Tech Educator of the Year Jonathan Blake Huer pushes boundaries of traditional education, opens students to digital frontier

Jonathan Blake Huer is an award winning app developer and filmmaker, an Apple Distinguished Educator, Adobe Education Leader, Campus Technology Innovator, an author who just published his first book, and now he is Tech Educator of the Year. Jonathan received the award during the 15th annual TechPoint Mira Awards honoring the best of tech in Indiana. He is director of emerging technologies at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Jonathan released his first book in February, Be Employed When You Graduate, which earned him a spot presenting the strategy outlined in the book at SXSW in March.

Jonathan is responsible for innovating outside of the traditional IT infrastructure at Ball State, exploring disruptive technologies, and applying those efforts to create new opportunities for the campus community.

Jonathan came to Ball State in the fall of 2006 to create the Digital Corps, which provides a unique on campus job for undergraduate students with aspirations to work in innovative and creative fields. He has also helped transition the Indiana General Assembly to an electronic process capable of saving 15 tons of paper a year.

The Mira Awards judges think Jonathan’s determination to push the boundaries of traditional education models is an incredible asset for Ball State and the Digital Corps. By challenging the institution to change, Jonathan has led the charge that burst open the departmental silos and created an environment where students are free to explore the digital frontier and earn industry standard certifications.

Through a three-tiered apprentice, specialist and master advancement schedule, students work together with professional staff on real-world projects, and experience peer and portfolio reviews that prepare them for the rigors of their first jobs and beyond. To date, 100 percent of Digital Corps student employees are gainfully employed or in grad school.

 

TechPoint, Indiana’s technology growth initiative, honored Jonathan and 14 other Indiana-based companies, entrepreneurs and educators for their technology excellence and innovation on May 3, at the Mira Awards gala presented by BKD CPAs & Advisors. Mira — Latin for miracle and a variable star thousands of times brighter than the Earth’s sun — represents the best of tech in Indiana each year.

Forty-eight independent, volunteer judges spent more than 700 collective hours reviewing the applications, interviewing the nominees and choosing the 15 winners. Judges were primarily subject matter experts and experienced company executives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349