A guide through the sea of apps


No matter what type of device your students are using teachers need to make the right choice about how they are integrating technology into their learning environments.  What makes this difficult is the sheer number of apps out there.  The “there is an app for that attitude” is not the right approach as I stated in an earlier post.  In this post I mentioned the SAMR Model  and still believe it is one of the better models available but think alone it isn’t enough.  Fortunately their are awesome people like Lisa Johnson @TechChef4u who have put together various resources that help teachers use the SAMR model.  In her S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR: Toolkit for educators she outlines many things to help guide educators in the process of choosing the right apps.   What I would like to focus on in this post are questions all educators should be asking themselves when they are looking at integrating technology into their lessons.

These questions are not intended to be the only questions asked and are by no means comprehensive in nature but do give a strong foundation to make the right decisions about how we are integrating technology.  They will assist educators in making better choices and will help them move to more authentic and transformative uses of technology within their learning environments.  These question were taken directly from Lisa’s S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR: Toolkit for educators.

  1. Does the technology/tool allow for collaboration (e.g. within a school, district, state, nation, globe, experts, PLN)?
  2. Does the technology/tool allow for feedback and formative assessment?
  3. Does the technology/tool allow for publishing to an authentic audience and archival?
  4. Is the technology/tool student-driven?

According to these guiding questions the integration of technology should enable collaboration, allow for feedback or be used to formatively assess, enable students to reach an authentic audience and be driven by student needs.  Asking these questions and ensuring the use of the technology fits these requirements will enable higher order thinking skills and transform the lessons into authentic 21st century experiences for our students.  It will also allow teachers to meet many of the the newly revised ISTE Standards for Students by empowering the learner to be knowledge constructors, innovative designers and creative and global communicators.

There are tools out there to help us educators navigate the sea of apps and make the right choices to enable transformative uses of technology in our classrooms. We must, as conscientious, educators make a concerted effort to use these tools in authentic ways to improve our practice.

Thanks for reading

Shannon Doak

Creative Commons License
SASSY SAMR by Lisa Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/

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