Who I am

Trent Batson received a doctorate in American Studies from George Washington University.  This background in cultural studies and a subsequent post-doc in linguistics proved very useful as information technology re-shaped our culture and our linguistic patterns:  these scholarly interests scaffolded Batson’s early adoption of technology for teaching and learning.  Since that time, 1985, he has served as a national leader in educational technology focusing especially on how technology can augment human abilities and values:  opening new ways to communicate, collaborate, deepen social ties, and, especially, transform how we learn.  He is now Executive Director of the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL, pronounced ‘able’).  The name of the organization should amplify Dr. Batson’s orientation when it comes to learning.  He lives in Rhode Island, has 4 children and 6 grandchildren, and is an outdoorsman by preference because his best thinking is proportional to how far away the horizon is.

I am an English professor, served as director of academic computing at 2 universities, and have worked at these universities:

  • Michigan State University (instructor)
  • Gallaudet University (tenured English professor and director of academic computing)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (visiting faculty 1988-89)
  • George Mason University (graduate faculty)
  • Seton Hall University (faculty consultant on technology innovation; English Department faculty)
  • University of Rhode Island (Director of Information and Instructional Technology Services; graduate faculty)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Office of Educational Innovation and Technology).

I also worked for a year in the Instructional Methods Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and another year for Web CT during the great technology bubble of 2000.

In 2008-2009, I co-founded The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning and still serve as Executive Director of AAEEBL.org, a non-profit corporation.

I worked as a lumberjack in Coos Bay, Oregon in my sophomore year in college; I learned what it meant to work hard, really hard.

I’ve hiked in mountains since I was 17 years old, built 2 cabins on the Allegheny Plateau in Western Maryland at an elevation of 2,600 feet.  The cabins were my off-grid retreat. I survived a day outdoors in minus 100 degree wind-child (40 below F; and 40 mile an hour winds).  One of the stupidest things I’ve ever done . . .

My wife Judy and I have 4 children and, soon, 6 grandchildren.  I once bowled sixteen strikes in a row.  I am much more proud of the kids.

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One Comment to “Who I am”

  1. Trent: Thanks for sharing! I was an English major back in my heyday and am now venturing into the exciting world of ePortfolios at Loyola University Chicago, so it sounds as though we have many connections and intersections in our lives. I look forward to getting to know you through the AAEEBL and welcome opportunities for collaboration and conversation about the ePortfolio movement in higher education!

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