• Summary

    I am an educator who believes that meaningful learning is a derivative of democratic living. 

    Learner. Pragmatist. Citizen.

    An interconnected mission.

    I strive to foster democratic experiences through my teaching, service, and scholarship. I work alongside teacher candidates in my classes to explore compelling questions, create authentic media, and pursue social justice. I serve my field, my college, and fellow educators as the chair for the Social Studies Research SIG for #AERA18, a reviewer for numerous journals, a leader of #sschat and Visions of Education podcaster, and dedicate time and energy to various on-campus committees and projects. In the first several years of my tenure-track academic career I have published thirty scholarly publications concerning social media, social studies, and social justice, including the "most read" article in the Journal of Research on Technology in Education. To these ends, I was awarded the "Early Career Award" for the Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL) SIG at #AERA16 and the 2016 "Young Educator Award" by my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma.

  • Experience

    University of North Texas

    Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education Aug 2017 - present

    In addition to serving as the lead instructor, I teach elementary and middle school social studies methods courses.

    Texas Woman's University

    Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Aug 2013 - Present

    Generalist responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate education courses.

    Member of numerous university and college committees and developed #EdFound curriculum and website: https://educationalfoundations.wordpress.com/.

    Wichita State University

    Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Aug 2011 - Jul 2013

    Middle level/secondary social studies program chair. 

    Offered numerous social media workshops and participated on university-level social media improvement committee.

    Westmoore High School

    Social Studies Teacher Aug 2006 - Jul 2011

    Taught AP U.S. Government & Politics, AP Psychology, and Sociology among other classes. Sponsor of the Student Anti-genocide Coaltion, Environmental Club, & Asian-American Society among others.


    "Cease conceiving of education as mere preparation for later life, and make it the full meaning of the present life."

    - John Dewey

  • Recent Publications

    Click on the journal, book chapter, or blog titles for links to view full or partial versions of my recent writing. For a full list of scholarship see the following section for links to professional sites with more articles available.

    Engagement through microblogging: Educator professional development via Twitter

    With Jeff Carpenter


     Professional Development in Education, 41(4), 707-728.

    Traditional, top-down professional development (PD) can render teachers mere implementers of the ideas of others, but there is some hope that the participatory nature of social media such as Twitter might support more grassroots PD. To better understand Twitter’s role in education, we conducted a survey of K–16 educators regarding their use of the microblogging service for professional purposes. Respondents described multifaceted and intense use, with PD activities more common than use with students and families. This paper delves into qualitative data from 494 respondents who described their perspectives on Twitter PD. Educators praised the platform as efficient, accessible and interactive. Twitter was credited with providing opportunities to access novel ideas and stay abreast of education advances and trends, particularly regarding educational technology. Numerous respondents compared Twitter favorably with other PD available to them. Members of our sample also appreciated how Twitter connected them to educators beyond their own schools and districts, with mention of exposure to both like-minded and diverse perspectives. Respondents described positive and collaborative professional activity facilitated by Twitter, and many noted how it helped them combat various forms of isolation. We conclude by discussing implications of the survey results for educators, researchers and policy-makers.

    Understanding different peoples and cultures is a central aim of education for global citizenship. Unfortunately, many social studies courses emphasize the academic acquisition of content knowledge, but fail to offer opportunities for students to develop personal, humanizing connections with people of different cultures. Fortunately, the rise of social media like Facebook and Skype offer new possibilities for global connections. In this case study, the authors explore the interactions of 16 students enrolled in a middle/high school social studies pedagogy course and 16 counterparts in the Gaza Strip via Skype and Facebook. The authors interpreted these mediated experiences through the lens of Lan’s framework for democratic media literacy, including media literacy conceptions like transmedia judgment, mediated identity reflection, and social action with/through new media. The authors hope this chapter will offer social studies teacher educators’ insights for cultivating humanizing experiences appropriate to their contexts.

    Participatory learning through social media: How and why social studies educators use Twitter.


