To learn more about how I have used social and immersive media to help people and organizations develop, please check out my 2012 TED Talk: New Worlds for Learning.
I am an educator, researcher, and performance improvement professional, specializing in the application of social and immersive media such as simulations, 3D virtual worlds, games and augmented reality to help people and organizations develop most effectively and efficiently. I am interested in the use of innovative instructional strategies and emerging media to make education a more pragmatic and relevant process for both learners and those who facilitate them. I believe learning is a social process, occurring primarily in groups and in activity. I believe the role of technology is to help us both manipulate and to make sense of the world around us. I believe the greatest opportunities learning technologies present us today are the abilities: (1) to create communities of learners around important problems in ways previously unavailable, and (2) to allow members of those communities to build mutually-beneficial relationships through shared interest, tools, experience, and expertise.
My teaching and research are guided by my belief in social constructivist theory. I enjoy teaching and research and look for opportunities where one can inform the other. As a researcher, I am compelled particularly by the ways people build systems to develop and to share expertise. As a teacher, I strive to be as relevant, as accessible, and as useful as possible to each of my students. I believe, as Parker Palmer notes, that to be truly effective as educators we “must be willing to join life where people live it.” My personal pedagogy reflects my belief in student-centered, reality-based, problem-driven, and expertise-oriented methods. Most important, I believe that learning is a self-owned process and that teaching is a facilitative act.
I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Raleigh, NC. I graduated from Appalachian State University with my undergraduate (English/Secondary Ed) and masters (Educational Media) degrees, and then from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education with a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology.
I was an assistant professor at Lehigh University in the newly-created Technology-based Teacher Education program from 1998-2001. In 2001, I returned to Appalachian State as an assistant professor in the Instructional Technology program. In 2007, I received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. In 2008, I left my alma mater and joined the faculty at Clemson University's Eugene T. Moore School of Education in the Department of Leadership, Counselor Education, and Human and Organizational Development, where I remained until 2012. In 2012, I accepted a Clinical Associate Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was named Executive Director of LEARN NC.
Personally, I am the proud father of four amazing teens. As both an educator and a parent, I see each day the powerful roles teaching and environment play in how learners -- both young and not-so-young -- develop.
Feel free to read the following synopses of my:
- educational philosophy;
- teaching experience;
- research and development activities; or
- professional service.