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A.J. Wood

Students want to ask questions, they want to interact with someone who knows the topic they want to learn.

Certifications, degrees and real-life experience don't necessarily make A.J. Wood a good instructor.

But it certainly doesn't hurt. Wood's passion and knowledge is an integral part of his classroom experience as an instructor at Collin College's Continuing Education department.

"Students want instructor-led training. If they didn't then they'd simply go to a bookstore, and read up on what they want to know. Students want to ask questions, they want to interact with someone who knows the topic they want to learn. Books, online videos and DVDs are one-sided conversations," Wood said.

Wood has more than 20 years experience in utilizing computers, networks and digital media to help companies communicate, sell or whatever it is they wanted to do. His resume is expansive and includes 10 different certifications including several CISCO-oriented and Adobe Instructor certifications for Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat.

Wood was chosen to join the 2009 class of Adobe Community Experts, a peer-based program that nominates instructors based on product expertise, community participation and industry experience. Wood has been named one of the top one or two Adobe instructors in the world for several years.

"Shared experience brings about trust, which opens up communication between faculty and students," Wood said. "There is nothing more rewarding to me than a student who gains understanding, and the realization that what they were attempting to learn wasn't as difficult as they made it out to be. Everyday I learn something new from my students, and the mutual thirst for knowledge rejuvenates me every time I head up a class."