up arrow

Learning Technologies

CRDG’s Learning Technologies team members recognize that technology is only a tool and that its effectiveness and adoption is dependent upon the particular needs of the learners.

We also strongly believe that technology enables all learners to explore and discover since it can increase functionality and speed of communication. To that end, CRDG Learning Technologies conducts research in curriculum and technology use in varying learning contexts and provides project support and development to new and existing product design.

We have two overarching goals, which are to contribute to the research evidence on how technology can effect learning in relation to learning progressions, cognitive domain, and affective domain; and 2) to collaborate with practitioners and other education researchers in developing technology community partners (local, national, and international) to strive for digital citizenship education everywhere (primarily schools, homes, and community).

In our ULS Partnership, we help observe and document technology use in instruction, teacher preparation, and school administration; assist in looking for emerging technologies for the classroom; analyze quiz and test data in experimental designs, and; connect learning to current educational technology standards.

We are strongly influenced by Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and by instructional design principles. More recently, we work within an improvement science framework.

Our current projects include the following:

  • School Internet Safety Initiative
  • Developing W.I.S.E. Kids – Web and Internet Safe Educated Kids, a Computer Literacy Curriculum for Middle School
  • Online learning modules for grades 4–5
  • Global Digital Citizenship (with the Pacific Circle Consortium)
  • Cross-Cultural Dating Relationship, Sexting and Personality Traits (with Universita Di Roma Sapienza)


Our current collaborative projects include the following:

  • Online Learning Community, in Teaching Science through Inquiry: Aquatic Science
  • Hawai‘i Afterschool Alliance digital checklist
  • Broadening Participation of Native Hawaiians in Engineering as Faculty
  • GenCyber
  • History of Hawai‘i, digital learning elements
  • Opihi Project
  • Algebra Revision

Project Briefs

Internet Safety Online Learning Modules for Grades 4–5

Lauren K. Mark, Thanh Truc T. Nguyen, and Dean Lodes

cyberreefThe My Digital Voyage online learning modules teach students in grades 4 and 5 about Internet safety, digital citizenship, and ethical online decisionmaking. Through a series of computer-based stories and activities, children are asked to help a character through ethical dilemmas and challenges that real children and teens have faced when using the Internet. It is our belief that children should be allowed to make mistakes and explore different options when it comes to problem solving and decisionmaking. The important part is for children to learn and grow from those mistakes with the help and support of trusted adults. That is why a teaching companion guide has been included with the modules containing useful Internet safety tips and strategies, discussion topics, sample questions for children, and activities to guide children toward becoming effective and ethical users of technology. The online lessons and supplemental activities can be integrated into existing class routines, as the curriculum has been aligned with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for students and teachers, and the English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects K­–5 Common Core State Standards. Parents are equally encouraged to use these lessons and activity ideas in the home as well.

Computer Literacy: The 3E Model

Thanh Truc T. Nguyen

This paper is a summary of four research studies and ten presentations spanning five years conducted at the University Laboratory School of its Computer Literacy curriculum. The computer literacy course is a mandatory one-semester course for all students at the University Laboratory School as of school year 2004-2005. The course is aligned to National Education Technology Standards for Students. Through five iterations of the course, where one iteration is one school year, the course description and proposed a 17-week semester long course is now named Computer Literacy, developing “WISE” or Web and Internet Safe Educated kids… Read full Summary of Studies presented at the International Society for Technology in Education conference

Multimedia Juvenile Victimization (MJV)

Thanh Truc T. Nguyen

The MJV Internet Safety Study was a two-year study whose goal and purpose was to contribute to the understanding of Internet and technology-facilitated crimes against juveniles and assist law enforcement in their efforts to emulate youth behavior online, gather evidence, and prosecute violators. The purpose of this project was to gather baseline data on prevalence and awareness of solicitous texting (“sexting”) using cell phone text messaging, frequency of solicitation and distribution of explicit images using online social networks, and types of technologies used for cyberbullying. Data was gathered via questionnaires distributed to a stratified random sample of each school district’s student population, parents, and teachers. Read the Summary Sheet.


cyberreefCRDG’s learning technologies team of Thanh Truc Nguyen, Lauren Mark, Dean Lodes, and Elizabeth Ilawan have created a new prototype Internet safety program for grades 4 and 5 that allows children to learn through the vicarious experiences of fictional characters. The program, called Cyber Reef, is based on the foundational beliefs that it’s okay for children to make mistakes, and further, that schools and homes should be safe spaces for children to experiment, grow, and learn from their mistakes. For this reason, the program places a lot of emphasis on both the importance and consequences of ethical decisionmaking.

The new My Digital Voyage project grew out of the team’s previous work developing the Web and Internet Safe Educated (WISE) Kids curriculum and incorporates data from the Internet Safety Initiative research project, the current literature on Internet safety and digital ethics, and the team’s own evolving understanding of the concepts of Internet safety and digital citizenship. The module, which takes many of the concepts included in the WISE Kids curriculum and places them into a digital medium, achieves specific goals and objectives by leading students through a storyline in a fictional setting and with a set of characters that become familiar to the student as work progresses. Reflecting on the ways students access content today, the product is designed to work on a variety of devices including computers, tablets, and smart phones.

Preliminary data collection for the new digital program will be conducted in collaboration with the University Laboratory School. Development will continue through 2016 with a pilot project scheduled for fall 2016.