A truly external review for tenure
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TimestampHow has Jon Becker been of service to you as an educator-learner?In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Jon Becker?Your nameYour most recent line of workYour location
8/9/2012 8:44:54I know Jon mostly virtually, though we have attended some conferences together. Jon's work on educational policy and policy initiatives has been very helpful as a K-12 educator and now as an Educational Technologist in higher-education. In addition, his online collaboration and network has helped me to meet others in this field, expanding my understandings as both a technologist and as an educator.I think that Jon's work and his expression of his work in our relatively new digital online format and communities is how I have best been able to share Jon's work. Sharing with others what strong educators practice is one of the best ways to help people understand not only what our students are doing in their online lives, but also how these technologies are changing education itself. Sean SharpEducational Technologist, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of OregonEugene, Oregon
8/9/2012 13:08:42I have known Dr. Becker for about 5 years. I came to know his work and other writing via the Internet. I am a classroom teacher, and in a leadership role in my union. Often, that puts me at odds with administrators. Being able to get input from the administrative side of education has proved helpful to my union work. Getting it from someone outside my district and state also helps give perspective. We don't always agree (although we do more often than not) but there is a mutual respect.
Although I have made it clear I have no interest in an administrative position, Dr. Becker has always recognized me as a leader in my field, and has helped with development of my thinking on those lines. He has an expansive notion of educational leadership that is both progressive and inclusive.
Dr. Becker has provided me context for understanding some of the trends in administrative evaluation. Since I'm a leader within my union local on teacher evaluation, this is critical, because all the pieces fit together. Recently, I was on a district panel on evaluation, and I was able to keep up with the discussion on administrator evaluations because of resources that Dr. Becker pointed me to.Alice MercerClassroom Teacher, Union LeadershipSacramento, CA, USA
8/9/2012 15:15:46Jon provided extensive feedback for my US History students on opinions they drafted for a Supreme Court simulation. Students were impressed by the opportunity to receive feedback from someone who had legal training and was a college professor. Jon and I, along with Jason Green, wrote a book review included in an open access, peer reviewed publication. I appreciate the way in which Jon has viewed me as a meaningful collaborator, even though I do not currently hold a position at the university level.

Jon has also been a great informal intellectual conversant and sparring partner. He's read drafts of proposals and articles I've written and offered his feedback. We frequently interact and, occasionally disagree (all in good spirits), on Twitter.
Jon and I facilitated a conversation at an education conference in January 2011. We spoke with other teachers and school leaders about exploring the impact of social media on their practice.

I also share information that I have learned from Jon on social media platforms, such as Twitter.
Meredith StewartTeacher, Instructional Technology Facilitator, and Dept. Chair at an independent secondary schoolDurham, NC
8/9/2012 18:19:05I read Jon's blog regularly and have learned from him and learned with him in a variety of ways. I have learned the most in the areas of educational research and educational law from Jon. I have also attended several of Jon's conference presentations, especially on policy.I have passed Jon's posts on to other teachers on a number of occasions. Jennifer OrrTeacher - first gradeAnnandale, Virginia
8/10/2012 5:00:40Jon is someone who I have a great deal of respect for in the social media-education world as he challenges people to think about why they are doing what they are doing, and its impact on learning. I have read many of his posts and shared them to others, but I find that he is a person to really challenge what we do for our students to make their learning better.Through his blog posts and comments on mine/his, Jon pushes people out of their comfort zone. I have connected and discussed topics with him on Twitter and have seen him push the boundaries of learning. George CourosDivision Principal of Innovative Teaching and LearningEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
8/10/2012 8:37:11Jon is a mentor I go to with questions, ideas, and snark about education, life, sports, and fatherhood. He provides a perspective I don't have and he has worked to understand my perspective as well. He gets a lot of my "almost tweets" as direct messages.

