Maggie Ricci, manager of e-learning services, was recently awarded the Edtech Leadership Award on June 7 at the Learning Impact Conference in Anaheim, California. The conference connects academic and technology leaders to create and evolve innovative digital solutions and strategies that improve education and opportunities for learners at all levels.
Ricci began her career not in education technology, but geology. Working atIU Bloomington in the geology department, Maggie and her team worked to invent a new mass spectroscopy technique, tomeasure therelative abundance of stable isotopes in a sample.
“It was kind of crazy, heady stuff, but it was where I realized that I only like to do new things, like if we know how to do it, I’m not really that interested,” Ricci said.
After her husband took a position at the University of Idaho, Ricci followed. After bouncing around a few positions, Ricci found herself in the Department of Biology working on developing their online biology courses.
“They wanted somebody who knew science, which was great because my degrees are in geology and geophysics, but they also wanted someone who knew a little bit about programming.” Ricci said.
Image of Maggie Ricci
“This was in early days for online education, but it was really clear to me right at the beginning that this was coming like a freight train,” Ricci said. “And I’m going to use the terminology that I’ve used with everyone. Online learning was coming and I wanted to make sure it didn’t suck.”
After returning to Bloomington, Ricci continued to work in online education at the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and working with others outside of IU.
“I’ve worked for six or seven years in what they call an Institutional Leadership Network (ILN), which is a community of practice for people in higher ed institutions who are interested in particular aspects of education technology,” Ricci said. “I currently co-chair theDigital Learning Ecosystem Institutional Leadership Network.”
Ricci highlights her work with the ILN as one of the facts that led to the award at the conference.
“The ceremony wasn’t flashy,” Ricci said. “But it is nice to be recognized for your work and what you do, especially at a conference like Learning Impact.”
This was Ricci’s first time at the Learning Impact conference, a fact she found ironic considering it is one of the biggest education technology conferences and her nearly two decades of work in the field.
“It was kind of funny, being there for the first time,” Ricci said. “But it was enjoyable.There were some vendors that I knew and people that I wanted to talk to and just the opportunity to network with people that I had met at other conferences and through this and other organizations.”