A few thoughts …
I’m fascinated with how we are using technology for learning and approach my work as an “integrator” and a “translator”. I work to solve the puzzle of how technology can support or enhance an underlying pedagogy or business process. Lots of scholars have demonstrated that it isn’t technology that makes a difference in learning, it’s how that technology is being used. It’s one of those principles I live by.
I am also passionate about that technology helps the students who need it the most: students from under-represented minority backgrounds, poor families, and people with learning disabilities and other challenges. It worries me that many of the tools we develop for “students to figure out” might only be useful for the students who need the least amount of help. Thoughtful assessment can help us make sure we’re doing the right things for the right people.
In my day-to-day projects, I work for the California State University system to design new programs and services, negotiate affordable licenses, and share effective practices between campuses. Lately I’ve been focused on ‘learning analytics’ – looking at data from student technology ‘traces’ to understand: a) how students actually use (or don’t use) technology; b) whether it has an impact on their learning; and c) if that impact is different for students from at-risk backgrounds.
Academically, I’ve got a diverse (or maybe just strange) background. I just finished (2013!) my Ed.D. in Educational Leadership (dissertation), which provided me the background and time I needed to dig into statistical data analysis for education. I also have a strong liberal arts background – with an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a B.A. in Philosophy. I enjoy reading about Postmodern social theory and cultural studies in my spare time.
Personally, I’m an avid nature lover and foodie. I enjoy backpacking, especially in the Sierra Nevada range here in Central California, and take as many hikes as I can get away with. I’m a family man with a wonderful wife and energetic son.
Sound interesting? Contact me @ jcwhitmer [at] gmail.com.