Technology Consulting: Instructional Technology Strategy for a Grant-Based Education Project

Through a grant project entitled “Putting Social Studies in its Place Using GIS to Enhance the Social Studies Classroom”, a group of K-12 educators were creating an online course to help teachers learn to use GIS technology in social studies.

The curriculum for this using-GIS-in-the-classroom course had already been developed; through an iSTEM teacher scholars program and ConnectED initiative, informative, hands-on lessons helped walked teachers through best practices for integrating GIS technology.

But the online course would be different. It would be spread over multiple weeks, as opposed to a few intensive days of live training; it would be recorded and asynchronous, rather than delivered in real time; and, it would integrate new tools, like screencapture videos and discussion forums.

Reify Media partnered with the team for a day, traveling to meet the primary investigators in Virginia. After discussing project goals and timelines, Reify Media shared a comprehensive review of best practices. Pulling from recent research and instructional technology theory, Reify Media discussed online course development strategies that would help the team develop an engaging, effective course.

The team was able to ask questions and brainstorm next steps, and by the end of the session, Reify Media had helped the team brainstorm the full listing of course topics and the content sequencing for the online course.

After consulting day, Reify Media provided additional follow up, reviewing the finished online course and sharing additional suggestions with the team.