Selecting Tools for Learning

Over 8 years ago, I wrote a blog post and created a checklist to evaluate iPad apps for their use in the classroom. While I believe that the checklist is still valid and applicable to any tools and platforms (not just iPad ones), it might be time for a little update.

The areas of considerations were:

  • Considerations: Think Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, November’s Digital Learning Farm, Bloom’s Taxonomy and other 21st century skills and literacies upgrades
  • Content & Components: Think differentiation, curriculum connections, personalization, authenticity and publishing options
  • Logistics: Think of any limitations, ease of management, accessibility of potential inappropriate content, advertisements, image and sound quality
  • Fluency: How does the tool support the fluency between steps such as importing, editing, researching, creating, disseminating…
  • Substitution vs Transformation Model (based on SAMR model of Ruben Puentedura and Alan November‘s work)
  • Evidence of Learning: How does the app support the learner in creating evidence of their learning?

You can  download the PDF file 

A new area , I would be adding nowadays would be

Schoolware and Worldware Considerations

Janet Hale and I talk about this in our book “A Guide to Documenting Learning“.

“It is important to know the difference between schoolware and worldware. Ehrmann (1995) coined the term worldware marketed mainly for purposes other than teaching and learning, but which are also used for teaching and to, “denote materials that are created and learning.” For example, WordPress was not invented for education, but myriad teachers and schools use this platform for creating classroom blogs. Students (at home and in school) often use YouTube to share and amplify their learning. […]

The first concern is that schoolware creates a digital wall that does not allow students and teachers to access the real world to amplify and invite local and global authentic audiences to participate in their learning. While it is understood that learning organizations have obligations, and often legal mandates, to protect those in their care, the reality is that when students are not in school there are no protective walls or barriers. Therefore, it is wiser to teach students the now literacies and coach them on what it means to navigate in the worldware-world authentically while in school, rather than trying to shield them from it. […]

Schoolware often has benefits for educators, such as streamlining the recording of student information, uploading certain types documents, sharing with others inside the schoolware’s digital walls, and providing a protective and controlled environment. Schoolware does provide basic social media capabilities, it usually does not provide a full range of platforms and tools that allow students and teachers to fully capture, unpack, share, and amplify their documentation artifacts with local and global communities as primary or secondary learners. The older the students are, the more concerning this becomes.

What are some areas of your considerations when you choose to use a tool FOR learning?