Thoughts on Evaluating New EdTech Tools

The annual ISTE conference is occurring this week. This is when most of the huge providers in the U.S. academic engineering sector unveil their new choices and lesser companies try out to make a mark for themselves.

Heading to the ISTE convention can be an enjoyable time to see all of the new “shiny” issues. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending this calendar year. I will be subsequent #ISTElive on Twitter to see what men and women are fired up about. It is moments like this that it&#8217s important to keep in mind to search at new edtech solutions with a vital eye and imagine about how these items can truly strengthen students’ studying activities.

The framework that I have employed for decades to evaluate new edtech products and solutions is a easy 1 of Discovery, Dialogue, and Demonstration. I defined this in detail in this online video that I revealed a couple of decades back. The principal details are summarized underneath.


Does the product or service or support aid students find new-to-them details? If so, I&#8217ll devote time investigating it to see if it merits utilizing in a classroom. Some items and solutions that healthy this class are Google Textbooks look for, quite a few augmented and virtual truth apps like these from Merge Cube, and electronic map platforms like ArcGIS Tale Maps and Google Earth.


Can the service or products support teachers facilitate discussions over and above standard in-classroom discussions? These are tools that can give shy college students a voice and give chatty learners a put to express them selves, too. Flipgrid does this very well, as does Synth.


Can the resource or service help students showcase their know-how and abilities in a new and interesting way? For some pupils this could possibly be as straightforward as a new Google Slides or PowerPoint attribute that aids them give a far better presentation. For other pupils this could be producing inexperienced monitor movies. And for other pupils it could be creating their individual online games or cellular apps to clearly show their understanding or programming principles (the MIT Application Inventor is fantastic for that, right here&#8217s how to use it).

Could this be finished just as properly without tech?

A closing considered about assessing new edtech goods that I shared in a non-public webinar final 7 days. The framework is terrific, but an even less complicated way to feel about new edtech goods is to inquire oneself, “could this be performed just as perfectly without having tech?” If the remedy is of course, then that solution may well not be truly worth expending a whole lot of time on.

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