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Ryan Straight

Assistant Professor of Educational Technology

University of Arizona


Dr. Ryan Straight is an award-winning educator, writer, and researcher. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. He is co-program director of the Master of Science and undergraduate minor programs in Educational Technology and teaches in the Informatics and Cyber Operations undergraduate programs. He also teaches an annual freshman seminar, Cyborgs and Transhumanism, in the Honors College.

Here you will find a variety: travel exploits, reflections, expressions of stylistic pedagogy, reactions to technological and educational current events, and general musings on topics approaching Ryan’s academic research.

He lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife Adriana and their three dogs, Sofie, Menchi, and Chewie.


  • User Experience
  • Digital Design
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Postphenomenology


  • PhD in Instructional Technology, 2015

    Ohio University

  • MEd in Cultural Studies in Education, 2009

    Ohio University

  • BSEd in Integrated Language Arts, 2005

    Ohio University



Assistant Professor

University of Arizona

Jun 2017 – Present Arizona
Educational Technology, University of Arizona’s College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST). May 2017 - present
Faculty Forum President, CAST, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years
Co-Program Director, Educational Technology. August 2018 - present
Program Director, Informatics - Digital Design. August 2018 - present

Senior Lecturer

University of Arizona

Jan 2015 – May 2017 Arizona
Educational Technology, University of Arizona, South - January 2015 - May 2017
Co-Program Director, Educational Technology. January 2015 - August 2015

Adjunct Instrutor

University of Arizona

Jun 2014 – Dec 2014 Arizona
Educational Technology, University of Arizona, South - June 2014 - December 2014\

Recent Posts

Spicing Up Your Remote Work with Zoom and OBS

So you’re suddenly working from home and Zooming into all your meetings. Here’s how to spice up your presence a bit beyond just virtual backgrounds.

Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit of Privacy and Security

Here are my five changes you can make in your online existence that are both relatively easy to make and provide tremendous bang for your buck.

Building a MediaWiki Personal Knowledge Base, 2019 Style

It’d be impossible to keep everything we need to know in one brain and stay sane. Here’s how I maintain my own personal knowledge base.


OLC has been around for 25 years. Here’s what I was doing back then.

Finding Order in Chaos

I don’t want to say I’m the typical professor (heck, I have an entire podcast devoted to exploring just what the heck that means) but I certainly do occasionally resemble the clichéd absent-minded professor. Remember: good thoughts are clear thoughts and that’s much harder than it sounds when your job is to think about so much, so often, for so long. To put it simply, we have a lot of stuff in our heads.

Recent Publications

Quickly discover relevant content by filtering publications.

Commercial Off-The-Shelf Video Games as Computer-Assisted Language Learning Environments

Computer-Assisted Language Learning can be facilitated to a great degree using commercial off-the-shelf video games. This paper attempts to explore the nature of CALL, the pedagogic qualities of video games and how the two intersect to produce useful CALL environments. Also considered are aspects of fun, what causes second language acquisition students to respond to one form of CALL over another, and concepts of ludus, paidea and narratology. An example, Heavy Rain, is offered as a potential commercial off-the-shelf game to use in second language acquisition at the university or adult-learning level.

The Development and Delivery of Custom Mobile Apps for K-12 Learning: Viable Options for Educators

The advancements in mobile devices have great affordances for the field of education. Modern smartphones are powerful, portable, and prevalent and can yield informative, engaging and empowering user experiences for students in classroom settings and beyond. This paper explores current trends and issues in the use of mobile devices for learning (mLearning) and presents a variety of viable options for developing and delivering custom content in the form of mobile applications. Relevant applications, services, and skill sets are discussed with a focus on specific capabilities. Resources are presented along a continuum of prerequisite technical skill with the intent to demonstrate to K-12 teachers the approachability of creating custom mobile applications for learning at any level of experience.

Awards & Fellowships

Effective Practice Award

Through the OLC Effective Practices program, the OLC community shares techniques, strategies and practices that have worked effectively in their institution or program. Effective practices are peer-reviewed and evaluated against OLC’s five pillars of quality in digital education: access, learning effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction and scalability.
See certificate

Faculty Fellow (Ongoing)

Faculty Fellows is a group of 55 outstanding UA faculty dedicated to student engagement. Faculty Fellows work to effectively involve students in research, collaborative projects, career-readiness efforts and community outreach. Each Fellow is assigned a campus site for the academic year (whether a residence hall, a cultural center, or a resource center) and spends time at that site each week, building connections and relationships with students outside of the classroom.

Faculty Fellows:

  • Foster students’ connection to UA as a whole
  • Help make a large school feel much smaller
  • Create avenues for student-faculty relationship building


Read, Watch, Woof

Ryan’s bi-weekly newsletter (currently on hiatus).

Squad Goals network

A collective of like-minded teachers, designers, and researchers.

The New Professor

Ryan’s bi-weekly newsletter (currently on hiatus).

Recent & Upcoming Talks

The Games Peoples Play

Games, engagement, and representation.


  • 8181 E. Irvington Rd., O1-151, Tucson, AZ 85709
  • Enter the western-most door of building O1 and turn left.
  • Virtual open office hours and by appointment.
  • DM Me
  • Chat on Keybase