Jon has made me reflect on what it means want the best for every child in my community. He makes me think about how I can think of data in a positive light, how I can use data to become a better teacher.
Let's see: my wife knows who I'm talking about when I respond to "What are you doing?" with "Talking to JB." My mom refers to him as "Your mentor Jon." My closest colleagues will ask, "Have you run this idea by your twitter guy Jon?"Russ Goerend6th grade Language Arts teacherWaukee, IA
8/10/2012 9:33:49Dr. Becker has assisted me on several occasions with his time, knowledge, and resources. He has led me to several important pieces of research, and important researchers in the areas of distance learning, informal learning, and social media. He has helped to connect me with local school division personnel, as well as others in my field of research. He has contributed his time to improving the Instructional Technology Program here in the School of Education by teaching a section of his class during our Emerging Technologies Institute in Summer 2012.

He shared his online class with me, and everyone else as it is open to the public, and I have used it as a model for many of my adjunct faculty who were new to the idea of open access courses. While many of my adjuncts had been teaching online for more than a decade, most were unfamiliar with the idea of open access online courses, and this turned out to be a non-trivial factor when we were required to develop our courses on open access platforms to facilitate the ability to offer these courses as both credit and non-credit courses. I am sure all the faculty teaching in the 2012 Emerging Technologies Institute looked to Dr. Becker’s course as an example and a starting point. Designing courses on open platforms differs from designing online courses in closed proprietary systems, so it was critical to have an example to model after.

Dr. Becker arranged and facilitated a meeting with key school district personnel in the online learning department of a local school division that has led to the district’s interest in our certificate in online teaching program. Because of this connection, I have been invited to present the program to the districts teachers during the fall semester of 2012. The division has indicated a desire to generate a cohort for this program to start in Spring 2013. This relationship between the school division and the VCU School of Education is a perfect example of Theme IV (Become a national model for community engagement and regional impact) in the VCU Quest for Distinction. The partnering school division is one of the 100 largest in the country, and this critical relationship was originated from Dr. Becker’s actions.

Dr. Becker also arranged a meeting with the key instructional technology personnel of three of the largest school divisions in the area. The relationships created in these meetings contribute to the ongoing work the School of Education does with our community partners. These relationships provide a bridge from higher education to K-12, informing our research, and providing us insight into the needs of our most important partners.

Dr. Becker agreed to assist me with the Emerging Technologies Institute, and taught a section of his class during the summer 2012. This contribution allowed me to include a technology offering in leadership for my institute. His participation, as a faculty member, helped improve the prestige of the institute. Many professional development opportunities are offered to K-12 personnel, but few are facilitated by faculty members at major universities. Dr. Becker was also a key advisor to the program, and provided critical feedback at each step of the process.

Dr. Becker used his extended social media network to put me in touch with key people at crucial times during my first year as Director of Technology here at the School of Education. In the first few weeks, he put me in touch with others who were in similar roles at different universities. I can’t begin to explain how important this was, and still is. The relationships created from this initial act continue to form the basis of my personal learning network, and have greatly informed my practice here.

Dr. Becker plays a leading role in instructional technology, not only for the School of Education, and the University, but in the community, and nationally as well. He is my primary advisor on programs I initiate, and his input has helped drive each initiative I have created this year. He fills the gap in the School of Education of having a full time faculty member devoted to research in the field of instructional technology. His involvement in the Online Initiative Advising Committee, and his participation with the Center for Teaching Excellence, is often the School of Education’s only presence in these critical activities. Nationally, he is often found leading the conversations on open access publishing and other issues pertaining to digital scholarship. His blog attracts the leading experts in his field, and provides a public forum for discourse. He is the single biggest influence on the School of Education’s instructional technology program.
Monty JonesDirector of Technology, VCU School of EducationRichmond, VA
8/11/2012 11:50:15Jon has been a source of encouragement and knowledge. I joined Twitter in 2007 concurrently with my very first graduate classes at the University of South Carolina. Over the years of pursuing my Master's and later completing my Ph.D., Dr. Becker regularly asked how my study was going and even helped with a statistics question or two.

