In early 2014 I transitioned out of the classroom after a decade of public school teaching to take a job in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. I am currently the Online Instructional Design Coordinator for the Office of Global and Online Education where my primary role is to help university faculty here at the UO and schools around the world successfully teach in online and hybrid environments with our inbuilt Learning Management System, Oba Learning (www.ObaWorld.net and www.ObaVerse.net). Not only do I get a chance to work on some amazingly cool projects with teachers from around the globe, but I also get to use the same creativity and passion on a day-to-day basis that I did in the classroom - just with a farther reach. I have also started to work towards an education centered PhD, and I am also continuing to develop digital learning games for students centered on social studies, civics, and entrepreneurship. I hope to have my first one listed on the Apple App Store by early 2015. In 2012 I was chosen the Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year for the state of Oregon and was awarded the American Historical Associations Beveridge Family History Teaching Prize for innovation in the teaching of history. I have previously taught all four years of High School social studies including Government and Economics, in an International Baccalaureate Small School within a large urban High School, in addition to 8th grade Honors US History in Oregon in a 1:1 ratio computer lab predominantly using curriculum of my own design. I was also the Department Chair and a leadership/steering team member and a Data Team Leader for our school. I was also our schools EdTech Cadre representative and taught an elective called Games, Computers, and Programming to both 7th and 8th graders. I have also been an instructor in a Masters of Education credentialing program near Portland, Oregon where I taught Social Studies methods courses and Middle School Philosophy.
My teaching style is a progressive one where I try to meet my students vast array of needs. I believe in a lot of reading aloud to my students, competitive games and simulations as well as project AND problem based learning. I am a firm believer that if I can have all of my students leaving my class with competent critical thinking, analytical, comprehension and research skills - then the social studies content is secondary.
I have presented my methods and curriculum at numerous national and statewide conferences during the last several years including The American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), and the American Middle Level Educators (AMLE) conference and the Games + Learning + Society conference (GLS) at the University of Wisconsin Madison. In 2012 I was chosen as the American Historical Association's Beveridge Family Teaching prize winner for innovation and creativity in the teaching of history and was also named the Oregon History Teacher of the Year by Gilder Lehrman, The History Channel and Preserve America.
A BA in Political Science and Public Administration with a minor in World Studies in 2000. I received my M.Ed in 2003. As of 2015, I am working towards a PhD in Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership at the University of Oregon where my goal is to take my practitioner experience to eventually work with pre-service teachers preparing our next generation of public school educators!
Among other many other things, I am also an independent game designer and have a website www.joyegames.com that lists all of my current digital games, and the curriculum that goes along with them.
English Language Arts, Specialty, Math, Social Studies - History, Civics, Government, U.S. History, World History, Geography, Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Economics , Basic Reading, Writing, Writing, Tools for Common Core