Publications (narrative)

Traditional Academic Publications

While the digital scholarship described in the previous section are very much forms of “publication,” this section describes more traditional forms of academic publication. A complete list of publications is located in my CV, and copies of all publications can be found on the Copies of Publications page. Also, copies of publications “in press” and “in review” are located on the Publications “in press” or “in review” page (private: password-protected). Below, I highlight a particularly impactful monograph I co-authored, as well as book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Mann, D., Shakeshaft, C., Becker, J. & Kottkamp, R. (1999).  West Virginia Story:  Achievement Gains from a Statewide Comprehensive Instructional Technology Program. Santa Monica, CA: A Milken Family Foundation Monograph. (ED429575)

While still a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University, I had the opportunity to be an integral part of a team of researchers commissioned with investigating the effects of a statewide technology integration program in West Virginia.  The Milken Family Foundation was genuinely interested in the implications of computer-assisted instruction for public schooling, and the state of West Virginia had made an unprecedented commitment to equip schools and classrooms with hardware and software and to offer professional development for teachers, all in the pursuit of learning gains.    Funded by the Foundation, my colleagues and I spent a year visiting elementary schools in West Virginia observing teachers and students, interviewing key stakeholders and working with the Office of Instructional Technology Services (OTIS) of the West Virginia Department of Education.

In the Fall of 1998, after analyzing copious amounts of data, a report of the analysis was issued.  West Virginia Story: Achievement Gains from a Statewide Comprehensive Instructional Technology Program received lots of publicity at the time and, as one of the lead investigators of the study and co-authors of the report, I am proud to say that it remains a well-respected and oft-cited report in the field of educational technology.  As a monograph that has been freely available at the Milken Family Foundation’s website since its release, it is difficult get exact metrics on the influence of the report.  A Google search for “West Virginia Story” + “Mann” (the report’s lead author) yields 32,700 hits.  That same search with “Becker” instead of “Mann” yields 5,540 hits.  In other words, nearly 33,000 websites independently make reference to the report.  A search of Google Scholar, a subset of Google proper, yields 162 hits.  The first page listed from that search is to ERIC where the report is also available in full text.  According to that listing in Google Scholar, the report has been cited 107 times (as of August 18, 2012).  That is certainly an underestimate of the number of times the report has been cited in scholarly works, including doctoral dissertations.

Becker, J. D. (2006). Digital equity in education: A Multilevel examination of differences in and relationships between computer access, computer use and state-level technology policies. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 15(3). Retrieved from

Based on the experience of working on that initial West Virginia study, I developed an enthusiasm for studying educational technology and state-level policies, especially through the lens of educational equity.  Therefore, I chose to examine those three domains for my dissertation.  Specifically, I conducted a multilevel analysis of the restricted use NAEP data to look for differences in computer access and student computer use across schools and students of different characteristics.  Simultaneously, I was able to examine the impact of state-level policies on computer access and computer use.  Ultimately, that work was condensed, submitted to and accepted for publication in Education Policy Analysis Archives (, an online, open access, peer-reviewed journal.

The peer review process at EPAA is thorough and makes the journal rather selective.  Dr. Sherman Dorn, the English language editor of EPAA at the time of publication, maintains a blog where he occasionally wrote about his work editing EPAA.  In February 2008, Dr. Dorn examined 10 months worth of manuscripts and concluded that of the 68 that had been reviewed, 13 had either been accepted or were in the revise and resubmit cycle.  That would put EPAA at a 19% acceptance rate.  According to the website where the article is posted (, the articlw was viewed 4,689 times between February 13, 2007 and August 17, 2008.  There is no way that article would have been accessed that many times if it had been published in a traditional print journal accessible only through costly research databases.

Becker, J.D.  (2008). The Digital Horserace:  An Analysis of differences in student computer use across the states and across the years.  Journal of Educational Computing Research, 39(3), pp. 285-312.

Continuing my interest in state-level educational technology policies, I used the NAEP data explorer to estimate cross-state and longitudinal differences in the frequency of student computer use in schools.  The results, published in an article called, The Digital Horserace:  An Analysis of differences in student computer use across the states and across the years, in the Journal of Educational Computing Research,  point to evidence of policy diffusion, especially in the southeastern part of the United States where early adopting states have fostered a commitment to technology and, as a result, relatively higher levels of student computer use in schools.  I am proud to be a contributor to JECR which is one the most well-respected and selective journals in the field of educational technology. It is also a completely open-access journal.  The editorial board of the journal consists of an interdisciplinary group of renowned scholars including Seymour Papert and Herbert Walberg.  According to Dr. Robert H. Seidman, the Executive Editor of JECR, the journal was at a 15% acceptance rate for several years at the time of the publication of my article.

Becker, J.D. (2007).  Mind the gaps:  Exploring the use of technology to facilitate parental involvement, particularly for historically underserved populations. Journal of School Public Relations, 28(2), pp. 57-82.

Becker, J.D. (2004).  Thinking outside the (bricks-and-mortar) box(es):  Using cyberspace technology to reconceptualize schooling and community in the face of resegregation.  Journal of School Public Relations, 25(2), pp. 177-202.


