Criteria for Choosing Tech Tools


Let me be clear that I don't like using tech just for tech's sake. Instruction first. Always. Also, focus on the learning. I heard someone say "there is no app for good pedagogy." So true.

So, with all those disclaimers, why do I love using technology? Well, it's important, relevant, and honestly can redefine your classroom and the learning for students. I love this quote from NCTM's Principles to Actions:

The word essential really stands out to me in this quote. Technology isn't something you can ignore or deny. It's an essential part of our students' world and we need to embrace that.

But we all know that there is amazing tech tools and some not-so-great stuff out there. How can you decide what to use? When it comes to using technology in the math classroom, I find using it for students to do practice/formative assessment is most powerful. If I can see their thinking, in the moment, and give feedback it can really put you in the "magic zone of feedback" that Eli Luberoff talked about in his Keynote speech at the ICTM conference a few years ago.

The "Magic" Zone of Feedback

I've developed 9 criteria that I use when picking practice/formative assessment tools to use in my classroom:

There is certainly no perfect tool. However, when I've evaluated different tech tools to use in my classroom, there are a few that meet all 9, or at least a majority of them. The tools I end up recommending the most are: ClassKick, Formative, RecapDesmos Activity Builder, and Blogger (for student blogs).

Do you think I've missed anything on my criteria? Let me know! Any tools you think I should check out or add to my list?


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