I have two passions – history; and the future. I am historian of modern Latin America (that’s the history passion), and I make digital learning tools (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 for that. 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 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 zombies.digital, which is a game, a teaching tool and an ongoing digital project that combines research methods, digital literacy tools and critical thinking. I am currently collaborating on projects that explore how virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) can be best deployed to foster critical thinking in classrooms and beyond.
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, my passport is current and my carry-on is always packed. I have a small but ferocious dog and I love what I do.