Congratulations on transitioning online! I know many of you have had to learn more about online pedagogy and teaching technologies faster than you may have wanted, but you all have risen to the challenge and conquered it. So now that you have your basic structure for your course online, you want to add technology to increase student engagement and to facilitate learning. How do you decide what technologies you should use and when do you take a chance to experiment?
I’ll be honest, trying to determine the best technology to use in an online course can seem daunting and challenging, especially if you don’t feel ready. It’s important to take time to reflect on your readiness, as well as your students’, when you explore adding technology to your course. As you’re reflecting, ask yourself the following:
Now that you have some insight on how to decide to implement new technology in your course, when do you use this new technology in your course? The best starting point when implementing new technology is to experiment with the technology in an e-Learning sandbox or development shell. By testing the technology, you can determine if it is applicable to the activities you want to utilize and if using the technology is feasible to both you and the students. If you decide to move forward with technology, I recommend setting up a no-risk practice assignment for students to get familiar with the new technology before requiring them to use it in a high-stakes assignment.
Overall, remember that just because there is technology, doesn’t mean that you have to use it in your course. Technology is meant to empower you to facilitate learning. So, be creative! Be innovative!