Unlike the West Virginia monograph, the EPAA article, and the JECR article, which are all based on empirical research, the two articles that appeared in the Journal of School Public Relations (JSPR) in 2004 and 2006 are conceptual.  Like the other articles, though, both JSPR articles lie squarely at the intersection of technology, equity and policy.  The first article, Thinking outside the (bricks-and-mortar) box(es):  Using cyberspace technology to reconceptualize schooling and community in the face of resegregation, appears in a special issue related to the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.  In the piece, I explore the idea of community, how that concept translates to the Internet, and how we might consider bringing students with different backgrounds and different experiences together using virtual communities.  Written in 2004, the propositions examined in the article were somewhat forward-thinking at the time, but are very relevant and timely today at a time when computer-mediated social networking has become a more mainstream idea.

In 2007, also in JSPR, I published Mind the gaps:  Exploring the use of technology to facilitate parental involvement, particularly for historically underserved populations.  Like the prior JSPR article, this one appears in a theme issue on parental involvement in schools that serve majority minority communities.  In the piece, I argue that so long as we are mindful of the digital divide that exists across and within homes and communities and so long as we are culturally sensitive in our approach, there may be ways to bring computer-assisted communications tools to bear on the problem of low parental involvement in schools in minority communities.

I regret that these two articles were published in the Journal of School Public Relations which is not an open-access journal (though very much peer-reviewed), especially the 2007 article. Many educational leaders and local education agencies are trying to understand the social media landscape and how they might use modern forms of information and communications technologies to engage their communities. Though the article was published 5 years ago, and some of the examples are a bit dated, many of the principles expounded upon in that article remain very relevant. Fortunately, I have been able to share that article, via social media, with many school and district leaders who have expressed interest in understanding how to use modern technologies for community engagement.

Mann, D., Reardon, R.M. Becker, J.D., Shakeshaft, C., Bacon, N.  (2011)  Immersive, interactive, web-enabled computer simulation as a trigger for learning: The Next Generation of Problem-based Learning in Educational Leadership. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 6(5), pp. 272-87.

Mann, D., Reardon, R. M., Becker, J. D., Shakeshaft, C., & Reich, M. R. (2012 – in press). Engagement in an online video simulation in educational leadership. In P. Blessinger & C. Wankel (Eds.), Cutting-edge technologies in higher education. Volume 3: Increasing student engagement and retention using immersive interfaces: Virtual worlds, gaming, and simulation.

Shakeshaft, C., & Becker, J.D. (In Press). The Effectiveness of Simulation-based Learning in a Principal Preparation Program. Planning And Changing.


As the result of a sizable grant from the U.S. Department of Education, a team led by Dr. Dale Mann has developed a school leadership simulation. This is a “…cutting-edge, immersive, online video simulation of events that follow the calendar of a year in a chronically low-performing middle school in the United States” (quoted from the book chapter). I am the evaluator on that grant and have been documenting the development of that simulation as well as a co-author with my colleagues as we disseminate information about this innovative approach to school leadership development. To this point, we have publised one article in a peer-reviewed journal, one book chapter (in press), and a second peer-reviewed journal article is in press at Planning & Changing. Each piece takes a slightly different tact, but collectively, they disseminate important information about the details of the simulation along with some early evidence of effectiveness.

Bathon, J. & Becker, J.D. (2012 – in press). Educational Technology: Legal and Ethical Issues. In S. McLeod & J. Hancock (Eds.), What School Leaders Need to Know About Technology Leadership. Washington, D.C.: International Society for Technology in Education.

C. Barkley & Becker, J.D. (2013 – in press). Building social capital through social media: School leaders’ use of social media for professional learning. In. Militello, M. & Friend, J. (Eds.), Principal 2.0: Technology and Educational Leadership. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing.

These two book chapters are both in press. The first will be in a book published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and is due out near the end of 2012. In that chapter, Dr. Justin Bathon (University of Kentucky) and I provide an overview of important and relevant legal issues around educational technology. The second chapter will be in a book published by Information Age Publishing. This chapter is based on Dr. Candice Barkley’s dissertation on Connnected Principals, an online community of practice for and by school leaders. This chapter describes a novel approach to professional learning and networking adopted by a community of school leaders across the world. I am thrilled to contribute these two chapters to books about school leadership and educational technology. This is where I have focused my expertise for the last decade, and the field of educational leadership desperately needs good information and ideas.

Becker, J.D. (In Review). Bringing a mashup of learning theories to bear on online learning: A Critical reflection. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning.

Wolosoff, R. & Becker, J.D. (In Review). Leadership 2.0: Multiple case studies of  leaders of technologically innovative schools. International Journal of Educational Policy & Leadership.

These two manuscripts have been submitted for potential publication in highly-respected, peer-reviewed, open-access journals. The latter manuscript has been under review since January 7, 2012. As of August 20, 2012, no determination has been made. Eight months without a determination is ridiculous and one symptom of an obsolete system of scholarly communication. The former manuscript was submitted on August 1, 2012.

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