My spring seminar on educational technology is now live

This month my educational technology seminar started.  I wanted to share the class design with you all, to be consistent with my open practice.

I’m teaching LDES 702, Studies in Educational Technology, in Georgetown University’s excellent Learning, Design, and Technology program.  This graduate program brings in a great range of students pursuing careers about, or just interested in, instructional design and related academic fields.  My colleagues are amazing and the students terrific. I love teaching in LDT.

My idea behind the class was to immerse students in the ed tech world. We began with discussion and a survey about their ed tech background, so I could adjust the curriculum accordingly, starting where the students are, then taking them further.

Formally, my goals for the class are that, by the end of term, the students should be:

  • conversant with the major issues in educational technology
  • familiar with a range of educational technologies, both conceptually and practically
  • equipped with a strategy for keeping up with, and participating in, the profession
  • able to create an educational technology assignment for a class
  • be able to advise an academic institution in technology strategy

Every week hits a different topic, and we engage it through a combination of scholarly and/or professional reading along with hands-on work.  I try to have each inform the other.  This also helps make the class very meta, as we use technologies we’ve been studying.  For example, we poke around the class LMS instance and explore using various tech for asynchronous communication.  Moreover, I try to structure the class in a sequence of increasing tech complexity, with each week building on the next, generally.

Speaking of which: the default mode for the class is HyFlex. We physically meet in a physical classroom, but some of us will participate remotely for live classes. Students might be ill or located elsewhere.  I have at least one remote session myself due to travel for other work.

This year I’m bringing in more outside experts. Their areas of professional expertise include accessibility, information literacy, AR/VR/XR, and running a campus IT enterprise.  The reason is to bring in more voices, while connecting students with people who work in these domains full time.  Plus I wanted the class to see aspects of their university they might not have engaged with.

I think the seminar has the students doing a lot of work.  They read a good amount, then have to discuss and apply what they’ve read in in-class discussion and asynchronous writing in Canvas, the university’s LMS. They get to teach each other technologies informally throughout the semester, and formally for one exercise. They have three assignments:

  1. Analyzing one educational technology
  2. Creating a scholarly bibliography for their final project, which is
  3. Either an in-depth analysis of one educational technology, or a project using one as a sample learning experience.

About those readings: we have only one book (print or digital), Neil Selwyn’s excellent Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates, now in its 3rd edition.  Otherwise everything is online, either on the open web, in uploaded pdfs, or accessed through the university’s licensing structure. I wanted to keep student costs low, while reflecting the range of discussion on ed tech.

As usual, I make the class as democratic as possible. Students co-design our class rules, both for in-person work and online. They generate some topics and share resources (some of which now appear on the syllabus below). Their backgrounds and interests help drive the seminar.

Also as usual, I make the class discussion-based. I will shift to minilecture mode when certain topics come up and the students don’t know much about them.  So either I’ll present, or point to a presentation, on topics like copyright law or the history of the web.

Now for the syllabus:

ed tech in higher education_Stable Diffusion-2

(image generated by Stable Diffusion)


LOCATION: Carn Barn 315

DATE AND TIME: Thursdays, 4-6:30 pm EST

January 12, 2023 – Introductions

Technology exercises

  • concept mapping ed tech (Miro exercise)
  • install Duolingo; get access to ChatGPT; make sure you have admin rights on a laptop or desktop

January 19, 2023 – The LMS and the Web

Technology exercises

  • explore Canvas
  • edit Wikipedia

January 26, 2023 – Digital and information literacy, plus open, part 1

Special guest: librarian Jess O’Toole

Technology exercises

February 2, 2023 – Learning spaces and open, part 2

Optional readings:

Technology exercises

  • redesign the virtual classroom
  • Design considerations for physical classrooms
  • rogue scholarly solutions: the OA Button
  • Learning Space Rating System v3 – version 3 adds to the prior LSRS v2 inclusive design with three parts: 7.1 Physical Inclusion and Universal Design, 7.2 Cognitive Inclusion, 7.3 Cultural Inclusion

February 9, 2023 – audio

Technology exercises

  • Audacity and beyond
  • create an audio file with at least two tracks.  Upload to Soundcloud.  Share with class digitally and in synchronous session

February 10, 2023 – MIDTERM ANALYSIS DUE

February 16, 2023 – video

Technology exercises

February 23, 2023 – mobile

Guest speaker: Judd Nicholson, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Georgetown University

Technology exercises

  1. Capture media, upload to Canvas
  2. Reflect on Duolingo language learning
  3. Compare responsive design (find examples in class)
  4. Analyze Canvas app

March 2, 2023 – accessibility and design

Guest speaker: Kevin Andrews, Accessibility Coordinator at Georgetown University.

Technology exercises

  • Explore using WAVE
  • TBA

March 9, 2023 – no class; Spring Break

March 16, 2023 – Gaming and education

Technology exercises


March 23, 2023 – VR, AR, XR

Work with the library’s awesome Barrinton Baynes


Technology exercises

March 30, 2023 – AI

Technology exercises

April 6, 2023 – no class; Easter


April 20, 2023 students teach technologies

  • Selwyn, Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates, chapter 8

April 27, 2023 – last day of class

  • Student presentations
  • Class evaluation


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2 Responses to My spring seminar on educational technology is now live

  1. Bryan, an excellent map of current and emerging instructional technology! I left teaching last year to deal with my recurrent prostate cancer (which involved a move back to Boston), but I recognize that the old course I taught was getting long in the tooth compared to this one. What a fun learning experience for your students (and you!)!

  2. Glen McGhee says:

    Great lineup of readings and exercises!
    I would add this interactive graphic to better understand AI automation’s impact on labor market. This is highly interactive, and shows degrees and predicted certainty of automation, and it confirms all of the predictions in Randall Collins’ chapter in “Does Capitalism Have a Future” 2013.
    Notice how only SOME degreed occupations dodge the bullet here.

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