Alumni Spotlight: David Joyner '05 publishes second book

Congratulations to Wesleyan alumni David Joyner ’05 on the release of his second book, The Distributed Classroom. Joyner, executive director for online education at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, and his co-author Charles Isbell explore how the “distributed classroom” can offer remedies to various problems in higher education, including rising tuition costs, reduced access for underprivileged groups, and limited availability of subject matter experts in cutting-edge fields.
Together Joyner and Isbell teach seven online undergraduate and graduate classes to over 5,000 students every semester, and during the pandemic, their colleagues relied on Joyner and Isbell’s experience and expertise in remote education. “The book came out of a lot of conversations we had with others about how they were adapting to going remote or hybrid and a lot of the questions people were asking us about how we teach online,” explains Joyner.

In The Distributed Classroom, which is intended for teachers, administrators, instructional designers, and students, Joyner describes how some online education models increase access to quality content and connection to communities of learners with similar interests regardless of geography.

“Part of our initiative is to help the small number computer science teachers reach a larger number of students,” shares Joyner. 

Joyner continues “I was very lucky to be at a place like Wesleyan for high school- a place that managed to offer computer science, especially at a time when the subject was even more rare in grade schools. That experience with Jim Edgar, the computer science teacher at the time, set me up for a lifetime of not only researching and teaching computer science, but also of understanding how computing can be used to expand access to other fields as well.”

Joyner’s first book, Introduction to Computing, was published in 2016, and he has won many awards at Georgia Tech. Joyner and his wife, Caitlin, are proud parents to two children, including Lucy, Wesleyan class of 2033. To learn more about Joyner, please visit