Dr. Dusti Howell



Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1995

M.A. California State University, Los Angeles, 1990

B.A. Ambassador College , 1987


I was an active college student, playing on the college basketball team and starting a chess club but was surprise to find myself placed on probation because of my 1.5 GPA. I was perplexed. I had beaten the University of Michigan’s (Ann Arbor) top chess player in a seven-hour match at the Intercollegiate Chess Championships, but I couldn’t succeed in the classroom. I was forced to take an incredibly boring study skills class in order to remain in school and for some reason my GPA did improve. This experience was life changing. I then embarked on a mission to make boring content come alive.  

My educational background has motivated me to find ways to help students become successful. I earned a Ph.D. Major in Educational Communications and Technology and a Ph.D. Minor in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-at Madison in 1995, from programs that were ranked number one by US News and World Report. Helping schools use technology successfully is my greatest strength. A second asset I bring to any school is my 11,000 hours devoted to study skills, individual differences and academic success research. As a keynote presenter I have given learning and motivation presentations all over the world, even in the Royal Palace High School in Bangkok.

I have taught every grade from first grade through graduate school. In 1985, I was chosen from over three hundred applicants to teach English to Buddhist monks in middle schools in Thailand and Sri Lanka. In 1989 and 1990, as a sixth grade teacher, I coached mathletes to sweep all the top awards in competitions in LA County against over 70 teams. In 1995, I set up the curriculum and taught the high school computer classes at the International School of Beijing.  Since 1997, I’ve been a university professor in the Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) Department at the Teachers College at Emporia State University teaching graduate and undergraduate classes.

My wife and I have written a dozen books on educational technology and academic success. Our Vocabbusters series on the iPad, Kindle and Nook, is a great way to learn tough vocabulary words combining keyword mnemonics (cartoons) with semantic context (great examples of words used in real life).

Areas of Research and Teaching:

  1. Media Development: multimedia design, video production, digital storytelling

  2. Media Literacy: critical theory, protecting kids from the side effects of technology

  3. Teaching and Learning: individual differences, learning strategies, learning motivation, pedagogy, first-year experience

Courses Taught:

IT343  Learning and Motivation

IT371  Advanced Instructional Technology for Teachers

IT700  Foundations in Instructional Technology

IT713  Digital Game-Based Learning

IT718  Powerful PowerPoint for Educators

IT743  Digital Storytelling

IT743  Directing and Producing Multimedia

IT743  Electronic Storytelling, Scriptwriting & Storyboarding

IT743  Video, Audio, and Lighting

IT744  Directing and Producing TV

IT744  Video Production Techniques

IT810  Multimedia Design

IT343  Teaching, Technology and Thailand (Study Abroad)

Featured Publications:

  • Holland, J. & Howell, D. (2013). Examining Web 2.0 E-Learning Tools: Mixed Method Classroom Pilot. In P. Isaías & M.B. Nunes (Eds.), Information Systems Research and Exploring Social Artifacts: Approaches and Methodologies. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp. 294-313.

  • Howell, D. (2010). The riddle of the smart machines. TechTrends, 54(1), 33-37.

  • Colorado, J.T. & Howell, D. (2010). The Role of Individual Learner Differences and Success in Online Learning Environments. In T. Kidd (Ed.), Online Education and Adult Learning: New Frontiers for Teaching Practices. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

  • Howell, D.D., Howell, D.K. and Childress, M. (2006). Using PowerPoint in the Classroom. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA. [2nd edition]

  • Howell, D.D., and Howell, D.K. (2003). Digital Storytelling: Creating an eStory. Linworth Publishing: Worthington, OH.

  • Howell, D. (2001). Elements of Effective E-Learning: Three Design Methods to Minimize Side Effects of Online Courses. College Teaching, 49(3).

Featured Presentations:

  • Tseng, Daphne C.Y., Gutsch, Seung, Howell, D. (2013, June & November). What are You Dying to Play? When flow experiences in game-based learning cross the line to addiction. AECT-ICFER (International Conference on the Frontier in e-Learning Research), Taichung City, Taiwan & AECT, Anaheim, California.

  • Howell, D. (2013, May). OER (Open Educational Resource) Initiatives for Academic Success. OCWC (Open Courseware Consortium), Bali, Indonesia.

  • Howell, D. (2013, May). Helping Kids Navigate Through the Darkness of Facebook. ICCMTD (International Conference on Communication, Media, Technology and Design), Famagusta, Northern Cyprus.

  • Zhang, Q., Tseng, D.C.Y., Hamzani, N., Howell, D. (2012, Nov.). Creating Apple Apps 101: Things I wish I knew before I built my first app. AECT, Louisville, KY.

  • Howell, D. (2012, April). Buddhist Monks, Media Literacy and the Killing Fields. NSSA (National Social Science Association), Las Vegas, NV.

  • Howell, D. & Holland, J. (2011, November). Creating Cool Classroom Content For iPads. AECT, Jacksonville, FL.

  • Howell, D. (2012, Oct.). Change Screen Monsters to Motivated Readers. KAECT & KASL (Kansas Association of School Librarians), Salina, KS.

  • Howell, D. (2011, June).  [KEYNOTE] The Riddle of Technology: Controlling the good, the bad and the ugly sides of technology. 15th Annual Technology and the Classroom, KAECT Regional: Pittsburg,KS

  • Howell, D. (2006, August). [CONVOCATION]  Million Dollar Rookie Mistakes. Emporia State University.

Contact Information:

Visser Hall 328

Blog – http://tekeffect.tumblr.com

Vita Summary - available here