Educational TECHNOLOGY, CS 4660/6460

Location: Georgia Institute of Technology, Instructional Center Room 111
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 12-1:15 pm
Instructor: Dr. Ben Rydal Shapiro
Office Hours: Wednesday 2-3 pm and by appointment, TSRB 220
Teaching Assistant(s): Karthik Bhat (, Karthik Srinivasan (, Edwin Zhao (

Overview & Learning goals

In this course you will be introduced to contemporary educational theories and their implications for the design of educational technology across a variety of scales and settings (e.g., schools, universities, museums, massive open online courses, online communities). You will also explore equitable and expansive learning design practices through a team design project that leverages digital mapping technologies. In class discussion, design challenges, assignments, and interactive lectures form the basis of this course.

Primary learning goals focus on developing your ability to:

1. Understand the basic assumptions, concepts, and principles of different educational theories 

2. Determine the implications of each theory for the design of educational technology

3. Critically assess and design education technology in order to compare and contrast theories and their usefulness across different settings


All texts and readings will be made available online or on Canvas


The course project will run the duration of the semester with three primary design reviews that require deliverables.  You will work in teams of 4-6 members (assigned in class) and will choose a project based on interest, the availability of an authentic design context, and the potential to incorporate digital mapping technologies into your project. A list of relevant project areas will be discussed in class, but you are encouraged to propose projects of your own as well as projects that focus on the Georgia Tech campus/community.

Assignments & grading

* All assignments are described and will be submitted on Canvas

Class Attendance & Participation - 25% (includes team project peer assessment and Canvas discussion posts)

Individual Assignments - 30%

  • Assignment 1: Educational technology analysis (10%)

  • Assignment 2: Concept analysis (10%)

  • Assignment 3: Personal learning geography analysis (10%)

Team Project - 45%

  • Design review I: Project proposal & literature review (10%)

  • Design review II: Team concept analysis & prototypes (10%)

  • Design review III: Final Presentation/submission of your design & implementation (25%)

Class Attendance. Class attendance is required. If you need to miss class for a legitimate reason, please speak/email with the instructor and TA, preferably before class.

Class Participation. This is about more than attendance but about contributing to learning in class through asking questions, giving suggestions to your classmates and generally being part of the discussion. In class participation also involves both your careful preparation for class of readings and tasks, and your genuine support of peers in the learning process. You should come to class prepared to discuss and raise questions about the readings on the day they are listed in the weekly schedule (below). Participation also entails your weekly contributions to the online discussion forum on Canvas as well as your contributions to your team throughout your design project (we will discuss this in class). 

Reference Format. Unless otherwise specified in the assignment, written work must follow APA format described here.  Basic guidelines include that all written work should be double-spaced in Times New Roman, and have 12-point font. Citations should be used for ideas, statements, comments, etc. that are not common knowledge or your own original thought.

Late Policy. Students need to submit all of their materials on or before the deadline to qualify for 100% credit. 24 hours delay will result in 25% penalty; 48 hours late submissions will incur 50% penalty. Materials submitted past 48 hours will not be accepted, and will entered a zero grade.

Honor Code. This class abides by the Georgia Tech Honor Code. All assigned work is expected to be individual, except where explicitly written otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with your classmates; however, what you hand in should be your own work.





Assignments Due


Introductions & course overview


Personal learning design activity

  • Complete background survey available on Canvas home page


Framing teaching

  • Teaching and its predicaments, Chapter 5 up to pg. 119 (D. Cohen) * This reading is available in the "files" tab on Canvas

  • Contribute post to Canvas discussion forum


Framing learning


Educational design approaches I


Educational design approaches II


Team assignments

  • Complete assignment 1

  • Post to Canvas discussion forum (project ideas)

Assignment 1


Constructionism & music


Constructionism in & out of schools


Digital mapping I 


Digital Mapping II (Re-Shape)

  • Complete assignment 2

  • Post to canvas discussion forum

Assignment 2


Developing a proposal/literature review


Project discussion

  • Prepare for design review 1


Design Review I

  • Prepare for design review 1

  • Post 1 paragraph project description to Canvas discussion forum

Design Review I


Fall break/no class


Framing teaching & learning at scale


Online Learning

  • Enroll & analyze 1 video from Modern Poetry

  • Enroll & analyze 1 video (NOT an introduction or conclusion video) from any programming course on Udacity

  • Post to canvas discussion forum


Project ideating/prototyping

  • Complete assignment 3

Assignment 3


Interest driven & connected learning


Making/the Maker Movement


Project Prototyping

  • Post to Canvas discussion forum

  • As a team, email professor with 1 paragraph update on your project prototype


Education data science


Games & Education


Design Review II

  • Prepare for design review

Design Review II


Lab Atlanta Visit

  • Read one “Lab Atlanta Field Note” that interests you

  • Be prepared (and excited) to learn from/mentor Lab Atlanta students * Please bring your prototype to class to share with Lab Atlanta


Learning & design in museums


Project check in/implementation

  • Work on project implementation, in class we will discuss projects and (hopefully) host professionals to provide feedback on select projects


No class Thanksgiving


Guest Visit: Constellations Center at Georgia Tech

  • Finalize implementation and prepare for Design Review III


Design Review III


Design Review III & Summing Up

Topics and readings are subject to change. Please always check the online schedule.

Acknowledgments: Class materials extend and integrate offerings by Betsy DiSalvo, Mark Guzdial, Kayla DesPortes, Miranda Parker, Janet Kolodner, Amy Bruckman, Rogers HallDavid Owens, Andy HostetlerIlana Horn and Marcy Singer-Gabella.