    With Jeff Carpenter




    Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 16(1), 38-59.

    The microblogging service Twitter offers a platform that social studies educators increasingly use for professional development, communication, and class activities, but to what ends? The authors drew on Deweyan conceptions of participatory learning and citizenship aims of the field as lenses through which to consider social media activities. To determine how and why social studies educators use Twitter, 303 K-16 self-identified social studies educators were surveyed in this study. Results from respondents suggested that they valued the professional development experiences afforded by the platform, but were less likely to utilize Twitter for communication or class activities. Themes and examples that point to ways social studies educators use Twitter are described to provide insights for educators aiming to use social media professionally. Questions are also raised concerning whether social studies educators have missed opportunities to use social media to connect across racial and cultural boundaries and for civic purposes.

  • More Publications

    Click on the journal, book chapter, or blog titles for links to view full or partial versions of my recent writing. For a full list of scholarship see the following section for links to professional sites with more articles available.

    Microblogging about teaching: Nurturing participatory culture through collaborative online reflection with pre-service teachers

    With Bergman, Flores, Mason, & Jack


    Teaching and Teacher Education, 40(1), 83-93.

    Reflection is a cornerstone of most teacher education programs, but common practices have long been individualistic and this has become increasingly evident in an era when young people are participating in online cultures more than ever. Informal participation in digital affinity spaces could provide insights for more formal learning environments. We encouraged collaborative reflection among 77 middle/secondary pre-service teachers using the closed social networking site Edmodo. While there were obstacles and ambiguities, findings indicated that our pre-service teachers found the site highly usable, appreciated the choice and influence afforded them through the medium, and grew as teacher-candidates from peer-to-peer interactions.

     Democratic Twittering: Microblogging for a more participatory Social Studies 








    Social Education, 78(2), 86-89.


    Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service created in 2006 that offers users a platform to read and post text messages, called “tweets,” of 140 characters or less.Numerous educators have enlisted a range of social media sites to improve their craft, and Twitter has attracted its fair share of enthusiasts. In this article, I will describe two dynamic social studies lessons, concerning Enlightenment era philosophers and the Cuban Missile Crisis, that serve as illustrative examples of how social media, specifically Twitter, might offer more participatory and student-centered educational experiences.

    This paper reviews and reassesses Neil Postman's arguments from his 1992 book, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology" after the rise of participatory social media. The author argues that participatory media hold the potential, albeit unrealized, to address many of Postman's concerns.

  • More Publications

    Click on the journal, book chapter, or blog titles for links to view full or partial versions of my recent writing. For a full list of scholarship see the following section for links to professional sites with more articles available.

    Chat it up: Everything you wanted to know about Twitter chats but were afraid to ask

    With Jeff Carpenter



    Learning and Leading with Technology, 41(5), 10-15.


    Did you know that you can access more than 150 free online professional development workshops each week—and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home or school to attend them? Learn how to find, participate in, and start your own Twitter chats with this easy-to-follow FAQ.


    This article explains the basics of Twitter, hashtags, and moderated chats. It will also detail why you should chat, who organizes them, how to participate, what to do if you miss a chat, and how to start one. There are also recommendations for various popular education-related chats that in which to participate.   

    Social media as a catalyst for convergence culture: Immersing pre-service social studies teachers in the social media terrain



    In W.B. Russell (Ed.), Digital Social Studies (pp. 271-302). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

    Chapter 15 in the book Digital Social Studies details a qualitative research study with Dr. Krutka and his 20 social studies pre-service teachers to better grasp the benefits and drawbacks using social media in the social studies. The chapter provides an overview of Web 2.0 technologies before delving into the study. While results were diverse and varied, class participants agreed that social media served as a catalyst for a participatory culture where the collective intelligence of the group fostered meaningful relationships and learning. This resulted in the blurring of many traditional aspects of education. Implications are also discussed.


    How and Why Educators Use Twitter: A Survey of the Field

    With Jeff Carpenter



    Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(4), 414-434.

