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Brenda Matthis

Chair, PhD in Educational Studies Department, Associate Professor

Brenda Matthis

As an education technologist, associate professor, and director of the PhD in Educational Studies Program in the Graduate School of Education, the majority of my advisees are doctoral candidates researching technology and education. 

My career began as a software programmer and progressed to storage devices, systems networking, and multimedia education. Following an Ed.M. in Technology in Education, Harvard University, I pursued a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard, with the dissertation Voices from the Other Side of the Screen: Software Designers Reveal Their Stories That Reside Within Their Creations, a subject that allowed me to interview software coders, designers and programmers about their narratives in the software they created, using the portraiture qualitative research method. 

My professional passions, expertise and research areas include the social construction of software, emergent technologies for late-deafened and hard of hearing (HOH) adults, technologies for K-12 students with disabilities, and teaching universal design for learning.

My favorite speaking engagements reflect my research passions:

  • Barefoot Engineers, Indigenous Builds & Flow - Designing a pedagogical approach to select robotic projects for K-12 Educators, IEEE WIE Forum, Boston, December 2, 2016.
  • The Critical Use of Technology in the Classroom in the United States, Tohoku Association for American Studies' lecture series "The United States of America, Its  Present and Future," Tohoku University Open University Program, Sendai, Japan, February, 2006.
  • Technology and Disabilities, Fukuoka University of Education, Fukuoka, Japan, January 2004.

As a Fulbright Scholar, through the CIES Fulbright Lecturer and Researcher Program in Fukuoka, Japan, my research focus was special education in K-8 schools; and I lectured on special education and technology in the United States, at the Fukuoka University of Education, 2005-2006.


BBA, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
EdM, Harvard University
EdD, Harvard University


PhD in Educational Studies Programs