1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Trevett-Smith

Matthew joined UVa's Teaching Resource Center in the fall of 2013, bringing with him a passion for both professional development and anthropology.

“My job is not to tell the instructor my ten ideas for how to improve her or his teaching. Rather, my job is to be a listener, to offer suggestions when asked for, but primarily, to help the instructor think, reflect, and decide for her- or himself how to improve their teaching.”

Drawing from his anthropological fieldwork, Matthew believes that “whether we like it or not, the first generation of tech-savvy millennials (the term “digital native” having fallen into disfavor) are coming of age and entering our university. And our world will be reshaped in their image. Our education systems, our economy, our politics, our culture, and even the structure of our families will be forever transformed. It is my job to help the faculty, graduate students, post-docs, staff, and administration to better understand these changes, and to develop an individualized teaching pedagogy consistent with the UVa mission.”

What Matthew describes is a learning theory for the digital age, one which demonstrates the special importance that is given to the effect technology has on how people live, how they communicate, and how they learn. The gap between the digital and the physical, and its effect on our ideas of education, community, culture, person-hood and relationships, is ripe for pedagogical insight.

Under this type of model, learning becomes a process not of knowledge consumption, but instead, a process of knowledge creation. “Faculty are the perfect people to teach students how to build their learning network and take advantage of the learning opportunities presented by our digital technologies.” In this framework, faculty become more than bearers of knowledge, they become learning architects, modelers, learning concierges, change agents, synthesizers, connected learning incubators, and a network gurus. Students are then able to take the skills they’ve gained in building their learning network and foster them throughout and beyond their time in college.

First Name: 
Matthew
Position: 
Assistant Director & Assistant Professor, Teaching Resource Center
Email: 
mdt3k@virginia.edu
Computing ID: 
mdt3k
Phone: 
982-2807
Office Address: 

P.O. Box 400136

Degrees: 

PhD, Unviersity at Buffalo, 2010
MA, University at Buffalo, 2005
BA, SUNY Postsam, 2003

Specialties: 

digital ethnography, computer-mediated communication, anthropology of education, faculty development