10 Factors to Consider Before Choosing Any EdTech Tool
It is no longer news that EdTech tools have become the order of the day in our institutions of learning today. While the use of modern technology is such an innovative education practice, we must be careful enough to pay attention to certain things that would enable us to make proper use of it, among which is the right selection of the #Edtech tools. Educational technology (EdTech) space is limitless. But choosing the right educational tools for your classroom can be challenging. This article, therefore, will focus on some factors to consider before choosing an EdTech tool for your lessons or topics.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing an EdTech Tool for Your Lesson
Purpose of the Tool or Material
The first thing to consider while choosing an EdTech tool is the purpose of the digital tool. Is the app meant to prepare the student for standardized tests, or is it meant to help students explore their more creative side? Although some EdTech resources may be compatible for multiple tasks, a specific goal is better for maximizing the tool’s value. What can students do with the digital tool? Is this tool going to be required for a class or other academic program? Or is it just an additional avenue for students to explore topics not covered during class? Understand this purpose will definitely help you as an educator to select the tool that is both right and useful.
Does the material, app, or tool have a strong connection to the topics in your lesson, topics, or students' levels? In evaluating whether a tool or material would be relevant to your students, you might consider the following:
Is the material appropriate for the student?
Is the content or features factual and reliable?
And the last one, does it align with your learning goals?
Another thing to consider is how easy such a tool is to navigate through. You might also answer these questions while navigating through the tool:
Does it use the touchscreen effectively throughout its use? Is it intuitive to use? Is there a help function or tutorial available? Answering these questions will help you determine how your students will use such tools without having issues or challenges.
Since the one-size-fits-all teaching method is becoming mundane, you may want to check out how flexible an EdTech tool is before using it. Complete flexibility helps you meet student needs. In evaluating such materials, consider these questions:
Does it offer personalized or adaptive learning benefits? Does it offer flexibility to customize content to meet student needs?
Does it let users personalize the user interface?
Customizable apps promote diversification, and diversification makes learning interactive.
How Collaborative is the Tool?
Before using an EdTech tool in the class, you should consider if it is for an individual or a group of persons? In other words, is the tool meant to give students a sense of community, or is it meant for individual work? Some digital tools might provide students at the top of the class, a chance to connect with similar students. Educational technology allows them to build not only academic abilities but also social skills.
Costs and Savings
The cost of the tool is (of course) another factor to consider. Free and cheaper software is easier to access and may have a larger user community. Also, a digital tool may end up saving money for schools, teachers, and students. But if students are willing to pay for the software, with their parent's permission, then consider the cost and accessibility.
Digital tools are often designed to save students and teachers both cash and time. Another thing to consider when comparing tools is if they can make teaching and learning more time-efficient. Technology can help students learn faster and smarter. Try to find tools that follow this idea.
Familiarity with Technology
While choosing an EdTech tool, consider how comfortable students are with the digital resources. Enquire about their interest in educational technology and the applications they have used previously. Even if students lack experience with digital tools, a new resource could be a valuable learning experience.
Consider Students’ Abilities
It is important to consider students’ strengths and interests. A tool can either allow students to push their already strong skills to the next level or let students work on an unfamiliar but engaging concept. Technology is all about removing limitations and building connections. A quality digital tool should connect students with new, useful content and experiences.
Another factor to consider while choosing an EdTech tool is versatility. Does the tool allow students to explore and create ideas? Many digital tools equip students with the freedom to explore their ideas. Go for tools that encourage students to be creative and utilize their problem-solving skills.
It would be necessary to let you know that, as an educator, one of the best ways to carry out all the ideas mentioned above is to practically get involved and be part of an EdTest event, where you have the opportunity to run a first-hand assessment on different learning tools.
Such an event would afford you the opportunity to put into use all the strategies you have read in this article. For this reason, we invite you to register and be part of our EdTest Project 2021. This event aims to provide a space for both educators and the EdTech companies to share their perspectives and experiences on different EdTools, and to enrich the teaching practices around the world.
Educational technology mitigates barriers between learners and content. With this in mind, a well-chosen EdTech tool will connect students with materials outside the confines of their existing classwork. However, keep in mind that these students can always come up with ways to integrate technology into their education. So, be sure to include students in the conversation. Make choosing the tool a learning experience in addition to the technology itself.
Do you have any further ideas to share on the selection of Edtech tools? Feel free to share in the comment section below.