Activity Types

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Getting "Handy" in the classroom with technology integration

Activity Types: The Key to Seamless Technology Integration

For our purposes, we will define an activity type (or activity structure) as the framework of an activity—just the skeleton of the activity or the set of actions that a student completes in order to learn. Judi Harris, author of Virtual Architecture and pioneer in identifying and describing activity types that incorporate the Internet, describes activity types (or structures) as “mental design tools that help us think concretely about students’ learning processes.” (See her web site for more information from her book, Virtual Architecture).

Developing a repertoire of activity types allows the teacher to infuse technology seamlessly into various lesson designs. You will find here a collection of activity types that can be appropriately adapted for use in the classroom. You may access the Activity Types by selecting a subject area link on the right (i.e., Reading or Digital Storytelling) OR click on the Activity Types by Chapter (each corresponds to a chapter in Designs for Unpacking Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK): A Handy Guide for Teaching and Learning for Technology.)

For Internet Resources, the web site sponsored by the Texas TIPD Corp has links to activity types researched in depth by Dr. Harris. For more indepth resources, please check out the links beneath Learning Activity Types.

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project


Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu