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How Do I Choose Which Technology Tool to Use?

Over the last few semesters, I have noticed a change in how instructors are asking questions about using technology.  Five years ago, “I want to learn about Moodle” was a common start to a faculty consult.  Today, most of my faculty consults begin with something like this:

“I was reading about this new teaching strategy, and I wondered if we could figure out how to make Moodle do that…”  Or, “I have this student in my class who needs…”

image of two heads with ideas transferring

How do we use technology to teach students?

In my experience, instructors who learn technology because of wanting to accomplish a specific teaching goals may not be as technically skilled as others in the field, but they love to teach and this passion is evidenced in their relationships with students and their discipline.  Last week, I read this blog from Alan November, the 2013 Trends keynote speaker, and am sharing his list below to clarify learning as “technology rich or innovation poor.”

Transformational Six

  1. Did the assignment build capacity for critical thinking on the web?
  2. Did the assignment develop new lines of inquiry?
  3. Are there opportunities for students to make their thinking visible?
  4. Are there opportunities to broaden the perspective of the conversation with authentic audiences from around the world?
  5. Is there an opportunity for students to create a contribution (purposeful work)?
  6. Does the assignment demo “best in the world” examples of content and skill?

Reading his explanation of the Transformational Six lends a perspective on choosing technology tools that demonstrate relationships between new possibilities for learning and new ways to get there from here.  Here is the LINK to Alan November’s article, and I encourage everyone to read it and return here to comment on the question:  “How can we as instructional leaders help to push our students into the innovation rich without technology making us poor?”

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