Joel Backon


As Director of Academic Technology and a History teacher, Mr. Backon has been a supporting member of the Choate Rosemary Hall leadership team since 1992. Mr. Backon has taught history for eighteen years and is leading a team that is creating a new project-based world history course stressing depth and analytic thinking rather than the traditional broad survey approach. He has also designed a technology- and research-based Contemporary Global Issues course, as well as teaching three senior electives, Use and Abuse of Power, American Diplomacy, and Democracy, Media & Politics. When he used a Tablet PC a few years ago, Mr. Backon married the Tablet and the LMS to create his "paperless classroom," a concept he expects to continue in this age of the iPad. He also directs the Choate Technology and Learning Institute (TLI), a weeklong summer program providing every faculty member from the Eight Schools Association (ESA) with an opportunity to develop a technology project designed to improve teaching and learning. Mr. Backon is a former chair of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools' Commission on Technology, a member of the Commission on Professional Development, and co-chair of the ESA Technology and Learning cohort. He has made numerous presentations including intellectual property and copyright laws, using Web 2.0 tools for collaborative projects, mapping course management system tools with pedagogy, and redesigning curriculum to reflect the "new shape of knowledge." Latest projects include a Canvas LMS implementation, development of online course offerings, shepherding a 1:1 iPad program, and exploring personalized learning opportunities.