Welcome ECAC Participants
Important Links
Cyber Learning is Authentic Learning: 
Practical Theory is the Cadence to 
Which Teachers March

Weaving Middle School Webs:
Hypertext in the Middle School

Michigan Content Learning Standards

Constructivism in the Classroom

Cyber English

Gretchen Lee's 6th graders

Nancy Patterson's 8th graders

Pat Schulze's high school students

National Educational Technology

Grand Valley State University

last updated June 8, 2002 by
Nancy G. Patterson


Our topic of discussion will be about learning standards, the concept of agency, and computer technology.
Definition of agency:  Janet Murray, in her book Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace, defines agency as "the satisfying power to take meaningful action and see the results of our decisions and choices" (126).
To help us think through the concept of agency in content area standards, take a look at two on-line articles that were published in Kairos (the first two items in the important links at the left).  Though these articles were written by English teachers, the projects and theory that supported the classroom practices these teachers discuss can be applied across content areas.
As you read these two articles, think about the following concepts
  • authentic learning environments
  • student engagement or involvement
  • the role of play in learning and in the classroom
  • the ways in which classroom community is established
  • the ways in which the needs of students at varying levels of ability are met

  • You may find the other links to the left helpful as you think about the role of agency in the classroom and the ways in which computer technology can affect student agency.  These teachers all come from different states and use constructivism as the foundation for their classroom practice.  As you weave your way through the various student-made websites, think about the content standards your discipline has established, the theory that underlies those standards, and the role that computer technology might play in addressing those standards.  The links to teacher pages will take you to actual student work that is published on-line.