Dr William Rankin is a professional speaker and independent learning consultant with broad experience in educational technologies and pedagogical design. He works with schools, governments, and learning organizations throughout the world to design, develop, and implement innovative learning initiatives.
Prior to founding Unfold Learning LLC, Dr Rankin served as Director of Learning on the global education team at Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California from 2013 to 2016, where he had responsibility for developing, promoting, and enhancing innovative teaching and learning in pre-K to post-20 education.
Before Apple, Dr Rankin worked as an academic in higher education for 24 years, concluding his time as a Professor of English and Honors College Fellow at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. As ACU’s Director of Educational Innovation, he helped design the world’s first one-to-one that gave every student an iOS device (iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad) as a platform for exploring next-wave mobile learning. With ACU’s Honors College, he consulted on and helped shape a radically new kind of in situ learning that leveraged just-in-time, differentiated instruction and media to prepare learners working to solve issues of urban poverty and social justice in South Dallas.
As project lead for ACU’s mobility initiative, Dr. Rankin was named Campus Technology magazine’s Innovator of the Year for mobile learning in 2008. In 2009, he was named an Apple Distinguished Educator and in 2010, he began a three-year tenure on the US Board for Apple’s Distinguished Educators program. Interviews with Rankin have appeared in Wired, The Guardian, The Times of London, Businessweek, The New York Times and The Chronicle for Higher Education and at online sites including InsideHigherEd, Ars Technica, and Open Culture. Rankin has spoken at TEDxDubai and has also been featured in stories on US National Public Radio, the BBC, the CBC, Vísir (Iceland), SF Zwei (Switzerland), and NBC Nightly News. He has received numerous awards for educational leadership and teaching and has presented on educational technologies and emerging pedagogies in more than 30 countries.
Dr Rankin holds BAs in English and French from Harding University, an MA in English Literature from the University of California, Riverside, and a PhD in English Literature with an emphasis in Medieval Literature from the University of Minnesota. His professional interests include the history of pedagogy and educational technologies; technology-enhanced learning and learning-space design; literacies and the construction of informational and cultural access; and the history and future of the book.