So you’ve just done a Google search and found a really interesting tool that would be absolutely perfect to use in your classroom. What next? The internet and other technologies provide some great opportunities to engage students and support learning, but it’s worth taking a moment to run through these questions before introducing them into your classroom:
- What is the purpose of the technology? All sizzle and no substance? Move beyond fancy interfaces to determine if the technology will actually enhance your students’ learning.
- Is student data secure? Terms and Conditions can be a pain to read through, but it is important to know exactly who has access to your students’ information.
- Is the technology trustworthy and stable? Technology that is widely used and extensively reviewed will generally have more longevity.
- Who owns the content? If you create content using an online tool, check the Terms and Conditions so you know exactly who owns the work you’re creating.
- Is there support for the technology? There’s no getting around it – technology can and does go wrong! Find out where you can go to get support when things don’t go to plan.
- Will the technology work in your teaching space? Some tools only work on certain devices (e.g. Apple) or may require a very fast wifi connection. Can you work with any limitations you have?
- How will you trial the new technology? Give yourself plenty of time to test so you can minimise disruption if it goes wrong in class. Students will forgive a few mishaps here and there, but many can be avoided with a few checks in advance!
In partnership with the Navitas English AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program), we created this starter checklist of key questions that are important to consider before using internet technologies in the classroom:
We’d love to hear about your own systems and checklists for using technology in the classroom – what works for you? Leave us a comment here or get in touch on Yammer to continue the conversation.