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Ask These Questions About Time to Evaluate Classroom Technology Integration

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Devices in classrooms can empower students when used effectively. But how do teachers know if they are integrating technology effectively? Here are questions to ask about time that help teachers use effectively integrate technology. 

What percentage of time are students in creative apps such as Synth, Tour Creator, ThingLinkJamboardCanvaFlipgrid, Google My Maps, Google Sites, etc? What percentage of time are students in Google Docs or a word-processing tool?

What percentage of time are students consuming from self-paced interactive tools such as video paired with EdPuzzleDesmos, Google My Maps, Google EarthThingLink, Google Expeditions, etc? What percentage of time are students learning from the teacher and a slideshow?

What percentage of time are teachers speaking to students one-to-one or in groups of five or fewer? What percentage of time are teachers lecturing to the whole class or not speaking at all?

The more a teacher increases the percentage in the first question and decreases it in the second question - the more effectively they are integrating technology.

Some Thoughts

Neither Google Docs nor any word-processing software is inherently bad. Students will always use word processing software. Having said that, it is worth asking, what if teachers deemphasized word processing in favor of more creative apps?

Students will always consume content. What does that consumption look like with technology? Does it look similar to when whiteboards were new technology in classrooms? Does the whole class have to wait for the slowest note-takers? Shouldn't teachers take advantage of technology to let students learn at their own pace?

The last pair of questions addresses teacher time conversing with students. If students are using technology to creatively produce content, teachers can talk to students in small groups rather than address the whole class. Conversely, if teachers use technology as a babysitter rather than to create opportunities to converse with small groups, they are misusing it. The more teachers address small groups instead of the whole class or not at all, the better the technology integration.  

So what do you think? What comes to mind when you think of these questions and what happens in your building. Please comment below or tweet me @TomEMullaney with your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

Thank you, Canva, the tool I used to make the image for this post. 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I HAVE NOT RECEIVED COMPENSATION OF ANY KIND FOR  MENTIONING THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN THIS POST. I WAS NOT SOLICITED TO WRITE THIS POST AND I HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY OF THE COMPANIES MENTIONED. 

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Tom Mullaney is a Digital Learning Integration Designer for the San Francisco Unified School District. Tom's education experience includes Special Education, Social Studies, and educational technology coaching in New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. He is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer. Tom hosts the Sustainable Teaching Podcast and contributes to the BamRadio Network EdWords blog. Use his TED-Ed lesson to teach your students about the French Revolution. Contact him on Twitter, @TomEMullaney or via e-mail, mistermullaney@gmail.com.

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Guest Thursday, 13 December 2018