Elliot Soloway is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. In 2001, the UMich undergraduates selected him to receive the “Golden Apple Award” as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the University of Michigan. In 2004 and in 2011, students in the College of Engineering HKN Honor Society selected Dr. Soloway to receive the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.”
40 years ago as an artificial intelligence researcher, Dr. Elliot Soloway was drawn to the challenge of how to make computers learn. But, after the birth of his first child, he had an epiphany: Making children smarter would be a much better use of his time than making computers smarter. This inspired him to stop doing AI research altogether and start working on educational technology. But as a college professor with little experience in education technology, he needed someone who really understood K-12.
Dr. Cathie Norris, a math and Spanish teacher for 14+ years was the ideal partner. In the days when technology was just taking off in the classroom, the duo founded a company to give teachers mobile learning tools. However, they quickly learned that tools are not enough—teachers need curricula that can guide them in effectively using the tech tools with their students.