Aside from those specifics, I learn much from Dr. Becker's Twitter and blog entries. His blog series dissecting a Marzano research article is still one of his best entries, as it helped the lay educator understand how to read between the lines when reading research.
I often share the Marzano dissection, as it remains relevant. Also, I find myself retweeting Dr. Becker's more serious educational tweets.Dr. Chris CraftTeacherColumbia, SC, USA
8/11/2012 12:56:30Dr. Becker has been an important contributor to my learning network for many years. His open teaching and learning practice has given me the opportunity to gather knowledge that is critical to my professional practice, yet was missing from my formal educational experience. He has consistently opened my mind to new ideas, and directed me to resources I never would have located on my own.
I trust Dr. Becker as a source for balanced opinion and expert guidance on getting to "truth" in circumstances where many are blinded by mob mentality. He puts his best into his teaching practice, while admitting that "best" is a moving target, and it's his responsibility to prepare for change.
Dr. Becker has shared many resources and experiences I've passed on to higher ed faculty. There have been many occasions in my faculty mentoring, where I've brought a particular challenge to his attention, and he's shared his own perspective to help me think things through. I value his opinion, and always look forward to sharing his insights with others.Jennifer DalbyInstructional Designer, Seattle UniversitySeattle, WA
8/11/2012 21:32:46Jon Becker questions thinking within the educational community, pushing its members to consider different perspectives upon the current state of research presentation, academic journal access, use of educational technologies, leadership, and educational practice. In doing so, he challenges status quo thinking, educational faddism, and the echo chamber of learning communities, Pk-20. He asks reflective questions, offers critical analysis, and seeks understanding from practitioners to inform his own thinking and ours. I have learned from and with him in both face to face and virtual settings and count on him to create a dissonance of thought to provoke questions that will ultimately create pathways to deeper understanding of the connections of educational theory to implementation of practice. He has always been quick to respond to my own questions and to engage in dialogue about those. I have attended workshop and conference sessions facilitated by Jon Becker at the state and national level. He often dialogues with me about legal issues facing school districts today from use of social media to professional leadership considerations at the school and district levels. His expertise in virtual learning and current issues helps to inform the professional learning network with whom he connects online. I routinely read his blog posts and follow him on twitter. His deep understanding of the academic and social considerations for developing responsible digital users critically informs my own thinking as a superintendent about policy, curriculum, and learning expectations. Pamela Moran superintendent Albemarle Va
8/13/2012 6:14:12I met Jon Becker, online, about 4 years ago, via a mutual friend. I was completing a dissertation in science education. I asked a lot of questions on Twitter, well, okay, I mostly whined. In either case, Jon was willing to answer questions about style, citations, format, statistics, implications, and, of course, the interpretation of data. His responses weren't always what I wanted to hear, but they were always meaningful and helpful. He even managed to turn my frustrations and whining into humor; no small task.Jon encouraged me to take the steps necessary to publish my dissertation as an open access document. It turns out I paved the way for this process at my institution. While this is not automatically done (yet), it has become a valid option for others publishing theses and dissertations. I've since then changed the access to any classroom materials I produce to Creative Commons licensing, and am actively seeking the blessing of my school district to release those documents to which they claim copyright as well. Luann LeeChemistry Instructor, Newberg High SchoolNewberg, Oregon, USA
8/13/2012 12:21:07Jon has been a great online member of my personal learning network. I learned of Jon via another higher ed faculty member and I am glad I followed through on this. Jon is quick to share relevant links to research, websites and other materials and resources on educational technology, online learning, leadership and research. He is available to answer individual questions on these topics and others and if he doesn't know, he will point people in the right direction.

Jon has been a leader in helping educators understand the research base behind ed tech research and how to look at the research critically, from a methodological view point. He has helped me to understand the necessity of open education research.

