CEP 800~801~822
Summer, 2003
Stuff by Day

Week 1 (Jun 19-Jun20)

Week 2 (Jun 23-Jun27)

Week 3 (Jun 30-Jul 4)

Week 4 (Jul 7-Jul 11)

Week 5 (Jul 14-Jul 18)

Course Documents

Welcome to the 2002 summer session of the Masters Program in Educational Technology. This summer we will cover three courses (CEP 800, 801, & 822) as an integrated seminar beginning Thurs, June 19 and continuing through Friday, July 18. We will meet in Room 133, Erickson Hall (Technology Exploration Center, a.k.a. TEC) in the College of Education from 8:30 - 3:30.


Matthew J. Koehler
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Sharman Siebenthal
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Aman Yadav
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Course Goals:
This course has two goals: an easy goal and a difficult one. The easy one is to learn about technology. Some of you may already know a lot about it and some may know less. But learning that stuff is easy and we will do some of that this summer. The difficult goal is figuring out what we are going to do with that knowledge to help students learn and to develop professionally. Here things get messy and confusing. Clear answers are hard to come by, in fact sometimes it may not even be clear what the problems are. We will try make some headway into these issues.

This integrated seminar includes three courses: CEP800, CEP801 & CEP822. The titles and catalog descriptions of these three courses are as follows:

CEP 800: Learning in school and other settings Learning as active, socially-mediated construction of knowledge in school, home, community, and work settings. What is learned, how it is taught and learned, and what learners bring to the setting.

CEP 801: Psychological development, learner differences and commonalties Development of differences and commonalties in learners across the lifespan. Contextual influences on development. Implications for learning in schools and other settings.

CEP 822:
Approaches to Ed Research Alternative methods of educational research. Identifying researchable problems in education and developing a research proposal. Applications of descriptive and inferential statistics for analyzing and critiquing published studies.

Two of these courses focus on understanding students from Pre-kindergarten through high school and beyond. The courses, though, are offered in an Educational Technology program. Consequently, the courses will be slightly different from those offered in a more traditional Educational Psychology Masters program. This three-course, integrated seminar brings together a study of technology, teaching and learners. Throughout our time together we will explore various uses of technology and what is currently known--or believed--about human learning and development. After all, in order to use technology in meaningful ways, we must understand who it is that will use the technology and their abilities at a specific age and/or grade.

A study of learning, however, cannot be conducted without including subject matter. It is impossible to determine if learning has occurred if we do not understand what is to be learned. Consequently, our seminar adds content to our study. The relationship between these three areas is represented in the following diagram.

Research in each of these areas has produced significant findings that have allowed us to improve teaching, construct new understanding in various academic disciplines, and develop new technologies that have dramatically changed the way we live, work, and play. When we begin to think about technology as an instructional tool we must bring these three areas together creating new agendas for study that mix what is known and what we want to find out.

In between the labeled sections of the hexagon, however, are areas of study that are relatively new and that represent important areas of study for this seminar and the masters in technology program. These three areas are shown in the following diagram:

The third course focuses on educational research. Research is important if we are to understand what is being learned and whether our attempts to teach (with or without technology) are successful. The focus of this course is not as much on conducting educational research but rather developing the skills to interpret research and to critically examine it. We would also like to explore the issue of how each of us, as practitioners, can be researchers as well. Practitioners who reflect on their own practice to continually improve it.


We have compiled a reading packet for this summer. A list of the readings for this course is available by clicking on the "Readings" link on the left frame. We may add some additional readings (or delete some) as the course progresses. Some readings are available online. You will need Adobe Acrobat reader (a free download from www.adobe.com) for some of the readings. Apart from the assigned readings we expect each of you to conduct research and collect readings for your own learning. We would like you to share any interesting links, documents you find with the rest of us. You can do that by clicking on the "Resources" link on the left, which will allow you to post URL's etc. for everyone to see.

Learning Technology
Just as utilizing a language creatively requires learning the alphabet and the basic rules of grammar, learning to use technology for the purposes of learning requires learning the basics of technology. We hope that that by the end of this month each of you will have made significant progress in learning technology. In brief we expect each of you:

to be able to access your pilot e-mail account and utilize the storage space available to you there.

should have a working understanding of key concepts such as file transfer, file formats, client server relationships, protocols, hierarchical file structures (such as nesting of folders and files) and how to access these when designing web page

be able to construct a basic web page with links, images etc. We see this web site as being the beginning of your professional portfolio that will grow as you progress through the Master's program (and beyond).

be able to construct powerpoint presentations (and upload it to your web or storage space

should be able to scan or digitize images and video. Be able to do some simple image manipulation and video editing. This will require having a working understanding of file formats and file compression strategies

should be able to burn CDs, upload and download files (FTP)

should have an understanding of issues of design and layout as applies to web pages and powerpoint presentations

should have a working understanding of file compression (particularly images and video)

should have a working understanding of issues around copyright and fair use, security, ethics etc.

