Thursday, November 15, 2012

Picking the right tool

When I present a digital tool to a group of teachers, I inevitably get the question of "Oooh, that is cool! How can I use this for [enter name here] project"? After that question is asked, I then use my kitchen remodelling analogy. It goes something like this:

If you are remodelling your kitchen and you want make new cabinets, would you pick up a hammer and say how can I make this work?

The concepts found in Understanding by Design that are commonly applied to unit and lesson design should still be applied to the integration of technology. Begin with the end in mind. When doing the kitchen remodel, you assess what your goals are and then check your toolbox. It is great to be familiar with a large number of technology resources...this increases the number of tools in your toolbox. It is more important to know what you are expecting in terms of a final performance outcome for the project/unit. From there, you can help students select appropriate tools to accomplish the goals and objectives of the project. (As a side note, it is important for the teacher to not have a specific product in mind because this might limit the creativity of the students in demonstrating what they have learned. Rubrics written based on learning objectives and goals, as opposed to a digital checklist, will help)

With that in mind, I want to share a resource that I have developed. This resource provides over 35 online tools and resources that can be used in the classroom. But, just as this post indicates, it also matches the tools with themes that might be found in a class project.

When this was shared with teachers, it seemed to bridge the inevitable question with a better way of thinking about integrating technology into their instruction to get students demonstrating what they have learned and what they can do.

If you know of more resources/project pairings, please share in the comment for this post!

Full link to the resource is here:

No comments: