I’m a Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My work involves documenting the practical wisdom of school leaders with the tools and ideas of distributed leadership, and understanding how digital media tools (can) change teaching and learning in schools..

I co-direct two federally funded projects that guide my research. First, I work with Kurt Squire on the National Science Foundation funded CyberSTEM project, which develops video-games for learning and investigates how the data that results from game-play can become evidence for learning and a catalyst for social interaction.

Second, I work with Carolyn Kelley on the Institute for Education Sciences funded Collaborative Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) project to develop an on-line 360-degree formative feedback system to inform and support the work of school leaders. From 2004-2009, I directed a study funded by a National Science Foundation Early Career Award to investigate how school leaders work with teachers to create the capacity for using student achievement data to improve  teaching and learning.

Before coming to Madison, I was a teacher and a school administrator in suburban Chicago.  I earned an BA from Marquette University and an MA in Philosophy, and a PhD in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. I am a faculty affiliate in Educational Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction Departments at UW-Madison, and I’m a Fellow at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. I have served as the Associate Director of the Education Research Challenge Area at the Morgridge Institute for Research, and I’m a founding member of the Games, Learning, and Society Research Group.

Also, I’m a huge sports fan.  My life rises and falls with the fate of the Packers (and, of course, this), and some of my best memories as a kid are listening to the radio as the ’71 Bucks swept the Baltimore Bullets for the NBA championship.  I follow the Badgers, and I’ve been to all but five of the Major League Baseball ballparks.  (Also, my wife Erica and I got scolded by the Wisconsin Legislature for publishing a paper on fantasy sports as a learning environment…)