Still image from video demo of an electronic circuit building tool.

We must be in a Golden Age of Educational Technology. Teachers can use any of a number of platforms to make learning materials available online, posting videos and animations as well as images and text. Rather than sit back and passively absorb (or just as often, not absorb) information, students can use technology to become active participants in their own education. They can learn by doing. They can attempt interactive problems that offer immediate feedback to see if they are on the right track. They can exchange ideas with each other on discussion forums. They can work on projects in teams that they join online.

It’s amazing and wonderful … and overwhelming. What defines good design of educational technology?  What are the ideas, processes and teams that can be harnessed to create powerful new learning technologies? And how do we create an ecosystem of designers, developers, and educators who can create and implement educational technologies effectively?

Those interested in the enterprise of educational technologies can answer these questions by enrolling in 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology, a course taught by Professor Eric Klopfer on the edX platform starting on October 8 and running for six weeks.

This course examines educational technologies, outlines the theories that influenced their development, and examines their use. The course leads up to a final project–a kickstarter style pitch for a new educational technology.  An advocate of active learning, Professor Klopfer likes to practice what he preaches: The course involves active weekly participation by the people taking it.

This course is the first in a series of “EdTechX” courses being developed by the MIT Education Arcade. The series is designed to help you build your understanding of the use and design of technologies for learning.

The second course in the series is 11.126x Introduction to Game Design. It starts on October 22 and runs for six weeks. The course emphasizes the basic tools of game design: paper and digital prototyping, design iteration, and user testing.

The final two courses in the EdTechX series are slated to start in the spring and summer of 2015:

  • 11.127x Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education
  • 11.133x Implementation and Evaluation of Educational Technology

Students that successfully complete all four courses in the series can obtain a verified edX XSeries Certificate to demonstrate their acheivement.

— Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director