    While the microblogging service Twitter is increasingly popular among educators and offers numerous affordances for learning, its relationship with formal education systems remains complicated by generally ambivalent educator attitudes and institutional policies. To better understand the role Twitter plays in education, we conducted a survey of 755 K–16 educators that yielded quantitative and qualitative data concerning how and why the medium is used. Respondents reported intense and multifaceted utilization of the service, with professional development (PD) uses more common than interactions with students or families. Educators valued Twitter's personalized, immediate nature, and the positive and collaborative community it facilitated. Many cited Twitter's role in combating various types of isolation and described it as superior to traditional professional development. We finish by discussing implications for educators, researchers, and educational institutions.

  • More Publications

    Click on the journal, book chapter, or blog titles for links to view full or partial versions of my recent writing. For a full list of scholarship see the following section for links to professional sites with more articles available.

    Self-Reflections, teaching, and learning in a graduate cultural pluralism course 

    With Courtney Vaughn




    International Journal of Action Research, 9(3), 300-332.

    Using symbolic interaction as an interpretive framework, our participatory action research (PAR) project challenged students in Cultural Pluralism, a 2009 graduate level summer course, to wrestle with identity issues pertinent to teaching in a pluralistic society. Specifically, we wanted to know: What, if any, personal and cultural identity evolutions evidenced an appreciation for the “other;” types of diverse curricula emerged from group collaborations; and re-planning strategies surfaced for the course and its successor the following summer? Our end-of-class analysis (reflection) indicated that to varying degrees students came to understand and appreciate that their personal soul searching was inevitably culturally entangled.

    Naming her world: A Freirean analysis of a young woman with Asperger Syndrome’s post high school experience

    With Donna Sayman



    Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 63(1), 181-194.

    Via several in-depth interviews we sought better to understand to what extent the Individual Education Plan (IEP), a written document developed for students with disabilities eligible for special education services, adequately prepared one girl for major life transitions following high-school graduation. We utilized the ideas of critical theorist Paulo Freire as a lens to illuminate our participant's story.

    The Enlightenment meets Twitter: Using social media in the social studies classroom

    With Michael Milton



    Ohio Social Studies Review, 50(2), 22-29.


    Social media services afford users ways to digitally interact, communicate, and collaborate that were not available just a decade ago. While citizens worldwide use these media for democratic and imaginative purposes, social studies educators, and educators in general, have been slow to explore these technologies that are increasingly a part of the daily lives of K-12 students. Even though many schools still block or filter such sites, some social studies educators have found creative ways to use services like Twitter. We explain how social studies educators can, and have, used the microblogging service Twitter. We then detail an example of a classroom-tested lesson where one of the co-authors utilized the service to craft a dynamic, participatory, and complex lesson that helped his students explore the beliefs of philosophers of the Enlightenment era.

  • Popular Media

    High Schools Split On The Use Of Social Media In Classes

    by Michelle Woodward of New England Public Radio


    For most of us, social media is a part of our every day lives- at work, home or both. But a lot of people are still figuring out when to use it and how. This is especially true in high school, where many teachers are unsure of how it fits in the classroom.


    Dan Krutka was a high school teacher for five years, and is now an assistant professor of teacher education at Texas Woman’s University. He’s an an advocate for using social media in the classroom, and is an avid user of Twitter himself. Krutka says its a great way to communicate with his students during non-class hours... (full story).


    Chats spark resource for educators

    by Britney Tabor of the Denton Record Chronicle

    An online resource list developed by a Texas Woman’s University professor offering ideas for how educators can learn about, teach and discuss current events in Ferguson, Missouri, has garnered national attention in recent months.


    The Google document, which began with about two to three pages, was developed during an Aug. 20 Twitter chat with other educators about Ferguson, said Dan Krutka, a professor of curriculum and instruction at TWU who created the document. The Twitter chat took place nearly two weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer. Last week, a grand jury decided not to indict the officer involved in Brown’s death. Both the shooting and last week’s decision have ignited protests... (full story).

