Newsmaker: Norman L. Bier
Noteworthy: The California-based Center for Digital Education honored Bier as one of the nation’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers, an award bestowed on creative leaders who enhance education through the effective implementation of technology.
Residence: Highland Park
Occupation: Executive director of both the Simon Initiative and the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University
Family: Wife Julia H. Kaufman, 43; son Alexander, 9; daughter Elisabeth, 6
Education: Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English literature at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1998; master’s degree from CMU in philosophy in 1999
Background: The former director of training and development at iCarnegie, Bier has taught computer science and philosophy courses at Community College of Allegheny County and CMU and was a founding committeeman of the Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He’s currently researching massive open online courses, comparing their performance to traditional classroom instruction. He also serves as a trustee of the East End’s Shady Lane School.
Quote: “Technologies improve instructional efficiency and learning productivity, allowing more face-to-face time with students, which is necessary to teach concepts that technology cannot. That’s where we need human creativity and intuition.”