Meet our New Head of Digital Learning
Our new Head of Digital Learning, Dr. Thomas Adam Johnson, has a strong background in learning design and digital platforms from his previous posts here in Thailand and abroad, as well as his educational degrees, including a PhD in Instructional Design for Online Learning.
“I was the Learning Designer and Tech System Admin as well as the Admin for Google, Seesaw, Mathletics, Prodigy, Raz and Class Dojo at Verso International School. I have a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design University. I also have a BEd from York University, an MSc from SUNY Buffalo State College, and a PhD with distinction from Capella University with a focus on Instructional Design for Online Learning.
While working at the Istanbul International Community School, I created a network of over 60 schools in Turkey and surrounding countries called the LTEN (Learning and Technology Exchange Network) akin to ISTEC here in Asia.
Having fun is key to my teaching approach. Beyond this, I search for ways to reduce cognitive load for students and it may be through didactic approaches that scaffold into inquiry and personalisation. I hope that students can get into what Csikszentmihalyi described as ’flow’ when immersing themselves into their learning. When I am developing learning instances or environments, I will refer to books and articles about behaviourism, cognition, motivation, emotion, cognitive development and neuroscience.
I promote such environments through acceptance and a lot of laughter and smiles. Adding to this, my teaching also involves co-creating routines and agreements that help situate students. I have the lucky task of enabling novelty because of the many new apps, programs, features and ways of doing that I am able to present. I have one of the best jobs because I get to care for students, know their passions and add rigour to their lives while having fun with them—often all at the same time.
I love the many aspects of sport, arts and computing. I also enjoy adventuring around town in order to find great lattes, eats and nooks and crannies. If I have time and energy, I like to go on drives to the beach or to visit nature. Trying something new is a way of life for me.”