Avoiding Toolishness - Presentation or Hands-On Session?

Avoiding Toolishness
Type core content subject here
Type grade level here
Time Frame:
How long will the activity/lesson/project take?
Write a SHORT summary of the activity/project/lesson here
Compare to Bling vs. Bang! (Greater emphasis on subject matter, but definite overlaps.)
  • Start with a debate/argument/discussion with one person on the side of learning to use a tool or two well and someone who is always looking for the newest coolest tool
  • Present teacher tool exploration as a necessary first step (not direct instruction, though some instruction might be woven in)
    • Mini challenges (in place of direct instruction) are a great way to focus teachers use on the affordances/constraints you want them to notice
  • Follow with an open discussion of the tool (likely to be a mishmash of thoughts on the tool, student use of the tool, and project ideas)
  • Present the Affordances & Constraints Chart as general way to think about tools and later to help compare it to other tools
  • Present SAMR and complete a short version of the Apps Taskonomy using SAMR to think about the tool and if/how it lends itself to each "level"
    • Revisit the affordances and constraints chart
  • Present TPaCK as another useful way to examine the classroom use of the tool, focusing on how the activity balances the technology, pedagogy, and subject matter. Asking if the tool itself affects that.
    • Present the concept Mitch Resnick mentions, Low Floor, Wide Walls, High Ceilings. Ask where the tool might fit on that continuum. Ask how that might affect where it falls on the TPaCK chart
  • Present a graphic showing the number of tools available for consideration and how many have come out in the last few years
  • Present the idea of using a PLC or PLN as a way to share good practices, divide up the exploration of new tools, and to generate creative ideas that might fall higher on the SAMR chart and balance TPaCK
  • IF the idea of Student Feedback and student exploration has not already arisen, present the need for this since they are the end user and due to teachers' time constraints
  • Thinking more programmatically - Once teachers have experience with a few different tools, how do they pick? Or, does the program help in this respect?
    • Present the thinking behind the !gnite program's starter set of tools (not a limiting set)
    • Present scenario thinking through teacher choice - similar to Harris and Hofer
How will you assess the students learning?
Please identify opportunities for differentiation.
  • Links to teacher or student examples.


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