This is a lot to learn in one month and clearly not all of it can be covered by us. So we expect each of you to be in charge of your own learning. That said, we will have workshops on many of these topics but more importantly we will design activities that will expect you to develop and practice these skills.

Tentative daily schedule




8:30 - 9:00 Welcome, introduction to today, today in technology and education, housekeeping
9:00 - 11:00 Morning activity (Usually involving readings)
11:15 - 11:30 Search activity (continues over lunch)
11:30 - 12:30 Working lunch (searching, group time, etc.)
12:30 - 1:00 Technology workshops
1:00 - 3:15 Lab time / Work time / Group time
3:15 - 3:30 Whole class (Summing up)
3:30 - ?:?? Lab time / Work time / Group time


Course Expectations

Expect to Attend. You are expected to attend each class session. This is critical as one cannot simply "get the notes" in a class where the interaction among peers and material is key.

Expect to come to class prepared. Being prepared means having read and thought about assigned readings, conducted outside research, or having worked on a computer project. We expect you to read the the required readings and your out-of-class research "hard;" that is, read them with questions, ideas, and conjectures in mind. Four good general questions are:

  • What is the author saying?
  • Where does what the author is saying fit into his or her argument?
  • What would it be like to believe what the author is saying?
  • What parts of the paper or chapter were puzzling, confusing, surprising?

Expect to participate. Although classroom activities will vary, at times we will have small group and whole-class discussions of class activities, reading assignments, and other topics that may arise. The success or failure of each discussions depends in large part on your participation. I expect each of you will be able to contribute something to our discussions and will do so regularly. You are smart, capable people and the topics, readings, and assignments are designed to engage your interest and experiences.

Our discussions will normally follow the same sequence. The sequence includes:

  • Gathering our thoughts. Before we begin our conversations, we will spend a few minutes alone thinking about and writing down the ideas presented in the text or activity that we believe deserve further discussion. Topics that deserve further discussion might be ideas that you agree with and want the class to explore in greater detail, ideas you disagree with and you would like to argue against, ideas you do not completely understand and would like more time to think about, or anything else that caught your attention.

  • Small group discussions. In small groups you can share ideas you believe are important to discuss. In your groups, you should exchange lists of important ideas and make sure each idea is thoroughly discussed. At the end of your discussion, your questions should be answered and each group member's perspective on the topics known.

  • Large group discussions. At the end of the small group discussions, each group will be asked to present their ideas to the whole class. These presentations should include ideas your group discussed, a characterization of the perspectives presented in your group, any consensus reached in your group, and should elicit ideas from the other class members. The success of your presentation will rest, in part, on how successful you are in engaging the class in the conversation.

Note: Your attendance record, preparation, and participation in class will contribute to your grade for the course. The three grades are related: Although you can attend class, be prepared, and not participate, you cannot participate if you are not there and you can not participate if you are not prepared. Do not expect a high participation grade if you have missed any class sessions or regularly come to class unprepared.

Participation in class discussions will be evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. Different class members participate in different ways. Whereas some students may speak often, others may speak sporadically. It is possible, however, to speak often and say little or to speak seldom but say much. It is important that we recognize how often we participate AND our contributions to the class' thinking about important topics--one without the other is an incomplete assessment of participation.

Expect to learn from your peers. Classes work best when students view one another as knowledgeable and expect to learn as much from classmates as from the teacher. Also expect to challenge our ideas and those of your classmates (gently) and have yours challenged by us. We make no headway if we nod our heads politely but push neither ourselves, the readings, or others to deeper understandings.

Expect to be confused, irritated, and misunderstood, as well as appreciated, applauded, and surprised. The readings, discussions, and assignments should provoke a range of feelings and responses. Try to understand what makes you feel comfortable or uncomfortable, what you take for granted and what surprises you, what others understand or misunderstand about your ideas.