Jon has reinforced my learning based in Ed admin and leadership and has provided additional materials to expand on my own learning.
I have pointed staff at my agency and in my professional network to Jon for various reasons. I have added his blog to my regular reading list and share his blog with others. I regularly re-tweet him on Twitter. I have shared his idea of open educational resources/research with my own national professional organization in hope of supporting his idea. Stuart Ciske, Ph.D.SEA Education Consulant - Instructinal Media and TechnologyMadison, WI
8/13/2012 21:11:35I am a doctoral student at Kennesaw State University, located just north of Atlanta. I began following Dr. Beck on Twitter about three years ago, and he has given me a great deal of assistance regarding the topic for my dissertation. He has shared numerous resources with me, and he even agreed to collaborate with my dissertation committee chair and myself via Google Hangout. I also attended a round table session that Dr. Becker organized at the 2012 ISTE conference, and learned a great deal about a study regarding the perceived role of technology specialists in Virginia.Most of our communication has been via Twitter. We have emailed several times as well. We organized a Google Hangout with my dissertation committee chair, and I met with Dr. Becker in person at the 2012 ISTE conference during his round table session. I also read Dr. Becker's blog and have commented there several times. He does an excellent job of fostering meaningful conversation both on his blog and via Twitter.Stephen RahnInformation Technology Specialist, Adjunct Instructor of Instructional TechnologyKennesaw, GA USA
8/14/2012 10:57:41I have worked with Jon Becker in a variety of capacities in the past few years. I teach a course at Virginia Commonwealth University that he developed that focuses on educational technology for administrators. It provides a powerful online experience for budding school administrators, challenges what they think about technology and education, and, in the end, helps them become more thoughtful about how technology can transform teaching and learning. I am grateful to Jon for bringing me on board to teach the course as it helped me grow as both an educator and a learner.

Jon has also been a great supporter of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education as a presenter. Again, he has challenged our attendees to think hard about what they do and why they do it.
I have tweeted and written about what I've learned, most recently in the area of educational research (just today, in fact!) and Internet privacy. I very much want to organize a public event related to his thoughtful ideas about how we can teach kids to live safe productive lives in an online world.Karen RichardsonExecutive Director, Virginia Society for Technology in EducationVirginia
8/14/2012 11:01:07Though I've only met Jon face-to-face once (AERA 2010), we have interacted many times over the past three plus years on twitter. We are in different fields in education (I am a science educator) but we share interests and expertise in research methods. Recently, Jon provided me with feedback on a nascent research plan that I am developing related to the use of Social Network methods. In the past, we've discussed everything from basic statistical methods, to IRT, and more generally the limits of statistical inference.

