Dr. Doak is American. He holds a Doctor of Education and a Masters in Educational Technology from Boise State University, as well as a Bachelor in Education from the University of Hawaii Manoa. Before coming to NIS, Dr. Doak worked as a teacher and coach at AIS Guangzhou for 11 years and in Hawaii before that.
How did you get into IT? Tell us about your professional journey to become our new Director of Technology.
While teaching Kindergarten at the American International School, I made use of the technology available to me in ways that got noticed. The principal asked me to create a proposal for the technology setup at the new Early Childhood Centre. They liked my ideas and used them. My colleagues began coming to me for advice on how to integrate technology into their own classes.
I decided that I should get a degree in Educational Technology, so I began my Master in EdTech at Boise State University. After graduating, I applied and began working as a Technology Coach/Coordinator in elementary school. I loved my new role and after a few years decided that I would like to deepen my knowledge in this area, so I began my Doctoral studies at Boise State University. After working at the American School of Guangzhou for 11 years, my family felt it was time for a change of environment. We moved back to Hawaii to work at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. I was hired as their K-8 Educational Technologist. I worked at HPA for 5 years and then we decided that we would like to return to China. I saw that NIS was looking for a Director of Technology and I felt I would be a perfect fit. NIS has a strategy and approach to learning that I deeply connect with, so I decided to apply. I am excited to be a part of such a forward-thinking educational institution.
What’s your vision for IT and EdTech at NIS?
Information Technology is a special area in a school. It touches every aspect of making a school run, from admissions to the business office, from student information to community outreach, and curriculum to enrichment. One area where technology has the greatest impact is in the educational environments created for our students. I am a strong proponent for using technology as a means to create more inclusive learning environments. Technology has the ability, when applied correctly, to assist students in their learning processes and help each learner with their specific needs. I therefore envision technology integrated in such a way that it supports 21st Century learning skills, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. I envision technology supporting students’ ability to develop a voice and help them make choices about their own learning journeys.
What is your IT philosophy for international education?
The world is shrinking everyday due to new technologies and the ability to travel faster. Technology plays a large role in this ever-shrinking progression of the earth and the people who live on it. As the world shrinks, it becomes even more important for students to develop a global mindset. Information technologies have the ability to bring people together from all over the world – from various backgrounds and cultures. Through the use of these tools, students can easily connect to others who have different ideas and practices. IT can help students learn about others, and therefore are invaluable tools in creating people who will grow to become global citizens.
Tell us a bit about yourself, including your hobbies and passions.
I have many hobbies including, painting, cooking, reading and writing, watching movies, hiking, juggling, and card conjuring. I have taught over 100 people to juggle and have recently published a book that teaches readers how to illustrate some ideas like the equality of men and women, universal education, and independent investigation of the truth using card magic. I am a massive Harry Potter fan and enjoy reading the books and watching the movies with my family.
What message do you have for our community?
I am looking forward to getting to know the NIS community better! I want to ensure that the technology we have adopted helps NIS fulfill its ultimate goal, educating students.
Mahalo nui loa!
Thank you very much!