And finally, most importantly ...EXPECT TO PLAY! We firmly believe that learning happens best when it is fun. A lot of the fun will happen in our everyday interactions. We have also tried to institutionalize the fun that we can have. As we all know, researchers and academics often love to construct jargon (or use everyday terms in unconventional ways). Clearly, there are no hard and fast rules but we see this as an opportunity for us to play with ideas (which often requires a deep understanding of the ideas in the first place).


This summer's integrated seminar includes a four major assignments. Two of them are group projects while two are individual projects. The assignments are:

  • A Matrix of theories and technologies (Group Project)
  • An expanded lesson plan/action research plan for each entry in the matrix (Group / Individual Project)
  • A research article review (Individual project)
  • What do they know? Video documentation of student understanding (Group Project)
  • Group web page (Group Project)
  • Personal web page/site (Individual Project)

The assignments build upon each other and culminate in the personal web site that will document your study and design in this summer's integrated seminar. In addition, you will be asked to complete short assignments that will contribute to your participation in class, but will not be graded. Each of the graded assignments is described below.

Theory x Technology Matrix
The technology matrix is designed to expose the connections between theories of learning and development and the role of technology in instruction. Your working groups are organized by subject-matter, so the subject of this matrix will differ from group to group.


Your Subject Matter



Cognitive Science


Situative Perspective


We expect you to connect this matrix to the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project (developed by the International Society for Technology in Education, ISTE) as well as current knowledge on theories of learning and development.

This matrix will be at the heart of a comprehensive website each group will create over the summer session. It will contain several components:

Subject matter summary. Develop a description that includes a description of what you know about developmental stage of students in your group's age-level, and what students are expected to know in your assigned subject-matter as detailed in the NETS standards.

For each learning theory. For each row (each of the learning theories), you should include a description of the theory of the learning, including answering the following questions: (a) what is means to know something according to this theory, (b) what it means to learn something, and; (c) what is the kind of classroom instruction that is consistent with the theoretical perspective.

For each table entry (labeled with '?'). In each of the remaining cells you should develop an extended lesson / action research plan (see below). The goal would be to translate the theory of what you have been learning into to some actual classroom practice.

You will work in groups of five to complete the matrix and you can divide the work in any way that fits your group. We expect each and every of these cells to be filled.

Expanded lesson plan/action research plan
For each entry in the Theory x Technology matrix, groups will develop a plan to use technology to teach something in your assigned subject-matter.

Although this plan will be about specific technologies and classroom settings, the approach can be generalized to any technology you want to use. The scenario consists of three parts: (a) a unit and lesson plan, (b) a narrative, and; (c) a reflection on the lesson.

As practicing teachers, lesson planning is something you are probably used to. But, we will review in class the form and format for constructing a lesson plan.

Constructing a narrative, however, is probably a more novel activity. The goal here is to write an imagined summary about how the class might have gone (since we can't actually use it in real classrooms during the summer session). This is not intended to be a finished writing product, the narrative should be close to real time writing, just as you don't get to go back and REDO your teaching once it is done. Let your imagination flow, write what you imagine, then go back and add reflections or edit to say what you meant to say in the first place. But don't spend hours creating a polished written document. Please address the following questions in your narrative:

  1. What is the subject matter goal for your lesson and how does the proposed technology help you meet that goal?
  2. What do you expect to see on the computer screens while students are using the technology and how can you interpret what you see?
  3. What do you expect students to make of what they see on the computer? What questions can you anticipate, and how can you respond to them?
  4. How can you assess what students are doing and what they are learning from this activity? How will you hold them accountable for the work they do on the computer?

The reflection component of this assignment should be just that – a reflection on the process of aligning technology use to a teaching theory for your subject matter. How well do the pieces fit? How did the (imagined) instruction go? What changes might be needed? What have you learned from this activity?

Research article review
Research in educational technology takes many forms. Researchers look at how technology can be used to represent important disciplinary ideas in new ways, they explore instructional uses of various hardware and software packages, they explore ways of offering courses to isolated populations, among other things. For this assignment, each person will review one educational technology research article for a critique in the form of a short paper to be made available on yoru website. Below are the guiding questions that should be the basis for the critique. [The research papers will be chosen by you, via a web or library search].

Research article review guiding questions:


Author’s Theoretical Perspective


From what theoretical perspective is the author writing?


How effectively does the author provide context for the research?


Nature and Importance of Research Questions


Are the research questions and hypothesis appropriate and clearly stated?


Comment on the need for this study and its importance.


Design of research


How was this research conducted?


Does the design of the research fit the questions being asked?For instance, are the variables measured by the researcher appropriate for the questions he or she is asking?


Writing style


Is the writing clear and understandable?


