Leveraging Talent and Experience for your Needs
Much like a consortium, we provide a platform to share technology expertise among organizations. The Institute includes advisors with expertise and successful experience in actual K-12 schools and universities. These advisors are made available to your organization on a part-time, fractional basis. This model provides access to highly sought-after skillsets without the cost or hassle of hiring and retaining these individuals in rapidly changing and specialized hiring markets. Contact us for more information.
The Renaissance Institute is a veteran owned business.
Dr. Andrew Berning:
Founder and President: Planning, Management, and Evaluation of Educational Technology.
Dr. Berning brings IT Governance and technology management skills to your organization. He is an Air Force veteran, a former chemistry teacher, and served over 25 years as a Chief Technology Officer in K-12 schools, overseeing all aspects of technology including network infrastructure, online learning, integration and evaluation. He is currently the president of The Renaissance Institute, and has an appointment as a research scientist in learning analytics at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Dr. Berning holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master's Degree in Chemistry, and a Bachelor's Degree in Science Education. He also earned an Executive Certificate in Technology Management and Leadership from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Institute Advisors are practicing K-12 and university educators that provide insight and advice to our members.
Robert Bostic, Superintendent of the Stafford Municipal School District, has been dedicated to children and education for 25 years. He has served as a teacher, supervisor, and assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. Dr. Bostic is active in community, civic and professional organizations. He is currently a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Texas Association of Suburban/Mid-Urban Schools, Texas Association of Mid-Sized Schools, Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, Mexican- American School Boards Association, Texas Computer Education Association, the Fort Bend Chamber Education Division, ACHIEVE Fort Bend County, and the Fort Bend Economic Development Council. Dr. Bostic also works regionally as one of the twenty appointees by the Texas Commissioner of Education to the Texas Education Agency Rural and Small Schools Task Force as well as nationally as the K-12 Co Chair Advisory Representative for the Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA.
Before coming to SMSD, Dr. Bostic served as the Assistant Superintendent for Academic Programs at Denton ISD in Denton, TX. At DISD Dr. Robert Bostic made using “technology as a tool” a top priority to help teachers and administrators streamline their work with teaching and learning in the district and throughout Texas.
Mr. Charlie Jackson M.B.A,
Technology Program Oversight and Management
Mr. Jackson is the Chief Technology Officer for Highland Park ISD. Charlie has served as the Executive Director of Technology for Forney ISD, Director of Technology Operations in Duncanville ISD, and a network engineer for Lancaster ISD. He holds a B.B.A from Dallas Baptist University and an M.B.A from Texas A&M Commerce. Charlie is a Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) through The Consortium for School Networking (COSN).
Dr. Gerald Knezek
Integration, Research, and Evaluation
Dr. Knezek can provide data-driven advice on what works in technology integration and teacher training. He is a Regents Professor of Learning Technologies the University of North Texas. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics & the Social Sciences from Dartmouth College, and a M.Ed. & Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Knezek has Fulbright Scholar appointments to Japan, Ecuador & Netherlands.
He is a native Texan with a wide range of scholarly experiences in different cultures of the world. His primary research interests are in attitude measurement, scaling, and conceptual foundations of motivation and learning with a special focus on technology integration. He has directed externally funded projects from the US Dept. of Education and National Science Foundation for more than a decade and has served as for similar projects for more than 20 years. He holds a Texas secondary teaching certifications in Mathematics, Psychology and Computer Science and has been involved in teacher preparation activities for the past 19 years.
Dr. Rhonda Christensen
Integration, Research, and Evaluation
Dr. Christensen can help you make the right decisions as you integrate Instructional Technology. She is a Research Scientist at the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching & Learning at the University of North Texas. She has an undergraduate in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University, a Master's of Science in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems and a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas.
She was an elementary school classroom teacher and an instructional technology specialist for a PreK-8 school. She has also taught pre-service and in-service teachers for 15 years. Her recent activities have included technology integrated curriculum development, teacher training, and classroom implementation.
Mr. Chad Branum M.A.
