Rick Johnson is the Vice President of Product Strategy, and one of the founders of VitalSource Technologies, Inc. Now a division of the Ingram Content Group, VitalSource is the maker of Bookshelf®, the most widely used platform for delivery of electronic textbooks in the world. As VP of Product Strategy, Rick manages the strategic direction of the fast growing platform, guiding the architecture, and implementation of its clients and systems.
Rick's career has been focused on bringing together his three passions: technology, publishing, and education. He is a frequent speaker on electronic textbooks, their integration into an institutional environment, and how the accessibility needs of individual students can best be accommodated in their delivery. He has served on multiple committees addressing the needs around delivering accessible content to students, was a member of the working groups responsible for version 2 and version 3 of the EPUB standard, currently serves on the board of directors for IMSGlobal (http://www.imsglobal.org/boardofdirectors.html) and the IDPF (http://idpf.org/about-us/leadership), and is the co-inventor of 3 domestic and international patents dealing with electronic books and their distribution.
Prior to Ingram and VitalSource, Rick spent more than 12 years with Apple Computer, Inc. As a Senior National Consulting Engineer for them he was instrumental in the implementation of complex solutions for many higher education and corporate customers, and received numerous national and international awards.
A graduate of the communication and business departments of Biola University in 1984, Rick has lived in the Phoenix area with his family since they moved from Southern California in 1991. Married to his wife Susie for more than 30 years, together they have raised two children, and are very active in their church and community. Rick also serves on the board of directors for several non-profit ministries.
As course materials are increasingly customized to specific learners, ensuring accessibility and interoperability of edtech tools and systems is crucial. The next generation digital learning environment offers a framework to provide this cohesion.