Is the author visible? Is the article written in first or third person? Does the writer convey any of the passion / motivation for conducting this research?


Interpretation of Results


How consistent and comprehensive are the author’s conclusions with the reported results? Do the data fit what the author claims to have found? Are the results credible?


In your view, what is the significance of the study? What further research would you like to see in this area? How do you see this study as effecting your role as a teacher and educator?


What do they know? Video documentation of student understanding

Students come to class with a large number of entrenched, well developed naive conceptions and knowledge structures. These structures often interfere with what they are taught in school. In this project we would like each group to select a sub-topic from their assigned group subject-matter, and document student understandings of this topics. We will provide a short list of possible topics but this list should not limit your selection of topic. If you have any other ideas that seem worthy of investigation, please discuss them with us.

We see this project as having 5 parts.


Is there any prior research in this area that has looked into common conceptions or alternate conceptions of your topic? Use the Internet, including what is available to you online through the MSU library, to find out more.


Develop your research questions and an interview protocol. Decide what it is about your topic that you want to learn and turn this into your research questions. Do you need props such as written questions, artifacts to elicit answers from your students. Your search for existing research will be a great help in this regard. Since you may be able to find existing research protocols that you may be able to use. You may also need to develop a set of interview questions that will hopefully tap into people’s true understandings of your topic. This is not as easy as it looks as we will spend a large part of a day brainstorming ideas for how to truly tap into people's understandings.


You will need to select a group of individuals that you will interview and record using the digital camera we will provide. We expect each group member to interview at least one individual. Keep these interviews precise and focused. This of course means a careful selection of questions and other probes. NOTE: The interviewees must span a range of ages and development.


Edit the videos and creatively incorporate them into one group video that will show a variety of people’s understanding of your topic, and a developmental sequence. 


Finally, create a web page for this research project. It should include the relevant research your group found, a statement of the group’s research questions, the video, and a summary of what the group found.  

Finally here are a list of just some of the possible topics. Once again, please discuss with us if there are any other ideas that you would like to investigate.

1. Math: What is a negative number? Can you add a negative?

2. Science: What causes shadows? How can you distinguish between living and non-living things? What causes sunrise and sunset?

3. Language:

4. Social Studies: What is democracy? What is justice?

5. Technology: How does the Internet work?

Personal Web page/site
This assignment will accomplish three things. First, it provides an opportunity to introduce design issues. We will look at the aesthetics, functionality, and accessibility of web pages/sites. Second, it provides an opportunity to compile your work into a portfolio. Third, your web page/site will serve as a starting point for the portfolio you must complete in the final year of the masters in educational technology program. At the end of the class your portfolio must contain:

  • A professional-looking site.

  • A site that has been updated or changed since the start of this course

  • Contact information for you

  • A link to some courses you have taken at MSU (this course for example)

  • A link to your group site

  • A link to any individual work you are turning in.

  • A link to CV or resume.

  • A short bio or description of you. Who are you anyhow?


A note about written/web assignments. The written assignments are opportunities for you to thoughtfully engage the ideas explored in this course. Although the focus of these projects should be on your thoughts and not merely repeating what the authors have said, your papers must also demonstrate that you have read the course readings, participated in class activities and discussions, and conducted out-of-class research. Your papers should be coherent and well-argued. It is never enough to say that you think something is right or wrong; you must develop an argument in support of your position. You should support your position by referring to key positions or arguments expressed in your reading and research. References to the readings may support or refute the authors' positions, but must be included in the papers.

Ungraded projects
Periodically, we will ask you to complete small assignments to help prepare you for class discussions or activities. The activities might include finding and bringing in artifacts from your classroom instruction, writing short journal entries, conducting informal inquiry, among others. Although these projects will not be graded, they are required and your completion of them will contribute to your course grades.


The grading scale is summarized in the table below:


% of grade
Theory x Technology matrix
Expanded lesson/action research plan (10% for each of 3)
Research article review
What do they know? Video documentation of student understanding
Group Website
Personal web site
Class participation (including ungraded assignments)


Final note
We want these next few days to be exciting, challenging and fun. We are very open to ideas and modifications of our strategies. So though over the next month we will follow the framework given above we will also diverge from it. This will be based primarily on what you desire from this course and our situation sensitive reading of what seems appropriate. For this reason your questions or comments are very useful to us. Please feel free to talk with us during the breaks, after class (if time permits) and most importantly through email.

© 2003, Matthew J. Koehler (thanks to Punya for his work in designing this course)