Avoid Getting Trapped by Educational Technology Tools

 Computers ‘do not improve’ pupil results, says OECD by TheYolgezero Published on Sep 15, 2015

By Marwa Kotb.

Using Technology in classrooms has proliferated in the past few years. Currently in my classroom, I use numerous valuable resources, videos, presentations to explain the course context, I rely on educational technology tools, online assessments, games, virtual labs, and simulations to engage students and enhance their motivation, I collect feedback via polling on smartphones or free online surveys, and I ask students to post their comments and opinions on online discussion boards and social networking to foster community building, and collaboration among students, these are some of the examples of how an educator integrate technology in the everyday teaching. A question that is commonly heard in our halls nowadays and was brought out by my colleague Michael O’Shaughnessy “are we as educators getting to be distracted by technology tools that we have little time or energy left for the critical element of content?”.

unfortunately my reply is “yes”, many educators including myself started to feel overwhelmed with the speed of technology and latest releases of educational tools. It is quite challenging to select the best technology tools while not losing sight of the goals for student learning. Lately I decided that I will continue to try to stay updated with the latest, but I have to keep in mind that technology is just one of the strategies to enhance students’ learning but can’t provide all learning skills required, communication and many soft skills can’t be developed through screens. And thus, while I am investing time and effort to utilize technology I shouldn’t forget to spend more time to enhance my other teaching skills in different areas that are required as well.

There is an online article titled “Dispatch from the Future” posted on TechCrunch, dated July 25, 2023 announcing that “As part of its second quarter earnings announcement today, local transportation and delivery giant Uber announced its biggest bet on autonomous vehicles yet, saying it would purchase 2,500 driverless cars from Google.” (Lawler, 2013, August 25). After reading it, I questioned myself, if the announcement is true do I need this service. My reply was “currently I don’t”. Same applies to new releases in educational technology, I might not need to use all these releases that are out in the market to achieve my teaching goals and there is nothing wrong with that and I wouldn’t be outdated educator.It is very important to avoid getting trapped with educational technology tools.

I will leave you with a simple point to keep in mind every time you select a tool to enhance your teaching:

Remember, it isn’t about the availability, variety or the latest, it’s about knowing how to successfully incorporate this tool for a better learning outcome .

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