Dr. Betts is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies. He teaches in the Language, Reading & Culture program, with an emphasis on integrating literacy, technology, and the arts and in working with diverse populations.
Before coming to the University, where he began teaching in the Media Arts Department of the College of Fine Arts, Dr. Betts had a career as a film and television producer and director. Dr Betts' research has since taken him into a variety of Southern Arizona neighborhoods, into middle school language arts classrooms, and charter schools, where he documented classroom activities and teacher behaviors. He is investigating the role of technology in ludic learning, using learning games, avatars and virtual worlds. These experiences inform his teaching online and face-to-face classes that integrate real-world technologies for students of education, in-service teachers and teachers-in-training to take to their teaching.
His research in the integration of art and technology in education includes work with Southeastern Arizona Arts in Academics, Wildcat School, Access Tucson, several local school districts, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona's Department of Education. Dr. Betts is past-president of the Arts and Learning SIG of the American Educational Research Association. Board membership includes Arts Integration Solutions, Access Tucson, Arts Genesis, and Kiwanis de Amigos, and the Media Arts Committee of the Tucson Pima Arts Council.