Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ed Tech: It's All About the Right Fit

In setting up this new blog, it occurred to me that it's important to remember that there's an element of finding a tool that has the "right fit". I personally have found some blog interfaces unintuitive and difficult to navigate. Additionally, some I found that I was spending way too much time on the technology and not enough on the content. A tool, for me, in and out of the classroom is something that I can use to quickly and efficiently accomplish my goal. With time at such a premium most days between work, family, and graduate school, I don't want to have to "futz" around trying to get something to work.

That is what I love about many Web 2.0 tools but especially Wikis. Wikis require navigating to the page to be edited, clicking edit, updating content, and finally clicking save. As an indicator of their ease of use, I have successfully used wikis with my 1st grade classes. Also, my teachers have created them many commenting on their ease of use.

Back to the "right fit" theme. What may be an easy-to-use tool for me, may not be for others. This particular blog interface I find easier to use than most, I find the links, navigation, and descriptions fit me well. For others, it may be different - they may find this particular interface more difficult. I think this is an important point to remember when offering inservicing on ed tech tools. While we can educate and instruct our teachers how to use the technology, I think there has to be an intrinsic level of comfort with the technology especially if we want to build towards sustainable technology adoption. I think this is an an important concept to remember while planning or delivering teacher inservicing - the tool doesn't fit everyone the same.

No comments: