Technology can be an important pedagogical tool, not only for facilitating active learning but for saving instructors time and increasing flexibility. However, the effective use of technology in teaching requires more than just understanding how a tool works; one must think carefully about which technologies are best suited to the learning goals and context. In other words, think about the pedagogy first and the tools second. Specifically, here are some suggestions when considering adopting new technology for your course:
- What are your intended student learning outcomes? Given those goals, and the assessments that you will use to determine if students have achieved the goals, what activities will help students learn the concepts and build the skills needed to succeed? See the resources on course design for additional guidance in doing this foundational work.
- Once you have thought about the learning activities you want students to do, then you can explore which technological tools will facilitate those activities. If you aren’t sure what’s “out there”, the Padagogy Wheel provides tons of food for thought (although all the specific applications around the edge of the wheel are for the iPad, versions of most of the examples are available in other formats). Anyone at ITS or the CTL will also be happy to provide suggestions.
- The Pedagogy First checklist leads you through the process of thinking about your learning goals as well as other issues you should consider related to technical resources and limitations, then provides information on a wide range of possible tools.
- The SAMR (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) model provides one framework for thinking about the various levels of integrating technology with teaching. At lower levels (substitution and augmentation) the technology does not really impact the pedagogy but provides a different form for completing activities (e.g., students turn in electronic copies of papers instead of hard copies); at higher levels (modification and redefinition), the technology becomes a more integral part of the learning process, allowing instructors and students to engage in activities that would be impossible without the technology (e.g., students create a multi-media website on a course topic).
- The TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) model highlights the interaction of three different knowledge domains (technology, pedagogy and content), emphasizing that the most effective teaching with technology requires the appropriate integration of all three.