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course overview

To be effective, educational technologies must be designed based on what we know about how people learn. This course explores educational technologies, outlines the theories that influenced their development, and examines their use. We walk you through this exploration through video interviews with experts in the field, readings on educational theories and approaches, activity breaks where you try out ideas yourself, assignments where you put those ideas into practice, and the course-long project which you will develop into a product pitch. This course does not emphasize grades, but instead leverages the rich community we will create in the forums to provide peer feedback. At the end of the course, if you put real effort into the materials and activities, you will have a final project that can be part of an ed tech portfolio. This will demonstrate your level of understanding of the affordances and challenges of educational technology.

Course Guidelines

Course calendar

View a Google calendar for 11.132x including the launch dates for each week and the live events. Add the calendar to your own google account to see it in your own time zone.

live events schedule

Ask Me Anything with Professor Klopfer - Oct. 21 at 5pm UTC
Your chance to ask Professor Klopfer your questions about the state of ed tech, what it's like to be an MIT professor, or whatever you want to know! Hosted on Reddit's AMA forum. Edit: This event is over but the AMA will remain archived for anyone who missed it.

Talkabout discussion sessions - Nov. 2 & Nov. 3 at various times
Discuss educational theories, technology, learning across cultures, and whatever else interests you, in small groups with your peers. Sign up for a timeslot now, or just show up!

Unhangout breakout groups - Nov. 10 at 4pm UTC
We will lay out some discussion questions related to the topics of the course then split off into breakout groups for smaller, more personal video chat discussions.
View Professor Klopfer's introductory remarks.
View Professor Klopfer's debrief.

Hangout on Air with select pitch critiques - Nov. 20 at 5pm UTC
Volunteer your project to be critiqued by Eric Klopfer and Scot Osterweil and get suggestions from the experts.

More info will be provided during the week of each event.

Course Content

Week 0: Getting to Know You - Launches Oct. 8 at 00:00 UTC

        • Course Overview Video - what we will cover in the course
        • Guidelines & Basic Info - how participants will interact with the course to get the most out of it
        • Meet Your Cohort - find out who else is taking the course and start making connections

Week 1: History of Ed Tech, Constructivism, Constructionism - Launches Oct. 15 at 00:00 UTC

        • History of Educational Technology - how technologies used in education have (or have not) changed the content and procedure of learning and teaching
        • Constructionism & Related Educational Theories - where the theory of constructionism came from and how it relates to the design of current ed tech
        • History & Development of Logo - a case study of an early programming language that enabled students to work with computers in a different way
        • Scratch Programming - a case study of a modern-day descendant of Logo and how it's being used
        • Assignment 1 - Ed Tech Then & Now
        • Live Event! - Ask Me Anything with Professor Klopfer - Oct. 21 at 5pm UTC

Week 2: Teaching for Understanding - Launches Oct. 22 at 00:00 UTC

        • What is Learning? - what learning looks like and what it means to become an expert
        • Teaching for Understanding - a framework for planning activities that will encourage deep learning
        • SimCalc - a case study of a software tool for math learning and how it was scaled up
        • Cognitive Tutors - a case study of one type of educational technology and how it can help guide students
        • Assignment 1 - Ed Tech Master List
        • Assignment 2 - The Problem Pitch

Week 3: Active Learning, Non-cognitive Skills - Launches Oct. 29 at 00:00 UTC

        • Active Learning - how keeping students active and giving them control of their learning can lead to deeper understanding
        • Geniverse & StarLogo - case studies that show how simulation tools can get students more involved in the learning process
        • Constructionism & Active Learning - how constructionist theory can support active learning, and some examples from the Lifelong Kindergarten and Matthew Berland
        • Non-cognitive Skills - why qualities like grit and persistence are as important as content knowledge and skill building
        • Assignment 1 - Make a Mod
        • Assignment 2 - The Elevator Pitch
        • Live Event! - Talkabout discussion sessions - Nov. 2 & Nov. 3 at various times

Week 4: Collaborative Learning, Social Learning - Launches Nov. 5 at 00:00 UTC

        • Collaborative Learning - how working together in various ways can provide opportunities for deep learning
        • Examples of Collaborative Learning - a look at samba schools as a great example of a community of practice, along with experts talking about their experiences with social learning
        • Vanished - a case study of an alternate reality game for education that got players to problem-solve together online
        • Online Learning - illustrative examples of how people are taking advantage of the internet to learn together such as in MOOCs and at P2PU
        • Assignment 1 - Amateur Ethnography
        • Assignment 2 - The Use Case Scenario
        • Live Event! - Unhangout breakout groups - Nov. 10 at 4pm UTC

Week 5: Assessment - Launches Nov. 12 at 00:00 UTC

        • Assessment - what it means, and a discussion of the differences between formative, summative, and performance assessments
        • Technology & Assessment - how technology is changing the field of educational assessment and how it may lead to improvements
        • Science Learning by Inquiry - a case study on assessing student progress though inquiry-based science activities
        • Choice-based Assessments - a case study on assessing students' ability to make good choices
        • Future of Assessment - how experts are thinking about assessing content and skills to be measured in accordance with the new standards and frameworks
        • Assignment - The Assessment Plan

Week 6: Design Based Research - Launches Nov. 19 at 00:00 UTC

        • Design Based Research - an overview of this research method and a summary of its unique characteristics
        • Design Based Implementation Research - a discussion of the merits of this offshoot of DBR
        • Biograph - a case study of a project that designed some simulation-based classroom activities and researched the intervention using DBR methods
        • Assignment 1 - The Research Plan
        • Assignment 2 - The Final Product Pitch
        • Live Event! - Hangout on Air with Project Critiques - Nov. 20 at 5pm UTC

Course officially ends Nov. 26 but will stay open after that.