When teachers purposefully embed
these technologies within an instructional experience, we have found that
they can increase engagement and
support learners in expressing their
Instructional support materials.
These include all of the curriculum
resources that provide the structure,
guidance, and specific information
learners need to understand the content and complete the learning experience. Teachers can change or modify
the instructional support materials,
just as they did the modular learning
technologies, based on instructional,
curricular, or student needs.
In the backpacks we tested, the in-
structional support materials included
content-specific instructional infor-
mation in the form of documents,
podcasts, videos, and content-based
apps. You could include any digital
learning objects, art, or artifacts as
well as URLs for online resources and
informational background articles.
Our backpack designs have also in-
cluded learner handouts to structure
activities, such as storyboarding tem-
plates and activity instructions. Some
instructional support materials pro-
vide technology tutorials for the foun-
dational and modular technologies.
Digital Backpack Field Experiences
We tested the digital backpack with
multiple age groups, from kindergarten through adult, and in a range of
Elementary school. A group of students in kindergarten through fifth
grade participated in a digital backpack experience at a nationally ranked
zoo. Their instructional task was to
determine how the zoo could become
more kid friendly.
Because of the age and size of these
young students, some left the laptops