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Picking the Right Tech

Posted on 07/12/2019

As the EdTech world continues to expand and more and more classroom technology options become available, it can be daunting selecting the "right" tech. These days, it is almost mandatory to have a strategy in place for selecting EdTech that meets various criteria, including ease of use and effectiveness for students and their learning.

In her blog post Check Your Tech Before You Select Your Tech External link opens in new window or tab, author Ivey Homer offers a number of considerations when vetting and selecting tech, including:

  • Leveraging resources to discover impactful tech – There are many virtual resources to draw on that can help educate new users on the tech that is having the most impact in classrooms. Homer provides a list of 15 Twitter accounts to follow that are continuously reviewing apps and tech for the classroom, and she also suggests professional learning communities, blogs, and other sources of articles as additional resources. Finally, she urges new users to speak with colleagues who are using EdTech at school for firsthand accounts on how it works in their classrooms.

  • Strategic selection criteria – Basically, we always want to select a few, versatile tech tools over a number of "shiny" tools that look great but don't deliver the usefulness of solid tools.

  • Guiding questions to select tech – Homer recommends asking a series of questions when looking at new EdTech tools. Some of the questions include, how did I learn about this technology and how widespread is its usage, what does the tool actually allow students to do, where is the technology in terms of its development (still emerging, already developed, on its way out), and will the technology provide me with data that I can review and use to enhance instruction.

  • Prioritize student learning – In order to determine the effectiveness of EdTech tools in the classroom, Homer suggests using a framework, such as Triple E or Digital Promise's EdTech Pilot Framework, to really understand the impact of tech tools on student learning. Are the students using technology for surface level understanding of content, or is it helping lead to deep understanding of a subject?

The EdTech world with all of its varied technology tools can be overwhelming, but having a strategy should give you the confidence that the selections you make will have a significant impact on student learning and make technology adoption easier for all.

Article: Check Your Tech Before You Select Your Tech External link opens in new window or tab from Digital Promise

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