including emerging literacies associated with gaming environments. She is co-PI on the NSF-funded projects, Crystal Island and Narrative Theatre. She has published in Journal of Educational Psychology, Cognition & Instruction, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Literacy Research & Instruction, Reading Psychology, among other journals. She coordinates the New Literacies & Global Learning graduate program and co-directs the Friday Institute’s New Literacies Collaborative. Check out her website.


Dr. John K. Lee, is an associate professor of social studies and middle grades education. He conducts research on digital history, and is specifically interested in the development of innovative ways for supporting teachers and students as they make use of online historical resources. He is author of the book Visualizing Elementary Social Studies Methods and co-author of the book Guiding Learning with Technology. He is also involved in efforts to theorize and develop tools and materials related to new literacies. For more see

CY_FI_headshot5_F09[1].jpgCarl A. Young, a former middle grades and high school English teacher, is associate professor of English education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at North Carolina State University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. At NC State, he teaches courses in English methods, teaching composition, content area reading and writing, and new literacies and emerging technologies. He conducts research on new literacies, participatory media, eportfolios, and other technology applications in English education. In addition, Dr. Young serves as chair of the CEE Commission on Technology and Teacher Education and as co-editor for the English language arts section of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (// He is a member of the New Literacies Collaborative ( and co-facilitator for the annual New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute (, a summer professional development initiative. Selected publications have appeared in English Education, English Journal, Journal of Literacy Research, and Learning & Leading with Technology. He is currently co-editing a book highlighting research in technology and English education.

leu_don.jpgDr. Donald J. Leu will skype with us to discuss Online Reading Comprehension as a new literacy. Don is the John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology and holds a joint appointment in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He directs the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and the Reading Hall of Fame. He is a past President of the National Reading Conference. A graduate of Michigan State, Harvard, and Berkeley, Don’s work focuses on the new skills and strategies required to read, write, and learn with Internet technologies and the best instructional practices that prepare students for these new literacies. He has more than 100 research publications and seventeen books on topics that range from phonics and phonemic awareness to teacher education and the new literacies of online reading comprehension.

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Yong Zhao, is University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also serves as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is a fellow of the International Academy for Education.
His research interests include computer gaming and education, diffusion of innovations, teacher adoption of technology, computer-assisted language learning, and globalization and education. Zhao has extensive international experiences. He has consulted with government and educational agencies and spoken on educational issues in many countries on six continents. His current work focuses on designing 21st Century Schools in the context of globalization and the digital revolution. Zhao was born in China’s Sichuan Province. He received his B.A. in English Language Education from Sichuan Institute of Foreign Languages in Chongqing, China in 1986. After teaching English in China for six years, he came to Linfield College as a visiting scholar in 1992. He then began his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He received his A.M. in Education in 1994 and Ph.D. in 1996. He joined the faculty at MSU in 1996 after working as the Language Center Coordinator at Willamette University and a language specialist at Hamilton College. See


Erin Krupa, is a research assistant at the Friday Institute for Education and Innovation at North Carolina State University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics education at N.C. State. Prior to returning to school fulltime, she taught secondary mathematics at W.G.Enloe High School, a Gifted and Talented/International Baccalaureate Center for the Humanities, Sciences, and Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina. She holds a masters degree from Wake Forest University in mathematics. Erin was a Teaching Fellow at Elon University, where she earned her bachelors degree in mathematics.


Jonathan List, is a Graduate Research Assistant who works on enhancing the utility of the New Literacies Collaborative Ning Page. He is currently engaged in research with Dr. Lee, investigating how students interact in Historical Thinking in an Online Setting. Jonathan is also working on developing a meaningful definition for the New Literacies / new literacies framework. His research interests are focused in the area of interaction between New Literacies and Social Studies.


Bethany Smith, is the Asst. Director of Learning Technologies for the College of Education at NC State University. She has worked in Middle School & High Schools, as well as Industry, before coming to work at the College of Education. Bethany has her undergraduate degree in Technology Education, and her Master's of Science in Instructional Technology, both from NC State University. Bethany conducts technology integration training both at the university and state-wide level.

external image IMG_93021111.jpg?width=183&height=183&crop=1%3A1Meixun (Sinky) Zheng, is a doctoral student in Department of Curriculum & Instruction at NC State University. Her research has focused on literacy and technology. Specifically, she is interested in how emerging technologies can be applied in classroom instruction across content areas. She is a graduate research assistant at the William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, working on the NSF-funded Crystal Island-5 project which aims to enhance students' science learning, problem-solving, and critical thinking in a 3-D game-based learning environment.