Dr. Rich Ranker was introduced to technology as a teen. As a freshman in high school, he helped start a computer club and learned FORTRAN before there were any numbers behind it (circa 1963). His first paying job was as an IBM keypunch operator until the company discovered his real age of 14. These early involvements with technology waned as he studied education and decided to see the world in the service of his country.
Rich's involvement with technology was rekindled while serving as a young Air Force lieutenant where he saw the world of administration being shaped and changed by technology. He helped automate the legal profession in the Air Force. He pioneered the use of computer-aided instruction, interactive videodisk, and simulations in professional military education and was naive enough to try to codify instructional design into an intelligent program. Retiring from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, Rich started a new organization in a small regional college to integrate technology into teaching. There he helped design and build their first "mediated classroom". He left that institution when a third of the classrooms were "mediated". He was hired by Collegis to help start a new Academic Technology Support division at a larger regional institution. There his enchantment with instructional technology continued in his initiatives, including the development of a Faculty Technology Professional Development Plan, a Faculty Technology Leadership set of graduate courses, and the design, construction, and support of the new "multimedia classrooms." While with Collegis he served at two additional institutions and conducted several site visits in support of learning technology. He then served as Director of Instructional Technology Services at Drew University where he organized a new support unit for faculty, staff and students. Most recently he moved to England's Lancaster University where he is deeply involved with the maintenance and evolution of the campus' virtual learning environment and related software initiatives.
Rich has made over fifty conference presentations, taught several college courses, written a bit, and has come to understand both the power and pitfalls of technology in education.
His EDUCAUSE experiences include attending several EDUCAUSE conferences and presenting at a few, publishing in EQ and the EDUCAUSE Resource Center, and serving as the teaching and learning subcommittee chair of the Seminars on Academic Computing program committee.