This project-based course explores educational technologies and the theories underlying their development through interviews with experts in the field.
To be effective, educational technologies must be designed based on what we know about how people learn. Through interviews with multiple experts in the field, this course examines educational technologies, outlines the theories that influenced their development, and examines their use. The course leads up to a final project – a kickstarter style pitch for a new educational technology - which is worked on iteratively across the weeks. It involves active weekly participation.
In week 1, we’ll talk about the history of educational technologies and how they change the way we learn. We’ll also discuss two important educational theories that focus on student-centered learning.
In week 2, we’ll explore what it means to learn something and examine several different approaches to deepen learning. We’ll begin by introducing a specific framework for thinking about learning. We’ll then take a close look at how educational software developers are more deeply engaging learners and even providing feedback to students as they learn.
Week 3 will focus on forms of Active Learning, where students choose and pursue activities based on their own interests. We’ll also talk with experts about designing to help build important non-cognitive skills, like persistence and developing mastery.
Week 4 will move from individual learning to collaborative learning in a range of forms, from apprenticeships to communities of practice. We’ll speak with experts about the many ways learning in groups can manifest itself. No matter what the medium, collaborative learning has a lot to teach us.
Week 5 focuses on assessment. All the clever educational technology design in the world isn’t very useful if we don’t know whether students’ learning is being enhanced by it or what changes need to be made to increase its effectiveness. We’ll talk with teachers, students, and assessment experts who will provide an overview of the different types of assessment and how technology is changing the field of assessment.
Finally, in week 6, we’ll talk about design-based research, a methodology for research and design of educational innovations in which you create projects that embody the educational change you wish to study.
Week 0 of this course is a 'ramp-up' week for participants to introduce themselves to one another and become familiar with the forums and other course platform features.
This course is part of the EdTechX series from the MIT Education Arcade. Build your understanding of the use and design of technologies for learning. Check out the other course modules.
Professor Klopfer’s research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. He works on mobile and online games designed to build understanding of scientific practices and concepts as well as critical knowledge. In the realm of simulations, Klopfer’s work focuses on students’ understanding of complex systems, and connecting computer programming with scientific practice, critical thinking, and real-world issues. He is the co-author of the books Adventures in Modeling, The More we Know, and author of Augmented Learning. Klopfer is also the co-founder, past President, and Board Member of the non-profit Learning Games Network.
Scot is a designer of award-winning educational games, working in both academic and commercial environments, and his work has focused on what is authentically playful in challenging academic subjects. He has designed games for computers, handheld devices, and multi-player on-line environments. He is the creator of the acclaimed Zoombinis series of math and logic games, and leads a number of projects in the Education Arcade. He is also a founding member of the Learning Games Network.
Judy oversees the design, development and research for projects involving games and simulations for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Her research interests include location-based games and ubiquitous ‘casual’ games. Judy also leads professional development workshops for educators who want to implement location-based and other games in both formal and informal educational settings. Judy also enjoys collaborating with other institutions (including zoos, nature centers, science museums and living history museums) to develop experimental mobile learning offerings.
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