I have two passions – history; and the future. I am historian of modern Latin America (that’s the history passion), and I develop digital learning applications (that’s part of passion #2). I am fascinated by aspects of technology that make this world smaller, and that make personal networks bigger. I wrote a book about financial networks in Yucatan (Mexico) in the nineteenth century, and spent years in an archive thumbing through 100-year old documents. My current projects still involve dusty archives, but I am no longer alone in them. I am collaborating on a digital, searchable and annotated archive of those documents, so that the collection, and the research I am using it for, can be publicly searchable.
I also use digital tools to teach and let students learn. I encourage the use of laptops, tablets and anything else that is helpful. It does not matter to me if you take notes with a pencil, a laptop, or not at all. With the help of colleagues I created learning game called Digital Zombies, that is also an ongoing digital project that combines research methods, digital literacy and critical thinking. I am currently a collaborator on projects that develop virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) modules for instruction, and that explore how VR will change how we teach and how we think.
I was born in Belgium, grew up in Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, I went to college in Brussels, graduate school in London and Los Angeles, I worked in NY and Mexico City before moving to California, and I spend half my time in Oregon. My passport is current and my carry-on is always packed. I have a small but ferocious dog and I love what I do.