Ed Tech Regrets
At the start of each school year teachers have mile high aspirations for how to transform their teaching to maximize learning outcomes. One of the activities I really hoped to incorporate this year was back channel discussions. I used TodaysMeet.com to pose discussion questions as students viewed a historical documentary. Overall I feel like I missed the boat. I know that this can be a very powerful tool, but sometimes felt lost as to how to best utilize it with students.
More and more I relied on discussion boards on Schoology to create a space for students to engage in content and share with others.
For most of the year I felt guilty for not figuring out the best way to maximize back channeling with students, but I suppose it is ok. At the end of the day, students may not have used that particular tool, but certainly engaged in a variety of meaningful student led discussion. I think this is an important reminder for self proclaimed Ed Tech groupies like me: skills, not tools matter. Back channeling is a great tool and has a host of benefits, but as educators our ultimate goal is to maximize learning. So although my back channeling goals fell through, I was still able to create lessons that met academic outcomes. I absolutely love technology and how it has changed the way we do education, and I think it is okay to set technology goals. However as long as we are meeting the needs of students, tools matter less.