Chris Eller is a communications professional. His love of technology started early with the purchase of his first computer in 1983, an Atari 64.
Through the years, Chris has stayed on the bleeding edge of technology. In the mid-1980s he embraced a new technology, desktop publishing, and purchased a copy of Aldus PageMaker (later to become Adobe PageMaker). He was soon producing newsletters and brochures on computer. Unfortunately, desktop printing technology had not caught up with software advancements, and laser printers were rare and expensive. As a result, the first desktop publications were printed using “advanced” 24-pin dot matrix printers.
By the mid-1990s, the World Wide Web was beginning to emerge as a viable communications tool. With the release of Netscape’s Navigator, the Web was suddenly accessible to the masses. Chris developed his first Web page for Grace Church in 1995 using a software package that converted Microsoft Word Documents into html. Not long after, Microsoft released FrontPage, and Chris started developing sites with FrontPage. By the end of the decade, Chris adopted Macromedia’s Dreamweaver as the web development tool of choice and continues to use Dreamweaver.
In the 2000s, Chris’ interests started turning towards the use of technology in education. Teaching has always been a passion Chris has pursued, and the marriage of technology and teaching was a natural progression. His first endeavors at employing technology as a learning tool started in 2002 when Chris created a separate Web site support a teaching series at Grace Church. Employing a blended approach to learning, the site offered expanded resources for church members to reference during the teaching series.
In 2008, Chris started pursuing a Master’s degree in Performance & Training Technology through the University of Northern Iowa. With this degree, Chris has continued to pursue his love of both teaching and technology. The focus of his research during this degree program has been on transitioning faculty and institutions from traditional face-to-face instruction to either blended or completely online learning. Again, emerging technology is at the heart of Chris’ passion as he pursues new Web 2.0 applications for use in an educational setting.
In 2009, Chris offered his first fully online class using the open source Course Management System (CMS) Moodle. The 13-week course saw more than 50 adult learners from 13 states come together in an online environment.
In addition to his passion for technology, Chris also enjoys photography. Even as a child he enjoyed planning and producing multmedia slide shows of family vacations. The work Chris focuses on today includes landscape photography, portrait photography, and stock photography. His favorite place, however, is along a busy railroad track with camera or video camera in hand waiting for the next UP manifest to come roaring past.
A natural progression of Chris’ love for photography is video. Chris is an accomplished videographer employing Digital Video (DV) to capture and tell the story. This medium touches the peak of Chris’ creative side as he brings together the moving pictures with graphics and sound to create a compelling story. Unlike any other medium, video has the ability to touch the emotions of the viewer and communicate in a manner that truly becomes a mult-sensory experience.
Chris is also an accomplished writer. Chris can write for a variety of audiences and employ a wide variety of styles. From journalism to editorial, academic to broadcast, technical to advertising, Chris continues to use his gift of writing to communicate in a clear, clean voice.
Ultimately, what motivates Chris is to continue to pursue new and better ways of communicating is his love for learning. Chris is committed to being a life-long learner. Learning for the sake of learning, however, is meaningless. What gives purpose to learning is the ability to help others along the way find their own purpose and meaning in life. In this life, Chris has come to realize that the joy is in the journey.