Dr. Joe Layng co-founded Headsprout, which was acquired by Newell-Rubbermaid in the Spring of 2011 and merged into its interactive teaching technologies company, DYMO|Mimio. He currently serves as DYMO|Mimio –Headsprout’s director of learning sciences. Dr. Layng led the scientific team that developed Headsprout’s patented Sprout Learning™ technology. This technology forms the basis of the company’s Headsprout® Early Reading and Reading Comprehension programs, for which Dr. Layng was the chief architect.
Dr. Layng earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science (Biopsychology) from the University of Chicago, where he collaborated on research, working with pigeons, investigating the adduction of untrained complex symbolic behavior from simpler behavioral components, which led to some of the key elements upon which the Headsprout Sprout Learning™ technology is based. Also working with pigeons Dr. Layng investigated animal models of psychopathology, specifically the recurrence of pathological patterns (head-banging) as a function of normal behavioral processes. Dr. Layng has more than 35 years of experience in the experimental and applied learning sciences with a particular focus on the design of instruction. From 1991 to 1996, he was the director of the Academic Support Center, and then dean of Public Agency and Special Training Programs at Malcolm X College in Chicago. In 1992, Dr. Layng co-authored the seminal paper on Generative Instruction, which appeared in the American Psychologist. Dr. Layng has also extensive clinical experience and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.