- Ph.D. (Language, Literacy & Socio-Cultural Studies in Education), University of California, Berkeley, 2007
- M.A. (Advanced Reading & Language Leadership Program), University of California, Berkeley, 2002.
- B.A. (English Literature), University of Redlands, 1997 (summa cum laude, Honors in English, Phi Beta Kappa).
- Ávila, J. (under contract). A Collapse of Distance: Learning and Living Vaquero Horsemanship in the Southeastern United States. Purdue University Press.
- Ávila, J., Rud, A.G., Waks, L., & Ring, E. (Eds.). (in press). The Contemporary Relevance of John Dewey’s Theories on Teaching and Learning: Deweyan Perspectives on Standardization, Accountability, and Assessment in Education (Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education).
- Ávila, J. (Ed.). (2021). Critical Digital Literacies: Boundary-Crossing Practices. Brill.
- Pandya, J. Z., & Ávila, J. (Eds.) (2013). Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts. Routledge.
- Ávila, J. & Pandya, J. Z. (Eds.) (2012). Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis: Intersections and Challenges. [New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies Series (Eds. M. Knobel & C. Lankshear)]. Peter Lang.
- Ávila, J. (2021). #MultimediaResponse: Instagram as a reading activity in a university English class. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 64(5), 531-541.
- Ávila, J. (2020). Creative and autobiographical response as counter-story. California English Journal, 26(2).
- Ávila, J. (2018). Compliant “devices of art”: Enlisting Dewey to question mandates. Teachers College Record. https://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=22548
- Pandya, J.Z. & Ávila, J. (2017). Inequitable variations: A review of research in technology, literacy studies, and Special Education. Literacy (United Kingdom Literacy Association), 51(3), 123-130.
- Moore, M, Zancanella, D., & Ávila, J. (2016). National standards in policy and practice. In D. Wyse, L. Hayward & J. Pandya (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (pp. 984-996). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
- Ávila, J. (2015). Traveling down a desire line: Surviving where academia and community meet. In C. Gerstl-Pepin & C. Reyes (Eds.) Reimagining the Public Intellectual in Education: Making Scholarship Matter (pp. 109-116). New York: Peter Lang.
- Zacher Pandya, J. & Ávila, J. (2013). Making the road by talking: Moving critical literacies forward. In Zacher Pandya, J. & Ávila, J. (Eds.) Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts (pp. 1-15). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Moore, M., Zancanella, D. & Ávila, J. (2013). Text complexity: The Battle for critical literacy in the Common Core State Standards. In J. Zacher Pandya & J. Ávila, (Eds.). Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts (pp. 129-145). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Ávila, J. (2013). Participatory culture gets schooled: Reflections on a digital literacies course. Teaching Education, 24(1), 97-111.
- Ávila, J. & Zacher Pandya, J. (2012). Traveling, textual authority, and transformation: An Introduction to critical digital literacies. In J. Ávila & J. Zacher Pandya, (Eds.). Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis: Intersections and Challenges (pp. 1-12). New York, NY: Peter Lang.
- Ávila, J. (2012). The Fight’s not always fixed: Using literary response to transcend standardized test scores. English Journal, 102(2),101-107.
- Ávila, J., & Zacher Pandya, J. (2012). Guest-editing of a volume of Theory into Practice: “The Future of critical literacies in US schools,” 51(1).
- Ávila, J., & Moore, M. T. (2012). Critical literacy, digital literacies and Common Core Standards: A workable union? Theory into Practice, 51(1), 27-33.
- Ávila, J., Zacher, J. C., Griffo, V. B., & Pearson, P. D. (2011). Conducting instructional intervention research in the midst of a state takeover. Pedagogies, 6(4), 30-45.
- Ávila, J. (2009). Furthering teacher autonomy: Support, resources, and challenges informing professional communities of inquiry. Language Arts, 86(4), 311-315.
- Hull, G. & Ávila, J. (2008). Digital storytelling in theory and practice. New Literacies: A Professional Development Wiki for Educators. Developed under the aegis of the Improving Teacher Quality Project (ITQP), a federally funded partnership between Montclair State University and East Orange School District, New Jersey.
