Gill, S.E., N. Marcum-Dietrich, and J. Fraser. 2014. Pages 422–432 in A.D. Ritzhaupt and S. Kumar (editors). K–12 education: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
In the 21st century, digital natives, born into a world of omnipresent technology, spend much of their lives online. However, many teachers still see the use of educational technologies as a challenge (e.g., Ertmer, 2005; Li, 2007). The authors propose that the familiarity and ubiquity of these media offer a valuable way to engage students in meaningful learning. In the last decade, the National Science Foundation has invested heavily in bringing technology into the K-12 classroom by funding an array of cyberlearning applications to investigate how they can transform student learning. Model My Watershed is one of those experimental platforms that integrates online learning with an understanding of the physical world within an interdisciplinary framework. This case study documents the development of this application from concept through implementation and beyond. It provides insights into the challenges of application design and deployment for those entering the world of cyberlearning design.