Faculty Profile

Barbara Johnson, Director, Academic Technology

Office location: Center Of The Arts 
Phone: (262) 472-1034
Email: johnsobz@uww.edu
Department(s):  Communication
Faculty website: http://facstaff.uww.edu/johnsobz/

Barbara Z. Johnson was recently awarded her Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota – Duluth.  She is a polymath who holds a B.A. in Philosophy (with a minor in Classical Studies) from St. Olaf College.  She also has a B.S. in Computer Science (math minor) and an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from the University of Minnesota and spent a year mucking around the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.Her research interests lie in user-created digital media and computational artifacts associated with MMOGs and virtual worlds.  She is interested in the ways participants develop specialized literacies and identities through informal learning in complex learning ecologies and in high-interest, low-stakes environments.  She is interested in the ways virtual identities and behaviors aid in the transformation of real world identities and practices, especially in how success in virtual Pro-Am communities opens up “possibility spaces” among teens and college students as they envision their potential adult identities.  She is currently working with Dr. Elisabeth Hayes from Arizona State University and Dr. Elisabeth King from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater on how digital media creation for computer games impacts the technological identity of participants.  She has also worked with Dr. Constance Steinkuehler on how computer game modification communities apprentice participants in computational literacy and software development practices.She seeks to deconstruct interest-driven informal learning occasioned by high-end computer gaming practices in order to understand and advance instructional designs for learning and assessment.  To that end, she is currently constructing a framework of subject domains and types of understandings associated with financial literacy learning in virtual economies.When not engaged in studying informal learning in MMOGs and virtual worlds, Barbara lives in them as a Jedi Master, attempting to dispense wisdom to new padawans.  A good reason there is for hair lacking on Yoda’s head.


Center of the Arts
950 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

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