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Outline of These Materials

1. Future of ICT in Education

2. Learning Goals in a PBL Lesson

3. What is ICT-Assisted PBL?

4. Planning a PBL Lesson

5. Authoring a Hypermedia Document

6. Timeline and Milestones

7. Assessment

8. FAQ and Conclusions


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Send Email to Website Author Dave Moursund

Part 1: Overview of ICT in Education and Future of ICT in Education

This is a "keynote" address, focusing on the state of the art and the future of ICT in education. The goal is to provide some overall common background and sense of direction as we work together in the workshop. ICT-Assisted PBL is an important part of the future of ICT in Education.

I have written a short book on the future of computers in education. It is available free at:

Moursund, D.G. (2004). Planning, Forecasting, and Inventing Your Computers-in-Education Future. Access at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/

What follows is an outline for a "generic" talk about the future of ICT in education. It gets adapted to fit a specific audience before and during the time it is being presented. Thus, it may differ somewhat from the talk that is actually presented. Note that the non-clickable references for the "keynote" are given at the end of this Webpage.

Essetially all of the content of the talk outlined below is covered in more detail in the book listed above.

I: Getting Started

1.1 About Dave Moursund

Some of my Websites are listed at:


My career path has been:

  • University of Oregon
  • University of Wisconsin (Madison)
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Oregon

1.2 Goal: Improve Education

It feels like we have come a long way in the past 50 years.

But, we have barely scratched the surface in making effective use of ICT to improve education.

In the next 50 years … ???

1.3 Forecasting the Future: Doing, Teaching, Forecasting

Those that can, do.

Those that can't, teach.

Those that can't teach, teach teachers.

And … some people claim to be futurists.

1.4 ICT: The Sixth Language (Robert Logan)

  1. Natural Language (speak and listen)
  2. Literacy (read and write)
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. Computing and Computer Programming
  6. Information Technology and Internet

1.5 Each Human-Invented Language:

  • Is an aid to communication (face to face as well as over time and distance).
  • Is an aid to representing and processing certain types of information & knowledge.
  • Is a cognitive aid (a mind tool).

1.6 Each Human-Invented Language:

  • Has the potential to significantly change our world.
  • Presents a major challenge to the educational systems of the world.

1.7 Problem Solving. People:

  • Pose, represent, and solve problems
  • Pose, represent, and accomplish tasks
  • Pose, represent, and answer questions
  • Make (wise) decisions

These are repeating themes in all academic disciplines. And, of course, they are strongly affected by the "languages."

1.8 Goals of Education

  • Education has many goals because there are many stakeholders.
  • One goal is to prepare students for responsible, productive adult life in their society.
  • As student "grow up," they gradually assume responsibility for setting their own goals in their formal and informal education.

1.9 Contemporary Standards

  • Many formal education settings have student learning goals and outcomes they strive to achieve.
  • Often these goals are aligned with state, national, or international goals.
  • Over most of the past 5,000 years, contemporary standards changed slowly.
  • Now, they are changing much more rapidly (and ICT is a major contributor to the speed up in rate of change).

1.10 Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning (C&S of T&L)

  • Teachers gain considerable Craft Knowledge , especially via self teaching on the job.
  • Teachers may gain considerable "Science of Teaching & Learning" Knowledge through formal and informal education, on and off the job.
  • Good teaching requires an appropriate balance in C&S of T&L, and the balance varies with the teacher.

1.11 Content Knowledge in Teaching

  • There is lots of research supporting the need for teachers to have content knowledge.
  • But, knowledge of content does not automatically make one into a good teacher. C&S of T&L is also important.


II: Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning (C&S of T&L)

2.1 What is Science (as in C&S of T&L )?

Careful, accurate description.

Successful cause-effect prediction, based on a well reasoned combination of:

  • empirical evidence
  • a testable and tested theory that helps to explain the cause-effect.

2.2 We Can Improve Education by:

Providing students with better brain tools.

Providing students with better body tools.

Providing students with an education that helps them learn more, better, faster, and to make appropriate use of their brains and bodies, and brain and body tools.

2.3 A Challenging Question

If ICT can solve or significantly aid in solving a problem, accomplishing a task, or answering a question that students currently study or we would like students to study in school, what should we have students learn about representing and solving, accomplishing, answering…(in all disciplines) ?

2.4 Remember

The capabilities of ICT (as used in the brain and body tools ICT helps to provide) will continue to increase very rapidly for many years to come.

2.5 Gordon Moore's "Law"

The density of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months, thus increasing the price performance of compute power by a factor of two every 1 1/2 years.

The bandwidth of connectivity is currently doubling approximately every six months.

2.6 "Way Out" Future Ideas

Ray Kurzweil, Hans Moravec, and others indicate that another 15 years of Moore's law holding will bring us supercomputers with the capability of a human mind. Thirty years will see microcomputers with this level of capability.

The meaning of these forecasts is unclear to me. (But, it is a "fun" topic to discuss!)

2.7 Key Question: Can ICT Help Make Education a Lot Better?

  • The research is not nearly as strong as ICT in Education "experts" would like it to be. ISTE's CARET project.
  • Some of the research is buried in ICT-based implementations of good ways to improve education without the use of ICT.

2.8 One on One Tutoring

Benjamin Bloom and the 2-sigma effect: on average, tutored students learn a lot better.

