My name is Steven Doran and I’ve been teaching English at colleges and universities in Japan since 1999. I have an undergraduate degree in business / marketing management, a master’s degree in applied linguistics, and thousands of hours of experience of Internet design, networking, and programming all done at my kitchen table – just ask my wife.
As the managing director of WORLITOP International, LLC – as well as the chief content creator, lead web developer, and senior evaluation & assessment specialist – I feel I bring a unique combination of knowledge and skill to the table here at WORLITOP™.
Currently, I teach topic-based courses in English at five universities:
- Aoyama Gakuin University
- Bunkyo University
- Daito Bunka University
- Nihon University
- Waseda University
- I’ve successfully taught over 10,000 90-minute university classes.
- I’ve successfully interacted with nearly 8,500 university students.
Born in New York and raised in New England, I’ve always had an interest in business. Ironically, after graduating from university, I got my first job in construction building summer vacation homes for five years. When the real estate market slumped in the late 1980s, I traded my pickup truck and tools for a briefcase and suit, and found a job as a salesman in the booming credit card processing / ATM industry.
I did well in sales, but as the Internet grew it presented unlimited possibilities, so my interest shifted from the world of brick and mortar retail to online commerce with international connections. Ultimately, it was this curiosity and desire to be a part of a new frontier which eventually brought me to Japan in 1999.
Since then, I earned a master’s degree in applied linguistics and have made a successful career as a university teacher in the Tokyo / Kanto area. I’ve lived in Japan since May 1999, am married, have a son, and have made Japan my permanent home. And even though I have a very busy schedule which puts me in twenty-three classrooms each week, I truly enjoy what I do. And of course, I spend a ton of time developing and promoting WORLITOP™ and Better COMMUNICATION in Social Media™.
It all started in 2009 when one of the universities where I work asked, “Can you teach a ‘blogging in English’ course?” As always, with keen enthusiasm I said, “sure thing – no problem!” At the time, I had very little knowledge about blogging, so I set up the course on the Google “Blogspot” platform. It worked well, but when the year ended I searched for something I could better customize in order to provide a more interactive learning experience for students.
That was when I discovered WordPress – a world class, open source content management system (CMS) platform – which I used to create WORLITOP™ and the Blogging in ENGLISH course. Since then, my ideas about learning have changed forever. With a few books and many hundreds of self-taught hours of web development, I launched Blogging in ENGLISH on WORLITOP™ in October of 2010, and began teaching the first group of students using the new platform in April of 2011. Initially, it was slow and a bit buggy, but we were able to complete the first semester without any major disasters.
Since then, Blogging in ENGLISH has evolved and become Better COMMUNICATION in Social Media™. The biggest difference is the customized comment and reply writing software, and customized evaluation and assessment software – both developed for and used exclusively on Better COMMUNICATION in Social Media™. Also, WORLITOP™ hosts three additional course platforms taught at five universities in Japan. These include:
- Better COMMUNICATION in Social Media™ (Bunkyo University and Daito Bunka University)
- Change your LIFE & Maybe the WORLD (Waseda University)
- MONEY: Past, Present & FUTURE (Waseda University)
- The World According to TED / Communication in ACTION (Aoyama Gakuin University, Bunkyo University, and Nihon University)
To continue, WORLITOP™ is a super fast, stable, and secure advertisement free, password protected web application used for online education. Although some pages can be publicly accessed, all Better COMMUNICATION in Social Media™ areas students use for their comment and reply writing activities require member login.
Finally, WORLITOP™ is dedicated to creating and managing a private community where people participate in fun and practical online writing activities about WORLD & LIFE TOPICS™. As a result, they acquire skills that can be used while enjoying the process and journey of lifelong learning.
More Fast Facts
- There are over 800 published pages on WORLITOP™.
- There are over 100,000 comments and replies that have been successfully written and posted here on WORLITOP™.
Let’s all be a part of something that has meaning and purpose, starts small, and then slowly grows and Grows and GROWS into something BIG!!