How to Choose Tech Tools that Fit Objectives

Lauren Peña describes her method for ensuring adoption of the right technologies to achieve teaching goals

A video clip about how to make sure you’re adopting technology that helps you meet your objectives, not rushing to adopt the “next big thing.” Hint: Ask yourself, does this tool make learning more equitable, efficient, effective, and/or more engaging?


Lauren Peña:

So like we talked about, not wanting to overwhelm. I try to give only three simple tools, things that they’re going to use every day, like our student information system where they’ll take attendance, the learning management system where we ask them to put content for their students, and then something… I know some schools use GoGuardian, some use Apple classrooms, something to help with supervising student devices. And we keep it simple. Then as the year goes on and they come to me saying, “I want to try this thing.” I love it when they ask, “Okay, here’s my objective. What’s a good tool to use with that,” as opposed to, “Here’s a cool tech tool. How can we shoehorn this into the content?” I always try to encourage teachers to remember that it should make learning either more equitable, more efficient, more effective, or more engaging. Those are the four E’s that I use for technology use, equitable, efficient, effective, engaging, so that they’re not feeling like they have to use the hot new whatever, trendy new technology item.

I will say that I… Speaking of trendy new technology items, I found a website called eduaid.ai, and it’s an AI algorithm that will create a syllabus or a skeleton for a unit plan that I thought is going to be life-changing for our brand new baby teachers who just need a place to start. Obviously, you fill in with your content, but man. I was a Spanish teacher before, so I said, give me 10 lessons on the imperfect versus the preterite, and it gave me, here are 10 lessons in sequence. And that was an amazing starting place for me when I was starting to teach a new level of Spanish a couple of years ago.