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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
| 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
| 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
introduction to today, today in technology and education, housekeeping
||Morning activity (Usually
| 11:15 - 11:30
activity (continues over lunch)
|11:30 - 12:30
lunch (searching, group time, etc.)
|12:30 - 1:00
|1:00 - 3:15
||Lab time / Work time / Group
|3:15 - 3:30
class (Summing up)
|3:30 - ?:??
||Lab time / Work time
/ Group time
. 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
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
- What parts of the paper or chapter were puzzling,
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
. 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.
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
- A Matrix of theories and technologies
- An expanded lesson plan/action research
plan for each entry in the matrix (Group / Individual Project)
- A research article review (Individual
- 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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:
- What is the subject matter goal for your lesson
and how does the proposed technology help you meet that goal?
- What do you expect to see on the computer
screens while students are using the technology and how can you interpret
what you see?
- 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?
- 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 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:
Authors Theoretical Perspective
From what theoretical perspective is the author
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?
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 authors
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
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 peoples 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
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 peoples
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 groups 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
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?
4. Social Studies: What is democracy? What is justice?
5. Technology: How does the Internet work?
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
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?
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
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:
|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
|Personal web site
|Class participation (including
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.