My last post featured one such activity - it was a great way for that teacher to expand his classroom beyond the four walls constrained by the time period of his class and be able to connect with students live (even if not in person). Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring more such activities, in the hope that sharing what teachers at my school are doing might inspire ideas that you can use!
On the other hand, I’ve seen other activities that were not as carefully designed. In my attempt to provide valuable feedback, I began compiling some ideas to consider before adding edtech to a lesson. Many of these are more pedagogical than technical because pedagogy should be the heart of any lesson, with games, technology, and assessment as follow-up or secondary details.
- WHO? Who is going to use the technology? Is it just the teacher? Will students be able to use it? Who will students collaborate with?
- WHAT? What academic or content standard are you trying to achieve? What area are you trying to improve upon? What choices do students have as far what tool they use?
- WHEN? When will this be used? Will you have time to test it out first? Do students need time to learn how to use it before actually using it?
- WHERE? Where will this be used? Think both physical location and curriculum planning. Will students use it in class or at home? Is it an intro activity to start the lesson or a culminating activity to end the unit?
- WHY? Why is using some sort of technology better than not? Does it improve understanding, achievement, engagement? Does it improve the delivery of the lesson, the work flow, the feedback process?
- HOW? How does using technology change the lesson? If you took away the technology, would the outcome be essentially the same? If so, keep thinking! Also, how will students demonstrate their content knowledge, not just understanding of the tool?
What other questions do you consider before adding edtech into your classroom?