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Using Technology as a Tool

Tech Tools: Text

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Integrating Technology Wisely

Remember Principles of Backward Design

Using digital tools is no different than integrating any other strategy or resource in a lesson - they should be chosen secondary to the learning objectives, not the other way around. We're often swept up in the excitement of new platforms, apps and other tech tools without stepping back to consider whether or not we actually need them in our classroom. 

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Digital Pedagogy

"Digital Pedagogy is precisely not about using digital technologies for teaching and, rather, about approaching those tools from a critical pedagogical perspective. So, it is as much about using digital tools thoughtfully as it is about deciding when not to use digital tools, and about paying attention to the impact of digital tools on learning." -via Hybrid Pedagogy

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Applying Backward Design: Practice Activity

The following resource sheet guides lesson planners through the process of using backward design by directing them to first identify the "key learning move" (or learning objective) that you want students to make. From there, sample learning activities are listed, along with options for digital tools that could be appropriate for carrying out those learning activities. While this resource is specifically tailored toward online/distance learning, many of the learning activities and tools could be utilized in the physical library classroom, as well.

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Additional Criteria to Consider

Within a time-limited one-shot, you have to be very intentional and systematic about what you choose to integrate in your lesson plans. Consider your learners and their comfort and familiarity with not only specific tools, but also technology in general. Who are your learners? Not just the "average" or "typical" student in your university, but those who may come through your classroom who aren't as comfortable with digital tools, are more familiar with different platforms (ex. Mac vs. Windows), have learning differences, are get the picture. Some other questions to consider:

  • What is the learning curve, or time it takes to get started with, a particular tool you're considering?

  • How comfortable are you describing it to a class the size of the one you'll be teaching?

  • How prepared are you to troubleshoot on the fly?

  • Do you have a back-up plan if the tool isn't functioning on the day-of, or if it just isn't clicking with your class?

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Categories of Tools

Types and Examples

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