This summer, Thomas Argondizza will be teaching his first World Campus course, INSYS 100: World Technologies and Learning.
We talked with Thomas recently to learn about his international teaching experiences, his passion for teaching, and what he loves to do when he’s not teaching.
Tell us what students will find exciting about your course this summer, INSYS 100.
The goal of INSYS 100 is to familiarize students with the many ways that electronic distance learning is and isn’t impacting the world, in many places. I’m excited to share own my international teaching experiences with students.
In 2006, I worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and I went to Kyrgyzstan to teach a class about eLearning design principles. The class was made up of teachers from Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and we focused on the differences between traditional Western and Eastern teaching styles.
What did you take away from your time in Kyrgyzstan?
It changed my whole approach to life! After that experience, I realized I had a passion for teaching instructional systems. I knew I needed to get my Ph.D. in Instructional Systems, and that’s what brought me to Penn State.
We are glad you’re here with us now! What do you find most satisfying about teaching?
I love being able to change students’ lives in a positive way. It’s never too late to make a positive change in your life!
Also, teaching instructional design and systems provides an opportunity to work with people from other cultures or countries without having to sit in the same exact classroom. It’s a field of study that really bridges cultural gaps.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
I’m an animal lover. I have 3 aquariums, 3 cats, named ShaDynasty, Lafawnda, Patsy, and a dog, a St. Bernard named “Max” (although, everyone calls him “Beethoven”). I also love reading books about World War II.
Thomas received his A.S. in accounting; his B.S. in business management; his M.S. in instructional design, development, and evaluation; and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Penn State’s Learning, Design, and Technology program.