    Resources for Addressing Ferguson in the Classroom

    by Jordan Moeny of EdWeek

    Schools may be closed in St. Louis following yesterday's announcement of  a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for the August death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, but that's not the case for most districts around the country. Here are some resources for teachers planning on talking about the events and developments in Ferguson...


    Dan Krutka of the Texas Woman's University Department of Teacher Education has curated adocument of instructional resources on Ferguson submitted by teachers, many of whom included a description of how they used (or plan to use) the material.

  • Selected Conference Presentations

    The following are just a few examples of conference presentations.

    "Processes for growth: A model for teacher engagements with professional learning networks" with Jeff Carpenter, & Torrey Trust

    Paper presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, D.C. 

    "Social media instruction in teacher education: Research in progress" with Gina Anderson

    Paper presented at the 2016 annual international conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Savannah, GA."

    "As long as I see you on Facebook I know you are safe”: Social media experiences as humanizing pedagogy" with Kenneth Carano

    Paper presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA), New Orleans, LA.

    "How and why social studies educators use Twitter: A survey of the field" with Jeff Carpenter

    Paper presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.

    "The Assorted Affordances and Uses of Twitter: A Survey of Educators" with Jeff Carpenter

    American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA, April 5th, 2014. (Flipped Presentation & Prezi)

    “Civic Hegemony and the Crisis of Perception: Teachers’ Perspectives on the State of the Social Studies” with Neil Houser, Rachael Province, Nina Coerver, and Kim Pennington

    American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA, April 28, 2013.

  • Selected Service

    The following are just a few examples of service to my university and field.

    Selected Journals, Reviewer

    • TechTrends (2016)

    • Theory and Research in Social Education (TRSE) (2015-2016)

    • Social Education (2015)

    • Journal of School Leadership (JSL) (2015)

    • Teaching and Teacher Education (TATE), 2014-present.
    • Journal of Philosophy and History of Education (JOPHE), 2013-present
    • Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE), 2013-present.
    • The Journal of Social Studies Research (JSSR), 2012-present.

    Selected Edcamp unconferences

    • TXeducamp, Co-leader, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX, February 13, 2016.

    • edcampKS, Andover High School, 06.13.14 (Co-organizer, participant)
    • edcampTulsa, Jenks Math & Science Center, 03.29.14 (Co-founder, co-organizer, participant)
    • edcampOKC, U.S. Grant High School, 02.15.14 (Co-Organizer, participant)
    • edcampKS, Wichita State University, 08.03.13 (Co-founder, organizer, participant)

    Texas Woman's University

    • TEDxTWU Planning Team member (2015-2016)
    • Teacher Education Mentoring Program coordinator (Fa14-present)
    • TWU Social Media sub-committee member (Sp14-present)
    • Junior Achievement (JA) coordinator (Sp14)
    • Teacher Education Social Media Steering Committee member (Fa13-present)


    • Early Career Award (2016, April), Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL) Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
    • Best Paper Nominee (2016, April). Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL) Special Interest Group (SIG).

    • Young Educator Award (2016, March), 16th Annual Celebration of Education in Oklahoma, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

  • Skills

    Social Studies Education

    Teacher Education

    Education Technology

    Social/Participatory Media

    Qualitative Research

    Postmodern & Critical Theories

  • Online Profiles

    See the following websites for profiles, links to scholarship, or as a means to connect digitally.

    Texas Woman's

     Google Scholar





  • Education

    University of Oklahoma

    Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum (ILAC) - Social Studies Education, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 2007 - 2012

    University of Oklahoma

    Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum (ILAC) - Social Studies Education, Master of Education (M.Ed.) 2004 - 2007

    University of Oklahoma

    Social Studies Teacher Education, B.S. in Education 2000 - 2004

    Activities: Op-ed writer for the Oklahoma Daily student newspaper.

    Tulsa Memorial

    1998 - 2000

  • Let's Chat!




  • Contact me!