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About | Teaching | Research | Projects | Presentations & Workshops | Curriculum Vitae | Blog | My InterWebs



"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between her work and her play, her labor and her leisure, her mind and her body, her information and her recreation, her love and her religion. She hardly knows which is which. She simply pursues her vision of excellence at whatever she does, leaving others to decide whether she is working or playing. To her she's always doing both.”
-Adapted from James A. Michener


About Me

Aloha! My name is Julia Parra and I LOVE learning technology, especially the online/blended stuff! Please note that I AM the InterWebs. Haha, just kidding, sorta.


Professional Info

I live in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment" and a place where you can see the most breathtaking sunsets in the world. Prior to my current workplace of New Mexico State University, I taught middle school (science, language arts, and social studies) for four years (1996-2000). I have worked at NMSU since summer 2000 where I started by developing for the STAR-Online program. From 2002-2012, I was a part of the College of Extended Learning in a variety of roles including web-based curriculum developer and project coordinator in the areas of K12 teacher professional development and distance learning. Projects included Regional Educational Technology Assistance Program, the Online Teaching and Learning Graduate Certificate program in 2006, NMSU Webinars, and the Online Course Improvement Program. I completed the Pepperdine University's Doctoral Program in Learning Technologies and now I am an assistant professor at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in the College of Education. I’m a certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. And in my spare time, I teach for the SLOAN-C Online Teaching Certificate Program.


I engage in research in the areas of professional and faculty development, online/blended teaching and learning, innovative learning design, educational learning technologies, emerging technologies, social media, connectedness, and lots of things that interest either me or my students. Overarching themes include investigating innovation in the design of online and blended learning environments andinvestigating empowerment with technology


In 2006, I co-authored a book chapter titled, Transitioning to E-Learning: Teaching the Teachers that was published in the book, Cases on Global E-Learning: Successes and Pitfalls and was republished in 2010, in the book, Web-Based Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. In 2011, an article was published that I co-authored using collaborative writing in a Google Doc, titled, Online Course Design for Individuals With and Without Disabilities: Pedagogy, Tools, and Universal Design for Learning. In 2013, I had a book chapter published, titled, Developing technology and collaborative group work skills: supporting student and group success in online and blended courses, published in the book, Increasing Learner Engagement through Cutting-edge Technologies. I recently co-authored a journal article titled, Digital explorations along the Borderlands: Transfronterizo youth, testimonio, and personal learning networks to bepublished in the International Journal of Information Communication Technologies and Human Development.


I have conducted presentations, workshops, and webinars at local, state, regional and national conferences on a variety of topics. I am always up for a challenge or adventure, evidenced recently by my foray into geography education where I agreed to be the co-coordinator for the New Mexico Geographic Alliance, a member of the National Geographic Network of Alliances for Geographic Education and when I joined the Rosemont Leadership Institute team (now the New Mexico Leadership Institute in support of providing leadership opportunities for New Mexico high school students. Most recently, I decided to jump into the wild west of MOOCs AND I signed up for Xperience STEM where I will be paragliding with a GoHero camera. What was I thinking?! 


Personal Info

I have a GREAT kid who has grown up way too fast.  Jon recently graduated from NMSU's CMI program and is starting an exciting career in the media industry. I'm BEYOND excited for him! Check out his newest project at http://www.itcouldhappenanywhere.com/


Other things about me - I love hot yoga, reading, movies, and shopping (online and offline). I have a love/hate relationship with running and ran my second half marathon last year and at about mile 10, for the second time, I thought, why am I torturing myself, what's wrong with 6 miles?! I am currently exploring all things health and nutrition so you might hear me speak of going wheat free, green smoothies, juicing or cool body tech like the UP24, BASIS, Nike Fuel or AMIIGO. I love technology and have lots of gidgets, gadgets, widgets, oh my! I tried out the Basis, the idea is cool but it's so bulky so I gave it away and I'm thinking about the UP24 and Google Glass. Thank you for checking out my page. The stuff here on my wiki website, is for you to use, mashup, share, etc. I hope you share your adventures with me. The best places for that are:


About | Teaching | Research | Projects | Presentations & Workshops | Curriculum Vitae | Blog | My InterWebs

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