Playing Favorites: Which Tool do I Use?
For any given task in the area of educational technology, there are several resources to choose from. Want to give a presentation? You can use Google Slides, PowerPoint, Prezi, or HaikuDeck. There are several other options too. Want to use devices to assess students in class? You can go with Socrative, Kahoot, Plickers, Polleverywhere, Quiziz, and the list goes on. Basically, you pick the task and I can provide you with a list of options to choose from. So, the question becomes how do you pick from the vast library of resources out there to get the best results? Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Look at the features of the resources: Often there are slight differences in the features of the different resources. One assessment tool might have multiple assessment options that others do not. A particular presentation tool might be easier to format and share. Also, what works for one teacher might not be a good fit for the types of activities you do in your class. Keep that in mind when you are looking.
- Consider compatibility: Some resources offer Internet, IOS apps, Android Apps, and Window Apps. Some only offer a few of these options. Many tools do not offer Window Apps. A good rule of thumb is to be sure that there is at least an Internet option. Some tools do not offer this. Plus, some tools require student accounts whereas as some resources only require students to sign in quickly with a pin code.
- Consider ease of use: Some tools are fine if you are good with technology, but can be very difficult who are not quick to pick these types of things up. Keep in mind that there are different difficulty levels and skill levels. Just because they are students, does not mean they will pick it up quickly.
- Take the time to teach the tool: Going over how to use the chosen tool and explaining your expectations can greatly reduce student frustration.
- Don’t jump around: You don’t need to use a different tool every class. Figure out what works and stick with it. You don’t get points for quantity. Go for quality!
Consider these guidelines when you are trying to choose a tool to use in your classroom. Do you have any guidelines you use? Let me know in the comments. Be sure to subscribe to the blog. Here are some links to posts I wrote about some of the tools I mentioned above. Enjoy!
Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaElliott3 for more tips and ideas.