Don Benton

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership

“Remember that technology is a tool or a resource for improving education. Technology is not the end all solution. Real authentic education comes from the collaboration and learning process between teachers and students.”

As a “constructivist” learner and educator, Don Benton said he believes in allowing for as much student and teacher innovation and creativity as possible.

“My favorite thing about teaching is seeing learners of all ages and backgrounds ‘light up’ with excitement when they discover a new innovation that can enhance teaching and learning in the classroom, or enhance their personal lives,” he said.

Technology has become a key component in teacher education.

“Keeping up with new innovations that are being introduced and being in the Cloud are components of educational technology that are changing the landscape as we know it from the days of the traditional classroom setting,” Benton said. “Educational leaders need to collaborate and learn to integrate such changes.

“But at the same time keep the quality of education at a very high level while meeting the needs of the customer – our students.”

Benton said Henderson’s M.S.E. in Educational Technology is about leadership in education and technology, not just devices.

“Educational technology goes far beyond teaching about devices and innovations,” he said. “Devices change and new innovations surface, but the process of becoming a life-long learner is the most critical component of the education process.”

After graduating in 1988 from Barton High School in eastern Arkansas, Benton was an exchange student in Germany for six months studying at a German business school. Back home, he attended a community college before he enrolled at Henderson State where he received an undergraduate degree in vocational business education with a minor in German language and business administration.

Benton completed his M.S.E. in Educational Leadership at Henderson in 2003, and in 2013 earned his Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in educational leadership. He served as an adjunct instructor at Henderson in 2008 and joined faculty fulltime in 2009 as the educational technology “subject matter person.”

Benton is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Technology at Boise State University and hopes to defend his dissertation in 2018.

The collegiality and collaboration at the higher education level may be what Benton enjoys most about teaching.

“Before being invited to profess at Henderson, I would have never dreamed of being able to work with people at this level of education,” he said. “I find that I learn so much from other professors and higher education professionals.

“I plan to work in higher education for the rest of my career in some form because I love it so much.”

In the classroom, Benton said he wants his students to be “authentic.”

“I want them to be positive role models for children and their colleagues, but it is imperative that they are ‘real’ and ‘true’ to themselves and others.

When he’s not teaching, Benton enjoys traveling and meeting new people from around the world.

“I love to learn about other cultures and how they view the world,” he said. “In my opinion, one of the most valuable things a person can do in life is travel and learn that there is so much more to the world.”

If he hadn’t become a college professor, Benton said he would likely be a “beach bum.”

“That is the place that truly speaks to my heart,” he said. “I would be one of those guys you see at the beach carrying a chair, an ice chest, and a fishing pole wearing nothing but flip flops and shorts.”

Department:
Educational Leadership

Contact Info:


Degree and School:
Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, Henderson State University

Research:

- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
- Social Media
- Online Learning Initiatives in K-12 and Higher Education
- Everything in Ed Tech



I've been at Henderson since:
1988

Courses