Everyday brings a shiny new app or tool which professes to make learning better, faster and more engaging. As teachers, we need to take a step back, pause and think about how all this technology will impact our students’ learning. To not just use technology for the sake of using technology. To not get caught up in the all hype. There’s no question many of the recent advances in technology can benefit and enhance learning, but we need to be discerning and selective when choosing which tools to use.
When deciding whether or not to use technology in your classroom for a potential project, consider the following questions:
What is the purpose? (Is it purely aesthetic?)
Can it prevent students from sharpening important skills?
Do you have the time to integrate it fully and completely?
Is the project missing a technological student learning outcome?
Have your students already demonstrated mastery of the task?
Is there a better way for students to creatively and accurately illustrate their learning?
What is the learning curve for using the program or app?
Will it contribute to information overload? More does not always equal better!
Can the project compromise student problem-solving skills or critical thinking?
Will it create harmful shortcuts?