Webster Voices - Basiyr Rodney | Webster University

Scholar, Seeker, Student

Basiyr Rodney posing by door

Basiyr Rodney, EdD

Associate Professor, Educational Technology
School of Education

“I believe in the inherent freedom and agency of the learner.”

Immersed in education technology, Basiyr Rodney prepares a new generation of caring, reflective and innovative teachers armed with the ability to improve learning environments with digital-age technologies. He is recognized as a visionary who explores ways digital-age technologies accelerate student learning.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I tend to want to prepare the environment and develop the experiences, then let the learner work their way through these experiences. My style is democratic and seeks to empower as well as respect the learner.

I use digital technologies a great deal. My students use tablets, Chromebooks, Smartboards within the context of problem solving and deep reflection. I also encourage students to work collaboratively and in self-directed ways.

What motivates you?

I am inspired by hands-on, student-centered experiences. I believe in the inherent freedom and agency of the learner, so I try to be as democratic as possible in my approach.

I have recently become very passionate about design-based learning and maker education. These approaches meet my vision of keeping the learner at the center of the learning experience.

What makes teaching at Webster distinctive?

Our unique mix between theory and practice. Many students come to us in order to learn the philosophy and evidence behind forms of learning. However, they expect to be able to apply this knowledge in their everyday experiences.

Teaching at Webster provides a rich environment for me to engage both the theoretical and the practical. I also admire the boldness and vision of the Sisters of Loretto who founded Webster in 1915; being able to connect with that spirit each day is very inspiring.

What are you most curious about?

Why, in a time of rapid change and social realignment, change at the local level is so slooow?

Basiyr Rodney

What is the focus of your scholarship?

I am interested in how collaborative and social environments support the future success of teachers. So I study the impact of social media use on teacher professional learning and resilience in the field. I am also interested in the ways in which mobile and cloud-based technologies help teachers increase interactivity in their teaching.

I also studied the design and impact of electronic portfolios on teacher development but gave it up for a time. It’s calling me back again. Another area of interest is the impact of neoliberalism and late-stage capitalism on educational as well as educational technology policy.

How do you translate your passion in life to the classroom?

I always remind myself that any one of my students could one day teach my own children.

Also, as an educational technologist, I am naturally passionate about the affordances that digital-age technologies bring to learning environments. Most people today have mobile phones, tablets and computers in some combination – it’s easy to capitalize on this to evoke passion in students.

Basiyr Rodney laughing

What is your favorite travel destination?

Home – to Jamaica.

What's always in your suitcase?

Air - I am too inconsistent to have an “always” button.  In fact, nowadays I find that when I travel, I somehow always forget something important. Last time it was toothpaste.

What is your superpower?

I cook a mean Jerk Chicken. And there is very little on a computer that I cannot fix. If computers had life, I would be “the computer whisperer.”

Who is the person, living or dead, you most admire?

Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

What three words best describe you?

Scholar, seeker, student.


Educational Technology Programs

To read about specific program requirements, learning outcomes and how to apply, click on a program from the following list: