ETEC Reflection 11

Model for choosing technology

  • In general, how would you lead teachers, administrators, students, parents, etc. through this challenging time of switching to online classes?

The first thing to consider when deciding on a technology, what is the purpose of the technology? I have been discussing this with my wife lately. There are several key things we discussed and these are things that are important to students. First, what technology do students need to do their schoolwork and access their study materials? Will a simple Chromebook that runs about $150 meet the requirements? Or do students need a higher functioning piece of technology?

Administrators play a key role in these decisions. They should know what the software that will best suit their school. Also, they need to know what hardware will run the needed software. They sometimes have the hardest job when deciding what technology that their school needs to further their students’ education.

Parents need to not seek the highest cost or top of the line technology. Parents need to support their students in the usage of technology. There are some instances where I have heard that parents take over technology once a student comes home. I understand the need of the parents for access to technology when there is not a computer in the house. But there are the needs of the student for learning.

The student has to use the technology. When they are given the technology they need to access the material through the designated technology. But then there may be a lack of access. Not every student has access to the internet at their homes. This can be a major roadblock to student growth. Many restaurants and fast-food places have internet that can facilitate that need. In the current environment with COVID-19 students lose that access to the wi-fi that restaurants normally provide.

For teachers, I would suggest to them to practice using the online classroom features. I have tried to use technology for the first time in a class. Understanding the theoretics is completely different the practical use in the online classroom. I would also own their shortcoming. Let students see you struggle through and learn. It is a great example to students that they do not have to be perfect for the first time that they are introduced to something new. They can also learn that it takes time to become proficient in a skill or their content.

The first thing to consider is the students. What are their skillsets? Do they need to be trained in hardware/software? Or is the specific technology easy to use?

Next, we have to look at ease. Can anyone use the hardware/software? Can they learn it quickly? Many teachers would love to go back to chalk and blackboard. It was/is an effective learning tool. But with the ways that the world is progressing with technology, they need to be able to assist students in their technical knowledge and literacy.

Some other factors to consider include pedagogy integration, interactions (student to student, teacher to student, parent to teacher, and others), organizational issues (what support or infrastructure is needed?), networking (what internet access is needed?), privacy, and security. These are just some of the things to consider. These are not the beginning or end-all, just some of the many things that need to be considered when implementing technology.

  • Students
  • Ease of use
  • Cost
  • Teaching functions, including pedagogical affordances of media
  • Interaction
  • Organizational issues
  • Networking
  • Security and privacy

Few websites that have some thoughts on choosing appropriate technology. (Links to an external site.)

Table of contents—main page with links (Links to an external site.)

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