I quite like this post on the ISTE website asking “Is technology a gimmick in your classroom?” It gives a reasonably useful set of yes/no questions to answer, and then you add up the yeses at the end to get a score. Obviously it’s only a simple tool, and some of the questions need to be rephrased for a local context, but I do like the idea. There are three questions under each of three headings. they are:

Engagement in the learning

  1. The technology allows students to focus on the assignment or activity with less distraction.
  2. The technology motivates students to start the learning process.
  3. The technology causes a shift in the behaviour of the students, where they move from passive to active learners

Enhancement of the learning goals

  1. The technology tool allows students to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the learning goals or content.
  2. The technology creates supports (scaffolds) to make it easier to understand concepts or ideas.
  3. The technology creates paths for students to demonstrate their understanding of the learning goals in a way that they could not do with traditional tools

Extending the learning goals

  1. The technology creates opportunities for students to learn outside of their typical school day.
  2. The technology creates a bridge between students’ school learning and their everyday life experiences
  3. The technology allows students to build grit and P21 skills, which they can use in their everyday lives.

What do you think? Are these the right questions? How would we rephrase them for use in the UK at HE level?

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One thought on “Is technology a gimmick?

  • April 8, 2015 at 10:05
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    On the whole, I think the Triple E Framework is equally applicable to HE institutions in the UK as it is K-12 education in the US.

    However, one level of the Triple E Framework that would need some consideration is ‘Extending the Learning Goals’. Where the focus here is predominantly on the relevance of technology to students’ everyday lives, there should be a mention of the value added to students’ career prospects and employability.

    Also, I would suggest considering the addition of “The technology tool allows students to develop skills to become more productive and efficient learners”.

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