Dr. Todd Cherner is the Director of the Master of Arts in Educational Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship program. Cherner began his career as a 10th grade English language arts and journalism teacher at Leesburg High School in Florida. In addition to his classroom teaching, Cherner sponsored the student newspaper, coached the JV and varsity bowling teams, and co-founded the student lunchtime reading program. Before coming to UNC, Cherner was an assistant professor of English education and literacy at Coastal Carolina University, and then he became an assistant professor of instructional technology and literacy at Portland State University, where he was being promoted to the rank of associate professor before departing for UNC. Throughout his career, Cherner has chaired literacy and technology committees, served professional and governmental organizations, and coordinated multiple graduate-level programs. Cherner’s educational philosophy is rooted in the belief that students should develop the literacy, interpersonal, and critical thinking skills needed for informed citizenry by the time they graduate high school, and he sees edtech as being tools for promoting the development of those skills. To support teachers, Cherner co-founded App Ed Review, a startup venture that features free reviews of apps, websites, and digital tools teachers can use in their classrooms.
Dr. Cherner’s research first focused on improvement policies for low-performing schools, as defined by the No Child Left Behind act, and his dissertation was a case study of a high school that restructured according to those policies. Since then, Cherner’s research has shifted to analyzing both the quality of edtech and how teachers use it to promote student engagement and learning. Cherner’s research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, the Journal of Information Technology Education, and the International Journal of Multicultural Education.