I'm interested in learning a little more about how teachers think about technology. If any teachers are willing to answer these questions I'd be grateful.

What questions do you ask yourself in deciding how to use technology?

What kinds of choices do you make when using technology in their classroom?

If teachers who use technology a lot could give one bit of advice to teachers new to technology what advice would you give?

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What questions do you ask yourself in deciding how to use technology?

1. Will this lesson/technology improve student learning/understanding?
2. Am I still addressing multiple intelligences?
3. What level of Bloom's Taxonomy does it address?
4. If none of the above, is it still worth doing? ie engagement, wow factor, science is cool!

What kinds of choices do you make when using technology in their classroom?

1. What is the learning curve for me?
2. What is the learning curve for students?
3. I love risk, but is it worth it?

My advice: Don't be afraid to take risks.
I second Scott's response -- does the technology support learning is the primary question.

My advice: Use it yourself. If you want students to (insert technology supported activity), then be a user of that technology. This doesn't mean be an expert, but it does mean be a fellow learner with the technology.
Is it safe? Does it put my students at risk? Can someone out there use the information to take advantage of my students?
The tech I have available (a tablet laptop and projector) make integrating tech into my classroom very easy. The most beneficial part both for the students and me is my ability to present real world examples in real time. For example, my Geometry class was studying orthocenter, incenters, and centroids of a triangle. As soon as a student asked "when are we ever going to use this?" I was able to pull up building they were familiar with and over lay the triangle properties we were studying. They were astounded.
I teach computer technology at the middle school level and here are my answers to your questions:

1) What questions do you ask yourself in deciding how to use technology?
How do I think my students will use this technology now and in the future?
What do they need to know about this technology now and is it a useful building block for their understanding of future technologies.
Is the use of this specific technology by me necessary to the success of my students? Meaning, will they benfit from me using PowerPoint instead of a blackboard because I will be correctly modeling an effective use of technology.
Cost benefit analysis: Will the amount of time and energy I will have to dedicate to this technology (learning it, practicing it, experimenting with it) pay off or is the technology (or software) just too cumbersome and possibly not ready for the classroom yet?
And finally, is the technology (or software) proprietary and exclusive or can it work seemlessly in conjunction with other existing technologies?

2) What kinds of choices do you make when using technology in their classroom?
I basically teach the microsoft office suite with a sprinkling of internet research, and digital multimedia. I work with whatever software and hardware that's available to create lesson plans that give students basic skills that they can scaffold new skills to in the future.

3) If teachers who use technology a lot could give one bit of advice to teachers new to technology what advice would you give?
Teaching with technology is like team teaching with a recovering alcoholic. Most days everything is fine but when it goes bad it goes real bad.
1. I ask myself "Self, will this enhance, improve, increase, interest the students more than another method?" "Self, is using technology A going to allow you to use differentiated teaching methods?" "Self, do you know enough about this technology to use it comfortably with students to get them started?" "Finally, self, is the understanding of objectives going to be fulfilled using the technology."

2. Well, I make great choices. I choose to try new things and am prepared to have not go well by having a great backup plan or at least my bag of soft juggling balls handy so students can do something. I'm not sure what you mean by this.


3. My advice - always have plan B. Make sure your students are as computer/technology literate as you/they believe they are. Be ready for absolutely anything to happen. Backup, backup, backup! Don't trust that the blocking software is going to work for teenagers - in fact they will be able to find all kinds of interesting sites while your biology teacher won't be able to find anything on asexual reproduction. I've resorted to asking the kids to find the websites for this;) Be ready to laugh at what takes place.



  • Does the technology involve the use of learning literacy skills?
  • Does its model or mirror authentic life-long-learning practices?
  • Does it require me to be in the front of the class?
  • Can they take it with them -- or do they have to do it in the classroom?
  • Does it cost trees or fossil fuels, support un-healthy stereotypes, or take unfair advantage of third-world labor?

-- dave --
1) Does the tool create a bridge to future learning?
2) Does it create an engaging way to approach the required standards?
3) Does it engage student thought in new and unusual ways? (which is actually a subcategory to the first question)
4) Does it make learning the traditional/required content more efficient and respectful of students' individual capabilities?

If the answer is not yes to at least one of the above questions, the technology is useless to my classroom/students.

Advice to teachers new to technology? I am myself new to technology, but I still use it all the time.
1) One needs to find mentors (Classroom 2.0) who are more experienced, and apply their tool suggestions to your kids.
2) You do not need to know how to use the tool. Hand the idea to your kids with a general idea of how it's supposed to be run or used, and have them learn it, then teach you! You don't need to know it. They do. And in them learning it, you learn too.
3) The environment must be fully collaborative where every single person in the room is seen as a learner. Everyone takes turns at taking the lead in strength areas and students begin to see one another (with careful side-guidance of the teacher) as go-to people for certain topics.

That's my advice. Be fearless and play with a modicum of humility to the students' innate abilities.
If teachers who use technology a lot could give one bit of advice to teachers new to technology what advice would you give?

My advice to all those learning to use technology is to persevere. It's hard at the beginning of each new adventure until the techno pitfalls are mastered and the value of the technology integration is seen in both the teaching and the learning.
It's important for the experienced teachers to remind the newbies that we've all lost tons of time to technology as part of our learning curve. It can't be avoided. Effort and failure are great teachers!
I look at two criteria:

Will the technology enhance or more clearly illustrate the concept I am trying to get across? This is what I look for when I am presenting information in the old-school teacher-centered model.

Will the technology provide an incentive for students to focus and engage with the material and more effectively herd them towards the learning objective? I think about this in terms of projects. Will a wiki provide more incentive for students to do research than a more traditional approach? Will a multimedia project provide enough wow factor to have students do all of the necessary groundwork and research? Usually, the technology provides a very large incentive for kids to engage with difficult material in a deeper and more meaningful way.
I think about what my goals are for a lesson/unit and then think about how to incorporate technology to make it more interesting to my students. I don't use technology just to use it. The choices I have are all software driven. What application will help me complete my goals..
My advice to teachers who are getting started with technology is not to be afarid to make mistake. How can we learn without mistakes.
What questions do you ask yourself in deciding how to use technology?Will this be beneficial to the classroom? Am I willing to take the time to learn about this new technology? How will I implement this technology in the classroom? Will the students take advantage of it?

What kinds of choices do you make when using technology in their classroom?I decide what web 2.0 tools I will use and how I will utilize them. I choose to take my chances at using this technology; sometimes it hinders the class, sometimes it encourages the class.

If teachers who use technology a lot could give one bit of advice to teachers new to technology what advice would you give? Do not depend soley on technology to teach the class. Keep in touch with more traditional methods of learning so that way you're not too dependent on any one thing; keep a good balance of the past, present, and future forms of technology.

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