On average, tutored students learn several times as fast.

Intelligent Computer-Assisted Instruction (ICAI) is making some progress toward achieving significant gains in better, faster learning.

2.9 Can Computers Teach Better than Humans?

Yes, in some cases.

The number of such cases will continue to grow.

Cost effectiveness is a major issue.

III: Powerful Ideas

3.1 Seymour Papert (1980) talked about "Powerful Ideas."

"Mindstorms" book.


Constructionism (sort of like constructivism).

3.2 Dave Moursund's List of Powerful Ideas

These were selected because I think they are important, powerful, and have enduring value. Thus, they help predict the future.

You can add and delete items to suit your own view of ICT in education.

3.2.1. Connectivity

ICT has facilitated the development of a Global Digital Library as well as other huge databases that are in routine use.

ICT aids to communication among people and machines are growing rapidly.

Increased educational emphasis on understanding and on library research skills, as compared to rote memory.

3.2 2. Information Appliances

We are still in the early stages of a megatrend toward computers becoming invisible -- much like electric motors being built into all kinds of appliances.

The focus will switch from learning the technology to learning to solve problems and accomplish tasks using the appliances.

3.2 3. Effective Procedure

A detailed step-by-step set of instructions that can be mechanically interpreted and carried out by a specified agent, such as a computer or automated equipment.

Procedural thinking includes developing, representing, testing, and debugging procedures, and using them to solve problems and accomplish tasks.

For many years, we have been in a trend toward students learning less about the development and use of effective procedures, and of procedural thinking.

3.2.4. Improving Human/Machine Interfaces

A "good" interface saves a lot of time and effort on the part of the user.

We all understand the significance of the development of the graphical user interface (GUI) that includes the mouse.

We are just at the beginnings of routine use of voice and virtual reality as part of the human/machine interface.

3.2.5. ICT as Content of Non-ICT Disciplines

Examples include spreadsheet, geographic information systems, computer-aided design, and mathematics systems such as Mathematica and Maple.

Discipline-oriented teachers need to have an increasing amount of knowledge of roles of ICT in knowing and doing the discipline.

3.2.6. ICT-Assisted Problem Solving

One of the most useful strategies in problem solving is breaking big problems into smaller, more manageable sub problems.

Increasingly, ICT is a tool that can solve these sub problems -- thus, greatly increasing the problem-solving capabilities of computer users. (This ties in with Effective Procedures.)

3.2.7. Modeling and Simulation

One of the two winners of the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry was a computational chemists.

Computer-based modeling and simulation are now a powerful aid to knowing and doing all of the sciences as well as many other disciplines such as economics and architecture.

3.2.8. ICT-Assisted Project-Based & Problem-Based Learning

ICT is a powerful aid to doing the work on a project or problem, and to representing the results of this work.

PBL is an excellent aid to implementing SoTL ideas such as constructivism, situated learning, cooperative learning, and collaborative problem solving.

3.2.9. Lifelong Learning: Anywhere, Anytime, Any Topic

New dimensions, such as distance learning, computer-assisted learning, intelligent computer-assisted instruction, learner-centered software, and brain theory.

"Just in time" learning.

Continual learning (a routine, everyday part of one's job and life).

3.2.10. Compelling Applications

Intrinsically motivation.

Helps the user to do things s/he wants to and/or needs to do.

Empowers the user to do things that cannot readily be done without the ICT.

The spreadsheet is a great example.

Desktop publication is a great example.


IV: Final Remarks

After 50 years of ICT use in K-12 education and about 25 years of microcomputer availability, we are just getting off the ground in terms of effective use of ICT to significantly improve education.


V: References

Bloom, B.S. (1984). The 2 Sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher. v13, n6, pp 4-16.

Bransford, J.D.; A. L. Brown; & R.R. Cocking: editors (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. [Online]. Accessed (4/14/00) http://books.nap.edu/catalog/6160.html

Brin, David. The Uplift Saga (3 novels).

Earth's intelligent species know very little, relative to the billion year old Galactic Library that is an important part of this series of books. There is an interesting parallel with the issue of who has access to the Web, since the Human Race cannot afford full access to the Galactic Library.

Bruer, John T. (1995). Schools for thought: A science of learning in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: The MICT Press.

Kurzweil, Ray (1999). The age of spiritual machines: When computers exceed human intelligence. NY: Viking

Learning theories: Learning with software [Online]. Accessed 4/4/01: http://www.educationau.edu.au/archives/cp/04.htm

A discussion of 13 different learning theories from a point of view of their use in educational software.

Logan, Robert K. (1999). The sixth language: Learning a living in the computer age. Toronto, Canada: Stoddart Publishing Company.

Moravec, Hans (2000). Robot : Mere machine to transcendent mind. Oxford University Press.

Moursund, D. (2003). Project-based learning using information technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Moursund, D.G. (August-September 1999). Ten powerful ideas shaping the present and future of ICT in education. Learning and Leading With Technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Moursund, D.G. (October 2000). Roles of ICT in Improving Our Educational System. Part 2: Compelling Applications. Learning and Leading with Technology. Eugene, OR: ISTE. http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/

Norman, Donald A. (1998). The invisible computer: Why good products can fail, the personal computer is so complex, and information appliances are the solution. Cambridge, MA: The MICT Press.

Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: BasicBooks, Inc.

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