Week 3: Selecting technologies: what to look for and how to choose
This week will give you an overview of the main types of tools available for use online, what they offer, and how you might use them in your online teaching. This section does not aim to be, and could never be, completely comprehensive, and we’ll show you a few online resources that you may find useful for further exploration. We present some categorisations of these tools as a way of helping you to understand the potential of some of the main types of tools for your own context. The internet is replete with blog posts, categorisations, discussions, and sales pitches about these tools. So what we want to do is give you a starting point to better navigate and use it to your advantage in your work.
A brief note on privacy and personal information, which is particularly relevant to this week and next week, where you may find yourself registering for and trying different tools. If you are concerned by the privacy implications of using some of the tools covered in this week’s materials, one approach is to use an alias when creating your account with them, and to create a separate email address (e.g. using Google’s Gmail) for the purpose of registering for the service instead of using your usual email address. However, this approach will not make your actions truly anonymous or private, e.g. the service provider or your ISP will be able to identify that it is your computer accessing the service. It is possible to take further steps such as using a service to anonymise your computer (e.g. www.anonymizer.com). However, discussion of the pros and cons of such techniques is beyond the scope of this course.
This week we have a video from Sarah H., who tells us about how she decides on the tools to use in teaching:
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
- describe some of the ways to categorise educational technologies for online teaching
- explain how some of the tools available might help with certain learning objectives
- start making informed decisions about which tools you might try in your own context.