Thursday, March 31, 2016

Should I Tech This Lesson? Guiding Questions

Teachers who do not know me well often know me as the techie teacher.  I don't really have a problem with this, except when it sends the message that I use technology in my classroom solely because I like technology.  In a previous post, I gave some examples of "Why I Tech" from a teacher planning standpoint.  I acknowledge that my entire thought process happens in my head and it can sometimes be viewed as flippant decision rather than an intentional, calculated choice.  Today, I'd like to give some more details on what goes through me head when I make decisions regarding technology use with students in the classroom.

Guiding questions when considering technology technology use in your classroom:

1. Are you prepared to effectively manage technology use during this lesson?
No: Don't use it, seek out resources for properly managing student use
Yes: Proceed to next question

2. Can the lesson be taught without the use of technology?
No: Not really a choice, gotta use it
Yes: Proceed to next question

3. Will using technology improve the quality of learning for this lesson?
No: Possible overuse, consider next question
Yes: Go for it

4. Will using technology improve positive student engagement in this lesson?
No: Likely overuse
Yes: Don't forget to have students engage each other and not just the technology.

My definition:
Overuse: Using tech for the sake of using tech. It should benefit the lesson not just replace a pencil or paper.

The language I use here suggests likeliness of overuse, not certainty.  If there's anything I know, it's that every situation is different.  You are the master of your classroom.  Never let someone's list tell you any different.  This is just what I consider.  Take it or leave it.

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