I value Jon as a colleague and learn from interactions with him. His sharing of information and resources on twitter help me to be aware of a broader slice of the education research world.
Jon is an ardent supporter of open access (OA) publishing. As a newer faculty member (now in my second year on the tenure track) I am eager to learn more about OA and how to balance a desire to publish in OA journals with my institution's expectations for my own tenure portfolio. I have brought many resources about OA and discussions that I've had with Jon about OA on twitter into my own local context. These discussions have informed my own actions and interactions with colleagues here at CU Denver. Robert (Bud) M. Talbot IIIAssistant Professor, Science Education, University of Colorado DenverDenver, CO
8/14/2012 11:19:40Jon is a thought leader in the world of education. Thanks to my extensive interactions with him in the realm of social media, and a few limited opportunities to engage with him in person at conferences or events, my thinking as both a K-12 education leader and an adjunct professor at the University level have been pushed considerably. He routinely offers up valuable resources for his online peers, as well as frequently posing challenging questions that force us to deeply examine how we view our roles as educators and leaders. He is one of my most trusted and valued online connections, and I know that many would not hesitate to say the same.I could compile an incredible list of resources and topics that Jon has shared over the years that I have been connected with him, but I'd like to offer one very specific example. Jon once shared a teacher blog from a school in Richmond called Sabot at Stony Brook. Not only did the blog that he shared stir up some rich conversations about education reform, education leadership, and progressive pedagogy - but the blog has become a tool that I share myself with educators on a regular basis, and one that I use as an example of using technology to facilitate communication for my pre-service teachers in my university course. As you can see, Jon's leveraging of technology and social media has allowed him to make an impact on countless educators that he has never met or even heard of by name. Dave ChildersCoordinator of Leadership Development/Adjunct ProfessorMerced/Fresno, CA
8/14/2012 13:05:38I have come to admire and enjoy the insights that Jon provides via social media. On numerous occasions he has pointed me to articles and research that have helped me in my work as an elementary school principal. Most recently Jon pointed me to an article (The Bookless Library: http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/david-bell-future-bookless-library?page=0,0) discussing the changing role of the library and how technology is providing many challenges and opportunities for those who work in this field. I have used this article as a starting point for our school discussion of what we want our school library to be.Tim LauerSchool Principal Portland, Oregon
8/14/2012 19:56:29I took Educational Technology for School Leaders from Jon Becker this summer. I've been working on my MEd and have taken several online courses already, but Jon's was the most impactful. It was refreshing to be able to use online tools recognized in the real world instead of Blackboard. Through this course and Jon's twitter feed I have been introduced to a wide variety of educational technology thinkers and implementers as well as challenged to form and share my own thoughts and research on the subject.Because of the nature of the course this summer, I was able to share what I learned not only with Jon and my classmates, but really with anyone who is or would be interested. I tweeted my reflections and assignments and sometimes Jon did as well. Of course, I'm also an active twitter follower and continue to learn and be informed by Jon and his PLN and hope to continue learning and sharing. One of the most important lessons I am learning is that CS folk really need EdTech folk as allies and I hope I can help bridge the gap that exists between the two. Kim Wilkenstechnology activistCharlottesville, VA
8/15/2012 12:52:40I've relied on Jon for his incisive perspective on all kinds of educational policy issues, as well as his understanding of research methods as he critiques studies and papers that he disseminates via social media. Jon was also one of the first people I followed on Twitter and as such he provided a great role model for me as I navigated the "culture" of that space. Through following Jon, I gained a better understanding of Twitter as both a professional and personal communication mechanism, many important elements of the Twitter discourse community, and Twitter as a tool in the Open Educational Resources movement of which Jon is a proponent. With regard to OER, I find that Jon (along with many others) has pushed my thinking as to what can and should be public and publicly examined with regard to our practice - this external review being a great example.

Last but not least, Jon's pithy (out of 140-character necessity) humor and willingness to challenge common assumptions often stay with me. One small example: quite a while ago (in Twitter time, I suppose - possibly two years past) Jon snarkily suggested that no one should retweet a link without first reading what the piece linked to after an item was retweeted at lightning speed. I've taken that to heart and though I was not a serial retweeter, I now always make sure to read, examine and consider whether I should retweet a piece. This may sound like a small thing, but given the firehose of informatin that we're constantly dealing with, following this credo has caused me, I believe, to become a more deliberate and thoughtful curator of information.
I've shared Jon's work, particularly provocative blog posts of his that have stayed with me, through social media. And of course I've retweeted his curated pieces. In a less quantifiable way, though, I would say that Jon's ethos with regard to respecting the opinions of and generating conversation with his peers on social media, as well his desire to make educational resources open, accessible and equitable, has had an impact on me in my day-to-day work, which involves educational technology as part of a national non-profit. As a result, I know I now have a different framework - more open and transparent, more inviting of connections and scrutiny outside my organization - within which I operate. Of course, these changes in my workstyle - which have had an effect, I believe, on a whole host of teachers with whom I come in contact - are not solely attribuate to Jon. Rather, I would say Jon is a thought-leader among many who are pushing for these kinds of changes in the ways we as adults do our work and interact and in the ways schools make possible these kinds of opportunities for youth. Paul OhSenior Program Associate, National Writing ProjectBerkeley, CA
8/16/2012 14:50:20As a junior faculty member at another institution, I have recently begun launching my own research agenda. Jon has been very generous in brokering introductions with me to other scholars with related interests. These relationships have helped to further and refine my research. Vincent ChoAssistant ProfessorBoston, MA
8/16/2012 22:00:54I have had nearly 10 different teachers over the last three years as I complete my doctoral work at Fordham University. They have all been excellent! My doctorate is in Educational Leadership Administration and Policy and I successfully defended my proposal in April 2012. I expect to defend my dissertation this Fall.