Technology Program Oversight and Management
Mr. Branum is the Assistant Superintendent of Technology in Arlington ISD. Chad also served at the Executive Director of Technology for Coppell ISD. He holds a B.S. from Texas A&M University, and an M.A. Degree in Educational Technology from Western Michigan University. Chad is a Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) through The Consortium for School Networking (COSN).
Dr. Suzanne Newell
As an avid reader, Dr. Suzanne Newell understands the power of words and the importance of sharing ideas. Her experiences as a first grade teacher allowed her to cultivate a love of reading in students. Throughout her career, she has worked in large and small, public and private schools as a primary grade teacher and curriculum administrator. For the past 19 years, she has worked as a curriculum specialist helping teachers and school systems to grow their capacities in the area of literacy instruction, to strengthen district-wide systems of support ensuring that students in every school within a district have common/quality access to literacy instruction, and to help connect the school context digitally so that students and teachers can experience the power that digital tools can bring to literacy learning.
Dr. Yanet Cardoza
Campus Management of Technology Integration
Dr. Yanet Cardoza is the Director of Strategic Initiatives in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. She has 10 years of campus leadership experience. She served as principal in Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District where she successfully implemented both Bring Your Own Device and Technology Lending Program on her campus. She increased the quality and depth of instructional technology integration in the classroom leading to improved student engagement and new learning experiences. She is a former bilingual elementary teacher in Dallas ISD and an assistant principal in Lewisville ISD. She holds a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas in Arlington. She also holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Texas with a research focus on change management theory and adoption of innovation.
Dr. Hugh Burns
A thought leader in educational technology and the humanities for over thirty-five years, Dr. Hugh Burns continues to bring his wit and wisdom to courageous teachers and intrepid instructional designers who seek better ways to teach and learn. He's taught and promoted technology innovation at the United States Air Force Academy, the University of Texas at Austin, Smith College, Texas Woman's University, and throughout the National Council of Teachers of English (NTCE) community. As an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, he directed early initiatives in artificial intelligence and intelligent tutoring systems. As a founder and Chairman of The Daedalus Group, he championed award-winning networked, collaborative writing environments. As a Fulbright Scholar in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he advised on matters of technology planning and gifted education for both men and women. In recent years, he served as Emeritus Professor and Chair of the Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages at Texas Woman's University as well as the Holland H. Coors Endowed Chair at the United States Air Force Academy. You may follow his weekly "in the cause" musings on 21st-century literacy, digital rhetorics, and design innovation on Twitter @hughbedo. Photo Credit: USAF Academy Official.
Dr. Ryan Baker
An Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Penn Center for Learning Analytics. His lab conducts research on engagement and robust learning within online, blended, and traditional learning, seeking to find actionable indicators that can be used today but which predict future student outcomes. Baker has developed models that can automatically detect student engagement in over a dozen online learning environments, and has led the development of an observational protocol and app for field observation of student engagement that has been used by over 150 researchers in 4 countries. He was the founding president of the International Educational Data Mining Society, is currently serving as Associate Editor of two journals, has taught five MOOC instances, co-directs the MOOC Replication Framework and ASSISTments Longitudinal Dataset, and was the first technical director of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center DataShop. Baker has co-authored published papers with over 300 colleagues.
Areas of expertise:
- Technology Program Oversight (Best Practices in Technology Integration)
- Technology Infrastructure (Networks, Servers, & Cabling)
- Security and Privacy
- Funding, procurement and Erate
- Instructional Materials Management (Managing local and Purchased Instructional Materials and e-textbooks)
- Digital Content Management (Digital Text & Online Content)
- Digital License Management (Tools to Manage Digital Content and Instructional Materials Licensing)
- Research & Best Practices in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
- Virtualization & Cloud Computing (Leveraging the Cloud to Your Advantage)
- State & Federal Compliance Issues
- Legal Issues & Contract Law
- Accountability & Program Review
- Classroom Technology (Projection, Sound, Interactive Technology)
- Instructional Materials & Software: Student-Centered Software
- Data Systems (Information & Workflow Systems)
- Online Learning & Computer-Based Instruction
- Purchasing, Procurement, Contract Management