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Bret Staudt Willet

Michigan State University

United States of America - Elizabethtown

networked learning, social media, educational technology

Areas of interest

  • Social media
  • Social capital
  • Affinity spaces
  • Video games


I am currently a PhD candidate in the Educational Psychology & Educational Technology program at Michigan State University. My research focuses on how and why K-20 educators connect with each other through social media; I am especially interested in how these platforms can support social constructivist processes for teacher education and teacher professional development. This work is interdisciplinary and utilizes a variety of methods—both human and computational—including qualitative content analysis, social network analysis, and machine learning. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and a Graduate Certificate in Serious Game Design and Research from Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and sociology from Bucknell University. I teach each of the Master’s courses in MSU’s Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning, as well as a course to help undergraduate pre-service teachers think critically about using technology for teaching and learning. I still consider my strongest credential to be my ongoing connection with my first online friend, who I met in an AOL chatroom in the early 1990s.