Technology Mini-Proposal

Technology #1: Camtasia

Description: This is a video editor primarily used for screencasting. Users can offer voiceovers, transitions, quizzes, annotations, and can edit these together on a multi-track timeline. Camtasia is often used for walk-through or how-to videos. It is available for a free trial (with a watermark on published videos), but for purchase with a $249.99 one time fee ($169.99 for an education license; $49.75 for “Camtasia Maintenance,” which includes annual upgrades).


Purpose: I have chosen Camtasia to demonstrate proficiency and skills in a standard tool in the instructional design industry. This technology is limited in its ability to encourage interactivity (beyond quizzes). It focuses on a “delivery” model of pedagogy that is more in line with a traditional behaviorist approach. This is not optimal for active, real-world, deep learning, but it serves a purpose.

Demonstration: I will be developing a basic how-to that aligns with a lesson I taught in high school classrooms. Juniors were required to do a major research paper and one of the ways I helped students was in finding core academic sources. I will use Camtasia to guide students through the use of Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Google Scholar, academic book reviews, and JSTOR. I plan to use a picture-in-picture recording of myself as I capture my screen looking through websites. I plan to include on-screen annotations to highlight the portions of these websites that I want them to focus on. I plan to include a quiz, mostly to see what’s possible.

Pedagogical (TPACK-based) Rationale: This project does not provide an opportunity to engage students in an active, collaborative activity that leads to deeper learning. Rather, this lesson serves as a basic introductory lesson that helps set up a more dynamic activity like this. As stated above, this is a behaviorist content-delivery approach. I serve as the subject matter expert on the technological skill (searching for reliable academic sources online) as well as the content itself (history and academic literature). Thus, I use a technology (Camtasia) to train students in another technological skill for which I have expertise in a content area with which I also have expert knowledge. Pedagogy is less than desirable, but again, it serves a purpose.

Technology #2: Articulate Storyline 360

Description: Storyline is the industry standard for course authoring software. Storyline is used more often in a corporate setting (e.g., for compliance training), but it could function as a way to create mini-lessons so students work through information at their own pace with interactivity features. Storyline offers the opportunity to design scenarios that can take users down multiple paths and circle back to earlier steps.


Purpose: As with Camtasia, I have chosen Storyline 360 to demonstrate proficiency and skills in a standard tool in the instructional design industry. It is perhaps the most mentioned software in job descriptions. Pedagogically, Storyline offers more opportunity for interactivity and low-level gamification. It has the potential to include a number of different pedagogical approaches, but not really those that emphasize (1) active project-based learning or (2) collaboration. Nevertheless, Storyline offers the opportunity to go deeper into a learning scenario than the most basic content delivery methods.

Demonstration: I will be putting together a simulation on the historical roots of the wealth gap between white and Black Americans. In particular, I will be creating a course that shows step-by-step the effect of American policies on the wealth of these Americans. It is based upon a simulation used by the nonprofit anti-hunger organization, Bread for the World. The learning artifact itself will offer learners an opportunity to choose between a white family or a black family in America after the Civil War. At this point, the simulation is ambitious and I’m not sure how robust I’ll be able to make it in two weeks. I would like to detail the options available to black families versus white families and the effects of policies like black codes, the reversal of Special Order 15, Jim Crow, redlining and loan policies, etc. I might do a “fork in the road” where a black family either chooses to stay in the south or move to the north or west in the Great Migration, to show how discriminatory policies played out differently in different regions. In the simulation, we see how black families build up lost opportunity “cards” (at least in the Bread for the World version) and the white families build up almost all of the intergenerational wealth. This is going to be tricky and will require a lot of care.

Pedagogical (TPACK-based) Rationale: I am using a model from an organization (Bread for the World), in hopes that I might actually produce something useful for that organization. However, I am also a subject matter expert on the material (I have a Ph.D. in history and have taught the history of racial inequity in America for three years). Therefore, I have content knowledge and I have a sense of what kind of pedagogy helps learners work through these issues. I will be using technological knowledge to build the simulation itself, in view of just how much content knowledge can be communicated through this medium and what kind of information/questions are most useful for learners (pedagogy).