I like to think that I am a simple person. I love most foods, I rarely meet someone who I don’t like, and really try to just enjoy life. My father was a truck driver and my mother was always doing some sort of accounting. However, neither held much more than a high school diploma. I, on the other hand, was the first to go to college in my family and currently hold a doctorate. I’m married with three kiddos as well. So, it might be that while I like to think of myself as simple, I’m much more complex.
I have a Bachelors degree in Theater, where I specialized in Technical Theater (everything that is NOT acting). While I was working at the University of North Texas as an academic adviser, I obtained my Masters degree in Secondary Education. I taught Theater for a few years and decided to go back to school again. Since I already had a BA and a MEd., I figured I would go for a doctorate. I now have a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Educational Technology. My dissertation was “Exploring the Dual-natured Impact of Digital Technology on Student-classroom Engagement in a Texas Public High School.”
I started teaching in the 2002-2003 school year as a Technical Theatre director in a Texas High school. I later changed subjects to Visual Art, where I taught all forms of AP level digital art. I then transitioned (2012-2018) to being an Instructional Technology Coach, where I helped educate teachers on innovation and technology use in the classroom. I did so, through the collaboration of other instructional coaches in a Schlechty-based Design Center.
As of the 2018-2019 school year, I’ve stepped back into the classroom to teach high school students about Informational Technology, Audio/Visual Technology, and Computer Programming. While I will still occasionally post a blog entry that seems far-sighted, the majority of my blog will revolve around my stepping back into the classroom.
You see, my goal is still to help teachers integrate innovation and technology into their classroom. However, after six years of Instructional Design, I felt like I was starting to lose some sensation of what my teachers were going through. You have to earn some sweat-equity in order to build trust with educators. After all, the trust needed to implement change is always based on relationships. People, even teachers, fear change, so there is no need to fear who’s leading change as well.
I plan on leading change through implementing innovations in my classroom, so keep posted on some of the things I try. I promise that they will either be spectacular successes or amazing learning opportunities. My students will be self-starting innovators of technology. We will center our learning around strong, respectful, and professional relationships. I will post more regularly and so will my students.
Thanks for reading this far. If you ever need anything, please contact me and I’ll do my best help out.
Dr. Joseph “JJ” Ayers