Michael Orey, Associate Professor

He received both the M.A.Ed. in 1987 and an Ed.D. in 1989 in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to coming to Georgia in 1989, he taught mathematics and computer science in public schools and in a private international school in Venezuela.

He is one of the founders of the LPSL at UGA He has had funded projects related to intelligent tutoring with the U.S. Army Research Institute, project-based learning with at-risk middle school age children, online learning with EpicLearning, and forming partnerships with Universidade Federal do Ceará through a FIPSE-CAPES grant. While he has partnered with the Army Research Institute, Clarke Middle School, iXL, EpicLearning in the past, he is currently partnering with Universidade Federal do Ceará. His current research interests are focused on cognitive applications of technology in the classroom, learning theory, motivation theory, and instructional theory.

What I Look for in Prospective PhD Students

I think that a PhD student who wants to work with me needs to be creative and fun. They will have opportunities to explore and engage in multiple projects that I have been working on. Most of these projects require you to think "outside the box". Of course, I implement a very socio-constructivist approach with my PhD students. I expect and I foster collaboration among my students. I encourage my PhD students to share ideas and discuss research with each other. The newer PhD students often work with the more advanced PhD students on projects together. Even though I guide you throughout your PhD program, I let you "discover" for yourself what academic career and projects to pick. I just make sure that you enjoy whatever you are doing.

Work for me is fun and I want you to do whatever you are passionate about, or what you care for the most. So if you are fun, creative and willing to collaborate, a good fit is with me!

Research and Development

Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics -- This is a great opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary project. You will be collaborating with faculty members and graduate students in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics. The purpose of this project is to create a repository of instructional resources for students and experts all over the world. The work for this project involves:

  1. 2D and 3D graphic design,
  2. complex animations of plant breeding processes,
  3. a game design and development, and
  4. e-learning modules

Disney's Club Penguin -- This is a great opportunity to work on a research project involving children's perspective of playing online games. The purpose of this study is to measure the degree to which both enjoyment and learning outcomes are simultaneously achieved through casual game play. In this project, you will not only collaborate with other PhD students in a mixed-method study, but you will learn how to implement multiple instruments to collect data.

Army Critical Grief Therapy Training -- This is a development project that uses Case-Based Learning to help the Chaplain Corp to help family members that are experiencing a loss of a loved one. While a very important project for the Army (though it is funded by the USDA), there are important CBL and Video design strategies employed to make learning most effective.

FIPSE-CAPES Exchange Program with Universidade Federal do Ceará

Web-based eBook on Multinational Perspectives on Technology in the Schools - The World Almanac on Educational Technology

Definitions of Blended Learning

The eBook Project - An eBook for the Emerging Perspectives on Teaching, Learning and Technology Course (EDIT 6400)

Middle School Projects Papers - The Journal - Stories Paper - The Partnership Paper

My Vita PDF

My Resume


I teach EDIT 6100, Introduction to Instructional Technology.

I teach EDIT 6320, Information Technology

I teach EDIT 7320, Research for Specialist Students .

I teach EDIT 6600, Multicultural Perspectives on Technology course.

I teach the Emerging Perspectives class (EDIT 6400) This class is taught completely online with the use a live classroom and the ebook referenced above.

I teach in The Studio (EDIT 6190, 6200, 6210)

I have taught EDIT 6150 completely online I helped to establish this course to meet the technology requirement for maintaining certification in Georgia. This is a PSC approved course.

When I teach online, I often use HorizonWimba. This live classroom uses headsets so that I can talk and the students can talk. I have reviewed headsets to help you decide which is right for you. Click here to see that review.


I manage the IDT certificate program offered as a service by our department. My work is on web-based technologies for education and training  Here are past projects from the IDT Certificate

Science Fiction Favorite Books

I believe that a useful enterprise is the act of envisioning the future. There are a variety of ways to do that, but I like science fiction and what it can do to help you envision the future. As an avid Star Trek fan, I am always disappointed to see how they depict learning and schooling. For children, it always looks like a classroom, it just happens to be outer space. Bending Papert's parable of time traveling doctors and teachers, a teacher today could easily take over one of the Star Trek classrooms, but as Bones says, doctors from today who time travel to the time of Star Trek would be considered barbarians and would have little understanding of what was going on in the sick bay.

I have found two books that I find to be pretty useful in helping me envision the future of education. One of them is Michael Flynn's Firestar. This book describes a school setting that is very much aligned to the cognitive apprenticeship model and constructionism. Students are engaged in the conception, manufacture, distribution and management of goods and services that they devise. If the goods they create do not sell, they fail and have to start over.

Another useful book would be Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. Rather than the classroom, this book envisions educational software as it is embodied in the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. The program uses Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence to continue to adapt and help a child grow throughout the child's schooling years. The software actually bonds to the child like a parent might.

Michael A. Orey

Room 216 River's Crossing

(706) 542-4028



Updated November 12, 2015 by Michael Orey