Staff Spotlight: Shawn DeArmond

As Lead Web Developer for Information and Educational Technology (IET) at UC Davis, Shawn DeArmond offers web development services as departmental and business solutions.

DeArmond explains that the internet “has the potential to (and in some ways already does) revolutionize teaching; now it is up to the researchers to figure out how to incorporate it into the classroom.” DeArmond notes that several UC Davis researchers, such as Tobin White, Cynthia Carter Ching, and Allan Bellman from the School of Education, are doing this work, but he argues that there “is much more that departments, and even the campus as a whole, can do to offer online environments to foster learning.”

Specifically, DeArmond contends that we should make social and multimedia resources more available: “Much can even be created by the students themselves and distributed through a campus-wide social network (one not controlled by Facebook).” To accomplish this, DeArmond recommends open source platforms that advance social web publishing, like Drupal.

He further argues that it is crucial to consider the “wide variety of platforms and environments that people use to access resources on the internet. I don’t have to tell you the numbers, but ‘mobile’ (however it is defined) is big. Fortunately, there are many tools and practices available to ensure we engage all students, staff, and faculty, regardless of platform. Depending on the project at hand, the solution will be a combination of: responsive design, mobile-specific websites, jQuery Mobile, native application development, and whatever is invented next week. It’s an exciting time to be riding this wave.”

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