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Integrating technology into your teaching

Teaching with technology can deepen student learning by supporting instructional objectives. In the classroom, technology can encompass all kinds of tools from low-tech pencil, paper, and chalkboard, to the use of digital software and tools. UW-supported classroom technologies such as Poll Everywhere, Google docs, and the Canvas learning management system provide ways for instructors to share information and structure dynamic interaction in both in-person and online learning environments.

But selecting the right technology can be tricky. Here are three questions to guide your decision making as you explore integrating technology into your teaching practice:

  1. What are my learning goals? The adoption of any technology should be driven by the learning goals you’ve identified for your students. The best technology is useless if it isn’t connected to a clear instructional purpose.
  2. Does the technology add value? Loading up your class with lots of new technologies might seem like a good idea, but asking students to learn new technologies every week forces them to devote time and brainpower simply getting to your content, rather than to the content itself. Avoid choosing a complex technology where a simpler one will do and think carefully about how many new technologies you introduce in your course.
  3. Is the technology supported by the UW? There are countless technologies available on the web. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use them. Free software often carries hidden costs that usually involve the sale of student data. The UW carefully vets its technology vendors to ensure that they follow privacy and security best practices. When choosing technology, first explore which technology tools are supported by the UW.

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