The Best Edtech of 2007: Promising Features and Design Models

The Best Edtech of 2007: Promising Features and Design Models

Bruce C. Howard (Center for Educational Technologies®, Wheeling Jesuit University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-936-6.ch026


As part of a larger project for the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future to benchmark the effectiveness of educational technologies, researchers used multiple data sources to develop a list of exemplars and delineate common design features. The exemplars included promising educational technologies, tools, websites, resources, software, and hardware. Each exemplar was placed into one of six categories: knowledge and comprehension tools, interactive technologies and problem-solving tools, product-creation tools, efficiency and productivity tools, communication and collaboration tools, and technology tutors. The features of each exemplar were described, and a set of common design principles for that category was developed.
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Data Sources

We derived the items on the list of exemplars from three sources: comments from interviews of educational technology leaders, articles from trade journals, and expertise derived in house. The interview process with the educational technology leaders is described elsewhere in this special issue. These leaders, or pacesetters, were chosen from a multitude of regions in the United States and represented the forefront of the newest national or regional initiatives in educational technology. Pacesetters included staff from the U.S. Department of Education, program officers for federal and state educational technology initiatives, grant awardees, professional organizations, futurists, gaming and simulation experts, journal editors, and university professors. As research subjects, their identities are not disclosed here. The trade journals were from the United States and included Campus Technology Magazine, Converge, Education World®, Edutopia, eLearn Magazine, eSchool News, Innovate, T.H.E. (Technological Horizons in Education), and Technology and Learning. Our in-house expertise from the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future included a team of educators, researchers, instructional designers, programmers, multimedia producers, technology specialists and subject matter experts.

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