- Ávila, J. (2008). A Desire path to digital storytelling. Teachers College Record. https://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=15463.
- Ávila, J., Underwood, C. & Woodbridge, S. (2008). “I’m the expert now”: Digital storytelling and transforming literacies among displaced children. In D. McInerney & A.D. Liem (Eds.) Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning: Teaching and Learning: International Best Practice (Vol. 8) (pp. 349-376). Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing.
- Edward B. Fry Book Award, Literacy Research Association: Ávila, J. & Zacher Pandya, J. (Eds.) Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis: Intersections and Challenges. New York, NY: Peter Lang. (2014)
- Steve Cahir Excellence in Early Scholarship Award, American Educational Research Association Writing and Literacies SIG. (2011)
- “Critical Digital Storytelling in a Pre- and In-Service English Methods Course.” Paper accepted for presentation at the Teachers, Teaching and Media Conference, Wake Forest University, May, 2017.
- “Productive Digital Literacies for Students with Special Needs: A Review of Research on Technology, Literacy and Special Education.” Paper accepted for presentation at the British Educational Research Association, Belfast, Ireland, September, 2015. With J. Pandya.
- “The Battle for critical literacy in the Common Core State Standards.” Annual Convention of National Council of Teachers of English, Boston, MA, November, 2013. With M. Moore & D. Zancanella.
- “Emerging perspectives on critical digital literacies theory and practice” (Discussant). Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA, November, 2012.
- “The City that national standards is constructing: Critical literacy as center, suburban, and/or gentrified quarter?” American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April, 2011.
- “The Future of critical literacies in U.S. Schools.” Annual Convention of National Council of Teachers of English, Orlando, FL, November, 2010.
- “ ‘You just don’t know about me’: Using digital literacies to reclaim agency.” Proposal accepted to present at the Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group, Annual Convention of International Reading Association, Chicago, IL, May, 2010.
- “Storying against silence: using digital storytelling to improve literacy, engagement and aptitude.” Invited presentation at National Youth At-Risk Conference, Savannah, GA, March, 2010.
- “ ‘I can teach you…something’: Josh, digital storytelling and proficiency.” Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English, Jekyll Island, GA, February, 2009.
- “ ‘You got to let the experts do it some time’: Digital storytelling and the revision of literacy identities among displaced students.” Research Poster Session at the Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, Atlanta, GA, May, 2008 [proposal accepted].
- ” ‘Representing the N.O.’ from afar: Writing one’s way back into the world.” Presentation at the Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, New Orleans, April, 2008 [proposal accepted].
- “ ‘I’m the expert now’: Digital storytelling and transforming literacies among displaced children.” Presentation at the Conference on Literacy, Urban Issues, and Social Studies Education, Georgia State College of Education, Atlanta, GA, February, 2008.
- “Teaching reading comprehension strategies to struggling students.” Presentation and workshop given at the Raskob Learning Institute (a school affiliated with Holy Names University), Oakland, California, June, 2006. With P. D. Pearson, V. Benson, & J. Hansell.
- “Conducting instructional intervention research in the midst of a state takeover.” Presentation at the National Reading Conference, Miami, FL, December, 2005. With V. Benson, P.D. Pearson & J. Zacher.
- “Every poem talks to me: twenty-seven lessons in a high school reading class.” Presentation at College Composition and Communication Conference, San Antonio, TX, March, 2004.
- Teaching Academic English to Adolescent Learners
- Teaching of Multicultural and Multi-ethnic Literature
- Teaching of Writing
- Digital Literacies
- Studies in Writing, Rhetoric and New Media
- Communities and Identities in Digital Worlds
- Teaching English/Communication Skills to Middle and Secondary School Learners
- Contexts and Issues in the Teaching of English
- Writing about Literature
- Children’s/Young Adult Literature and Childhood Trauma
- Associate Professor, UNC Charlotte, 2016-present.
- Assistant Professor, UNC Charlotte, 2010-2016.
- Assistant Professor, Georgia Southern University, 2007-2010.