It’s Not About the Tools. It’s About the Skills

Many times, I see eyes glazing over, when I excitedly speak with parents or administrators about blogging, skyping or podcasting with students. Many of them, unfamiliar with the tools, will immediately feel uncomfortable. Some will automatically and immediately steer the conversation back to what they know:

What about learning the basics, like reading, writing, math and science?

I usually try to explain and emphasize, that these skills are precisely what are being taught. We are not podcasting in order to teach Audacity nor Garageband. We are not recording students for the fun of using microphone, we are not blogging, so we can practice typing, we are not skyping for the purpose of using a webcam.

Parents and administrators, unfamiliar with the tools, also seem worried that “important” academic time is being lost and wasted!

In an attempt to explain that there is so much more involved when using technology tools, I blogged a few months ago, We Podcasted Today So, did you learn anything?

It is important that we explain to parents and administrators that we are using the tools to practice the above mentioned basic literacy skills, engage and motivate students, but also address, integrate and embed so many more skills and literacies.

Take a look at the visuals below:

  • Podcasting Skill
  • Video Conferencing Skills
  • Blogging Skills
  • Wiki Skills
  • Digital Storytelling

What are some other technology tools you are using in the classroom? What are the skills and literacies that you are addressing? How can we educate parents and administrators that blogging, podcasting and skyping, etc. are simply a vehicle to preparing students for many skills and literacies, including the 3Rs they are accustomed to and familiar with.


All images were created by me with photographs obtained at Stockxchnge. The resulting visuals are available for you to use, remix and build upon under the Creative Commons license. This means, that you are free to copy, embed, print, or distribute the images as long as it is not for commercial purposes and you give credit to me, as the original creator.

Creative Commons License
This work by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

You might want to grab the images with higher resolution from their Flickr Page:

Podcasting Skills

Video Conferencing Skills

Blogging Skills

Wiki Skills

Digital Storytelling Skills