better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper: my criteria for evaluating technology for instructional purposes
When evaluating technology for instructional purposes I see 3 main areas that have the potential to be enhanced in some way via the use of some technology.
Those areas are (1) content presentation,(2) interaction/collaboration, and (3) feedback.
I also always always always start from pedagogy, not the technology, or the technology solution. It is not about using technology for technology sake. It is technology in the service of pedagogy, not the other way around.
So, you have to start with a specific learning objective.
Then, consider: Does a tool or approach assist me to…? :
- Present content in a more effective or engaging manner.
- Facilitate collaboration or interaction with/between students in a more effective or engaging manner
- Provide feedback, or to assess students in a more effective or engaging manner.
Then, I apply my criteria: will this technical solution assist me to achieve my targeted learning objective “better, faster safer, easier, or cheaper” in one of those 3 areas listed above.
If so, then there is solid rationale to explore the use of the tool or approach or solution for instructional purposes.
It is about enhancing learning for the student- making it more engaging and/or effective, and it is about making me, the instructor, more effective and/or engaging – this can include making me more efficient, so that I have time to spend more time interacting with students, diagnosing misperceptions, providing feedback, modeling behaviors…etc.