The tools you already use

Useful links

Teaching, Learning, and Technology: www.tltgroup.
org. Sloan Consortium...

Think about what's already in your toolbox both for teaching face-to-face and online. Before you move forward and explore new technology tools, think about making an inventory of what you currently use, and what your preferences are for providing content, developing interaction, and performing assessment.

Similarly, think about the technology tools that you use outside of education. Do you use social media to interact with friends and family? Do you play online games? Do you search for gardening tips online? Do you watch instructional videos to learn how to fix something around the house? Each of these are learning events in your life, powered by the same technology tools that you will be integrating into your online teaching.

Understanding your comfort level with technology is a first step. From there you can take on the role of explorer to find the tools that will best help your students progress along their learning journeys.

In the following activity, you will be presented with a number of technology tools. In each case, click the technology tool at the top and then click on the appropriate column – 'Content', 'Interaction', or 'Assessment' – according to which category the tool most clearly belongs to. Then click 'View feedback' for some summarising thoughts.
You will now be presented with a list of different technology tools. Consider whether each tool is to do with developing and delivering content, facilitating interaction, or providing assessment. Then, continue on to check if you are correct and reflect on some feedback.

Example technology tools

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Reports on student progress
  • Video lectures
  • Quiz
  • Teacher blog
  • OERs
  • Course YouTube channel
  • Discussion forums
  • Email
  • Research paper
  • Announcements
  • Student blog
  • Electronic submission tool
  • Virtual labs
  • Virtual meetings
  • Chat
  • LMS/VLE pages
  • Library resources
  • Reflective paper.

Now check to see if you are correct:

Tools for developing and delivering content

  • LMS/VLE pages
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Library resources
  • Video lectures
  • Teacher blog
  • Student blog
  • Course YouTube channel
  • Virtual labs
  • OERs.

Tools for facilitating interaction

  • Discussion forums
  • Email
  • Announcements
  • Virtual meetings
  • Chat.

Tools for providing assessment

  • Quiz
  • Reflective paper
  • Research paper
  • Electronic submission tool
  • Reports on student progress.

Feedback

  • Remember, content can be contributed by your students as well! Consider ways to integrate student generated content throughout the course to support engagement!
  • Remember, interactive components can be synchronous or asynchronous. Take time zones and student schedules into account when making a determination on which to use.
  • Assessment can help guide your selection of new technology tools. Let students' progress against measurable objectives guide your selection and implementation process.

The categorisations of technology tools presented in this exercise are the obvious ones – but they are not set in stone. For example, you might use a student blog for peer or teacher assessment purposes.

Keeping up-to-date

Your context

Explore information related to your institution's account access, available tech...

User groups, peer communities, and professional conferences are all important for staying current with the technology tools for online teaching. Each allows you to review current research, exemplar projects, effective practices, and success stories from around the world. They will also connect you to others interested in discussing effective practices for technology use, and experts who can help when you need guidance.

Joining a community of practice is the best way to stay on top of evolving technology tools and approaches. As you move forward using technology tools in your online teaching, take some time to search for networking and professional development opportunities at your institution and around the world so that you will have resources available when you need them.

community of practice

Groups of people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour (e.g. shared work).

In the following activity, consider each question, select the response(s) which best reflect(s) your opinion, then click 'Vote' to register your response. How do your answers compare with those of your peers?

Consider the following questions. For each question, pause to consider which of the responses best reflect(s) your context. How might your colleagues respond to these questions?


Which technology tools are you currently using in your teaching (online and face-to-face)

  • LMS/VLE
  • Social media
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Virtual meetings
  • Virtual labs
  • E-portfolios
  • Other.

Which technology tools would you like to further explore and incorporate into your teaching in the future?

  • LMS/VLE
  • Social media
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Virtual meetings
  • Virtual labs
  • E-portfolios
  • Other.

Remember to reach out to find communities of practice related to your discipline as well. In many cases you will find resources for integrating technology tools and approaches related to your specific area of practice, and colleagues who can help guide your review and integration process.


Useful links

Your context

Explore information related to your institution's account access, available technology tools, and where to find documentation and training. Also search out information related to professional development and conferences.