Starting my 2022 Georgetown University ed tech seminar

This week my spring 2022 seminar began. It’s a master’s degree course for Georgetown University’s excellent Learning, Design, and Technology program. The topic is education and technology.

In this post, I’d like to share some course materials and my thinking behind it.

In other LDT classes I’ve included technology within our topics in various forms, examining its implications in many domains.  Here I want to dive into tech for teaching and learning, focusing on pedagogy and support, for the entire semester.

These seminars are mostly discussion based.  I resist lecturing, and prefer instead to prod students with questions to get them talking and thinking out loud.  I will deliver short (<3 minutes) rants minipresentations on topics as we encounter them, and also to introduce some parts of the class.  We also spend time learning how to use some technologies, and that’s a mix of my showing them things, them trying them out, and me helping individuals.

Another way the class works is by combining hands-on learning with academic research.  Most class session involve a focus on one technology or tech-enabled teaching issue, so we read scholarship and other professional writing about it, then actually use the stuff.  For example, during the digital audio week we explore the pedagogical affordances of podcasts and audiobooks, then put together tracks using Audacity, importing clips from Freesound, and uploading sample results to Soundcloud and Canvas.  While learning about the web for learning, they’ll edit a Wikipedia page and use Hypothesis to annotate web pages.

About that reading: I’ve cut it back a bit since the last time I taught this, based on student feedback and pandemic stresses.

Other student work: every week students share their reflections on that week’s topic.  Initially they do this through Canvas, Georgetown’s learning management system. As the seminar progresses, they will use technologies they study to create these reflections. Back to our podcast example: the week after they’ll record their spoken words and upload them to the LMS. After our gaming week, they’ll use Storyboard to make a hypertext game about their reflections.  In addition to that, they have two midterm assignments: a short analysis of one educational technology, then an annotated bibliography for their final project.  That final project is either a detailed analysis of one ed tech or a detailed lesson plan using some ed tech.  Additionally, each student will teach the rest of us one tech.  And finally, they all design one class, including topic, readings, and exercises.  These last parts stem from my classroom democracy belief, as does our opening class assignment of collaboratively determining class norms.

Some of this is liable to change.  Right now the class is online, due to COVID-19.  Georgetown has classes in remote mode through January.  Perhaps we’ll meet in person after that.  This will matter for the week on AR/VR/XR, since Georgetown has good amounts of gear we can use in person, but I can’t assume all students will have access to same from their individual bases. I’m not sure about some of the tech overall, for which I might find substitutes.  For example, I’m looking into alternatives to Audacity. And I may tweak readings and exercises based on how the students are doing: their progress, how their interests intersect the syllabus.

There’s a great deal of continuity with the last time I taught the class, back in 2021.  That’s because most of it worked well, based on my judgement of individual sessions, informal feedback from students, and from class evaluations.   Repeating materials and assignments always gnaws at me, as I want to make things new!  But I remind myself that a) they’re new to these students, b) they seem to work, and c) I can modify on the fly.  I’ve also expanded some points, like concept maps and the campus enterprise environment.

Here’s the schedule:

January 13, 2022 – Introductions

Technology exercises

  • develop a strategy for tracking ed tech digitally
  • concept mapping in Miro


January 20, 2022- The LMS and the Web

Technology exercises

  • explore Canvas
  • edit Wikipedia
  • explore Hypothesis


January 27, 2022 – Digital and information literacy, plus open, part 1

Special guest: librarian Jess O’Toole

Technology exercises


February 3, 2022 – Learning spaces and open, part 2

Technology exercises

  • redesign the virtual classroom
  • redesign the physical classroom
  • rogue scholarly solutions


February 10, 2022 – 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 17, 2022 – video

Technology exercises


February 18, 2022 – midterm analysis due


February 24, 2022 – mobile

Technology exercises

  1. Capture media, upload to Canvas
  2. Reflect on Duolingo language learning
  3. Compare responsive design:  vs 
  4. Analyze Canvas app


March 3, 2022 – accessibility and design

Technology exercises



(March 10, 2022 – off for spring break)


March 17, 2022 – Gaming and education

Technology exercises


March 24, 2022 – VR, AR, XR

Technology exercises


March 25, 2022 – midterm bibliography due

March 31, 2022 – AI

Technology exercises


April 7, 2022 – students teach technologies

  • Technology, presentation, and preparatory materials TBD by students


(April 14, 2022 – off for Easter)



  • Materials, technology exercises TBD by students


April 28, 2022 – concluding work

  • Student presentations
  • Class evaluation


May 13, 2022 – final project due

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2 Responses to Starting my 2022 Georgetown University ed tech seminar

  1. Robert Ubell says:

    Brilliant syllabus. Wish I were a student again.

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