The project directors of all seven of the educational technology programs that were designated as exemplary or promising by the U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Technology Expert Panel have written articles for this special issue of ERIC/IT Update. Here they share lessons learned, challenges and pitfalls overcome, surprises encountered and questions that remain, while developing and implementing some of the most innovative, successful, and widespread educational technology programs in the country.
Education reform, technology as a tool, strong learning gains and new motivation, project-based learning, vision, and constructivism are a few of the words repeated throughout these articles. Policy makers, instructional designers, professors, researchers, school administrators, teachers, librarians, and parents—everyone interested in or involved with the education of our nation’s children—will be interested in what they have to say. These exciting articles include links to project Web sites and the full text of dozens of research papers and reports that resulted from these programs.
The Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project:
Fostering Project-Based Learning with Multimedia
By Michael Simkins
“For most of these teachers, multimedia was a new technology, and many had only passing experience with project-based learning. What they shared at the outset was an interest in learning more about technology and a desire to provide the best education possible for their students…Through trial and error, exasperation, elation, and reflection, they shaped our concept of exemplary PBL+MM [project-based learning supported by multimedia] and what it takes to make it happen in the classroom.”
The WEB Project: Technology Innovation in Rural Vermont
By Fern Tavalin
“Very few participants in WEB Project initiatives have been blind supporters of technology. Being on the cutting edge meant that the industry itself was asking some of the very same questions that we were.”
Generation www.Y: Students as Change Agents
By Dennis Harper
“Rather than teaching technology skills to teachers and hoping they will use these skills to improve their students’ learning, Generation www.Y trains students to form working partnerships with teachers in order to improve teaching and learning in their schools.”
Smiling While Guiding Thirty Sixth Graders through Internet-Based Curricula when the Internet Is Down (and Other Lessons Learned with One Sky, Many Voices Projects)
By Nancy Butler Songer and Scott McDonald
“One of the clear lessons from our work is that curricular programs can not be ‘scaled’ in the sense of providing cookie-cutter curriculum that researchers feel must be implemented in a particular way in a wide variety of school settings.”
Technology in the Mathematics Classroom: Guidelines from the Field
By Shelley Goldman
“MMAP [Middle-school Mathematics through Applications Project] was one of the first projects in math education to simultaneously unite reforms in comprehensive curriculum and technology development…We wanted to learn if it was feasible for technology to become a long-term partner in making the core math curriculum concepts and skills accessible to students. If it was feasible, we wanted to identify what issues stood in the way of universal adoption.”
Modeling Instruction in High School Physics
By James Hathaway and Shayna Nardi, with David Hestenes and Jane Jackson
“Although infusion of technology into the classroom is a key component of this program, it is secondary to pedagogical reform. The project goals are fully aligned with the National Science Education Standards. The Modeling method corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naïve beliefs by students about the physical world.”
The Maryland Virtual High School CoreModels Project:
Harnessing Computer Modeling for Scientific Inquiry
By Mary Ellen Verona and Susan Ragan
“As a result of working with computer models, teachers are asking students different questions that require the analysis of more complex situations.”
ERIC/IT UPDATE, covering the fields of library and information science and educational technology, is published exclusively online at ericit.org two to three times a year by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.
This publication is funded by the National Library of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, under contract no. ED-99-CO-0005. The content of this newsletter does necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The Department of Education's web address is: http://www.ed.gov
Articles from the ERIC/IT UPDATE may be reprinted without prior written permission. Please credit the
author(s) and ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology at Syracuse University.
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