The road to this point has been amazing (and yes so much work), but I couldn't have done it without the support of Dr. Becker or should I say @jonbecker. It was in December 2009 that I began to focus in on my research topic. I was interested in Virtual Communities of Practice and the Impact on Organizational Learning (truth be told - I was going on and on about social media, online communities, principal leadership, etc...) As you can tell, it was just a research interest at the moment and by no means a solid plan.

I stumbled on some of Dr. Becker's work and decided I would email him for a few questions. I soon received an email stating something like this - "Sounds like an exciting topic. Let's connect over the phone some time". Dr. Becker and I shared a long conversation and I was soon on the right course. Dr. Becker recommended people, books, research articles, etc...

As I started to seek out people at Fordham who could guide and push my thinking, I soon learned that there was nobody at Fordham who could get me to where I wanted to go. Having Dr. Becker as my virtual mentor (all unofficial) he constantly pushed my thinking to points that I couldn't have imagined. Dr. Becker ended up guiding me on my research design, literature review and most importantly asked me some very difficult questions which always pushed my thinking.

Dr. Becker has been a source of knowledge, but more important a source of inspiration along this journey. I look forward to the day that I can meet Jon to thank him in person for his contributions.
I have communicated with Dr. Becker via twitter, phone and Skype on numerous occasions over the last three years. The interesting thing is that I have so much respect for Dr. Becker that I would spend more time preparing my ideas and questions for him, then I would my own teachers and colleagues. A truly amazing man!

My apologies for being brief. I'd be pleased to share many more examples via telephone at 516-510-7504.
William Brennan, Fordham UniversityDirector of Instructional Technology & Doctoral Student at Fordham UniversityFarmingdale, NY
8/17/2012 13:46:35I met Jon Becker through Twitter approximately four years ago. Since then, we have had the pleasure of meeting face to face at education-centered events three times. At those events, Jon and I chat. I don't learn from/with Jon during those meetings. We have a few laughs, enjoy a meal, and go on about our lives. Where Jon has been of greatest support and service to me as a doctoral student, faculty member, and learner is on Twitter. Using Twitter Jon and I connect daily, and depending on my need for his advice or perspective, several times a day. Since our meeting, Jon has served as what I lovinginly refer to as "my sixth man" (a saying used in basketball to refer to the home crowd). He is one of a small handful of colleagues who has coached, advised, and encouraged throughout the majority of my PhD studies. [Note: I've been away from my home campus, the University of Connecticut, since summer 2008.] Completeing PhD studies is difficult enough with a local crew of colleagues to serve as critical colleagues, encouragers, and friends. I've been on my own for four years. But not really. I never feel too alone because I know the second I have a question, idea, concern, or just need a bit of friendly encouragement, I can find Jon on Twitter and he's right there with me. He has been an excellent mentor-from-a-far, and continues to be as I move into the final phases of my degree. In sum, Jon Becker is righteous. GNA Garcia5th year doctoral student in educational psychologyIn motion.
9/14/2012 14:06:22I have communicated online and in person with Jon and have enjoyed, and learned from, his enthusiasm for using new technology for scholarly communication. Jon has contributed to informal meetings of technology enthusiasts at AERA and maintains a rich conversation stream online. I occasionally pass on his links and comments to my Twitter followers, and appreciate his passion for bringing scholarly communication into the digital age. . Paul Bakercommunicator and editorU of Wisconsin-Madison