Educational TECHNOLOGY, CS 4660/6460

Location: Georgia Institute of Technology, Instructional Center Room 205
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 3-4:15 pm
Instructor: Dr. Ben Rydal Shapiro
Office Hours: Wednesday 2-3 pm and by appointment, TSRB 220
Teaching Assistant(s): Karthik Bhat ( and Cody O’Donnell (

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. 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 and the availability of an authentic design context. 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 and/or leverage digital mapping technologies.

Assignments & grading

* All assignments are described and will be submitted on Canvas

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

Individual Assignments - 30%

  • Assignment 1: Personal Learning Interview/Reflection (10%)

  • Assignment 2: Concept analysis (10%)

  • Assignment 3: Educational Technology 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. Unless an exception for unusual circumstances has been agreed upon with your instructor, 24 hours delay will result in a 25% penalty; 48 hours late submissions will incur a 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.

Support Services. In your time at Georgia Tech, you may find yourself in need of support. Please see this LINK for information about some resources to support you both as a student and as a person.





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

  • Post to Canvas discussion forum


Framing learning


Learner Centered Design

  • Learner centered design for computing education, chapters 1 + 2 (Guzdial) * This reading is available in the "files" tab on Canvas

  • I won't learn from you (H. Kohl)


Educational design approaches


Team assignments

  • Complete Assignment 1

  • Post to Canvas discussion forum (project ideas)

Assignment 1


Making/the Maker Movement


Constructionism & music

  • Post to Canvas discussion forum


Digital mapping I 


Digital Mapping II (Re-Shape)


Project Discussion

Assignment 2


Sit visit to design context

  • Canvas Discussion Post Following Site Visit

  • Complete Assignment 2



  • Prepare for design review 1


Design Review 1

  • Prepare for design review 1

Design Review 1

10/15, Fall Break


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


Project Prototyping

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


Design Review II

  • Prepare for design review ii

Design Review II


Education data science


TBD/Guest Speaker

  • TBD


Games & Education


Learning & design in museums


Learning Analytics/Multi-modal learning analytics


11/26, 11/28, 12/3

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 Hall, David Owens, Andy Hostetler, Ilana Horn and Marcy Singer-Gabella.