Essential Question: What is the appropriateness of (the software you choose) to your students, your classroom and your unit?

This week we will focus on evaluating technology. Evaluating technology for our classroom use is an important aspect of integrating technology into our classroom – and certainly it’s important to changing the dynamic in our classroom so that students are more active in their learning with technology. Even the most promising software can act unpredictably during any stage of our process. “Kicking the tires” on this technology as we try to create common errors that might occur in its use can help us to troubleshoot issues before they occur. We can therefore be more prepared to assist our students when the tech goes “live” in our classroom!

As you evaluate, I expect you to move through at least one cycle of use with this software. Therefore, for instance, if you are evaluating Dragon Dictation I expect you to move through the entire using process from beginning to end. You would dictate a memo or paper and then export it in the manner that the student would, and then submit it to yourself in the way a student would.

If you are evaluating one of the teacher tools such as EdPuzzle or SurveyMonkey I expect you to create a basic project, and then to test this project as a user in the same way that your students would. Go through the steps your students would go through to complete the survey or to work through the basic lesson. Then move back to the teacher side to view the results. Try to discover any issue that might occur on either side of the use.

As we evaluate this software please note any troubleshooting that you do at any stage. Please be sure to document this and to include it in your evaluation of the software.

Please choose one of the following software programs to evaluate:

 

OR if there is a different software you’d like to evaluate please just let me know.

 

Please do not choose to evaluate a software that you already use. This should be a new experience.

 

You will complete a Google Form that contains the following questions about your software:

 

General

 

Please indicate the software that you chose to evaluate, and outline the steps you took to evaluate the software.

 

Pedagogy and Content

 

  1. For what purpose would a teacher use this program?
  2. To what sort of lesson/experience would this technology lend itself?
  3. What would the time investment be for a teacher learning to use this program?
  4. To what extent would teachers need to explicitly teach students to use this program?

 

 

Software Operation

 

  1. How effective is the signup/download process for this software?
  2. What is the learning curve in effective operation of this software?
  3. What is the quality of the help/support materials for this software?

 

Infrastructure

 

  1. What are the operating system requirements and memory storage requirements for this software. Are there other requirements?
  2. Does this software require an internet or data connection?
  3. Does this software run effectively on your own school network?
  4. Are there filtering considerations or concerns with this software?

 

At the end of each section you will have a blank textbox in which you will input any troubleshooting you might have done as you worked through these questions. Troubleshooting can include searching for help information, maneuvering through starting operations to a point at which you might begin to actually use the software, or of course the normal troubleshooting we do which could include browser compatibility, issues with camera/microphone access or human error in working through one cycle of use with this software. Fully document the troubleshooting that you do as it is important to this assignment.

Submit your Software Evaluation

Once you have completed your evaluation and submitted it to the link above, please create a blog entry answering the essential question. No references are required this week. Please do comment on the blogs of others as we usually do. Please create your reflection per usual on Sunday.

Blogging

Students are expected to post a response to the Essential Question for the week by Wednesday evening. Students then interact with others by making postings to their blogs and interacting in twitter. On Sunday, students are expected to post a reflection on their blog of the learning that they have encountered during the week.

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