Picture of Dr. Joan Hughes in a blue blouse, multi-colored scarf, with glasses and smiling.

Dr. Joan E. Hughes

I have been working in the field of educational technology for 24 years. Currently I am an Associate Professor of Learning Technologies in the Curriculum and Instruction department at The University of Texas at Austin. My research and teaching examines technology integration in teacher preparation programs and K-12 schools. I study how teachers and K-12 students use technologies in-and-outside the classroom for learning and how school leaders support classroom technology integration. TechEdges is all about how I work across boundaries to better understand technology integration.

I am interested in understanding technology integration, especially transformative technology integration. To me, transformative technology integration means teachers using digital technologies in ways that are: (a) subject-specific (math, English, science…), (b) “hands-on”  (i.e., predominantly puts the technologies into the hands of the learners), (c) learner-centered, such as student-driven inquiry, and (d) technologically transformative, such as when features of the technology allow learners to do previously unattainable/unavailable/unassisted activities.

This kind of technology integration involves many risks to those involved, and my work attempts to reveal the hard edges from which we may discover new possibilities and supports for learning and teaching with technology. My work also attempts to break down transition boundaries, such as how preservice teachers engage in technology integration as they become novice teachers in classrooms.

I have shared my knowledge and perspectives with others through more than 100 presentations and 50 publications. As a special part of my teaching, I have supervised/chaired 17 Ph.D. students’ doctoral dissertations (4 in progress), served as a member on 28 additional Ph.D. doctoral committees (9 in progress), and chaired/read 30 M.A./M.Ed. reports/theses (2 in progress).

Prior to assuming a professorship at UT, I was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I earned my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Cognition and Technology) at Michigan State University in 2000.

I began my career as an elementary and middle school computer teacher in Silicon Valley at St. Mary’s Elementary School in the early 1990s. As a classroom teacher, I was active as a member and presenter in Computer Using Educators (CUE), California League of Middle Schools (CLMS), Electronic Learning Fair, and Teachers Helping Teachers conferences and organizations. I also co-authored (with Terry Burke Maxwell) a computer curriculum book, The CompuResource Book, which was developed based on the computer curriculum and activities I designed at St. Mary’s School.

I attended Pomona College (Claremont, CA) and earned a B.A. in English. I spent a year-abroad living and studying English and Scottish literature and geography in Edinburgh, Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. I also played women’s water polo on the Pomona-Pitzer varsity team. I spent my childhood growing up in the redwood-laden Santa Cruz mountains, near Los Gatos, California, with my five siblings and two parents, dog Bandit, cats Ginger and Alley, and hamster Wilbur.

I live in Austin, Texas with my husband, Lee Klancher, Boaz, a dalmatian/lots of breeds mix, 8. Rest in peace, my sweetie Bosco, chocolate lab/doberman mix, 14.5 on June 5, 2015. We also puppy-raised Eebbers, a Labrador-Visla breed, until he was 1 year-old, as a volunteer activity for the Lackland Air Force Base canine breeding program. Eebbers is now employed as an explosive-detection Passenger Screening Canine (PSC) for the TSA working at Minneapolis Airport with his handler, Jeannie. I also volunteer as a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward working to help my neighbors and friends install wildlife-friendly gardens.