In Leonardo’s Laptop, Professor Ben Schneiderman lays out a simple but powerful framework for designing user-centered, student-centered technology- integration projects.

The framework consists of four parts: Collect, Relate, Create, and Donate.

  1. In Schneiderman’s framework, projects begin with a chance to Collect knowledge, and students research the factual building blocks of their learning project.
  2. From there students Relate with one another – since collaboration and cross-cultural communication skills play essential roles in our economic and civic spheres.
  3. Based on the collection of building blocks and relating their knowledge to one another, students theCreate some kind of tangible demonstration of their understanding.
  4. The final part of an activity is to find a forum to Donate the student work so that students can enjoy the opportunity to publish their work and be of service to others.

We’ve found this approach helpful in designing and evaluating Social Studies activities that take advantage of emerging technologies. The best technology integration projects use computers to empower students to take responsibility for their own learning and give them the tools to succeed in that endeavor. The Collect-Relate-Create-Donate (CRCD)framework is a great way to get started in creating these kinds of student-centered learning experiences.

The following projects employed the C-R-C-D framework: