What makes a good online tool?

Tanner Higgins, Director of Commonsense Education, posts a paper, What Makes a Good EdTech Tool Great that is, well, common sense!  With experience in editing many reviews of online tools, he outlines seven points that developers would be wise to heed and cites examples of good practice:

  1. Listen to teachers and students
  2. Identify a real, solvable problem
  3. Do an exhaustive competitive analysis
  4. Create clear, concrete messaging
  5. Focus on learning design
  6. Make privacy a priority
  7. Give teachers and students agency

It’s worth a read!

Counteracting the iPad cart-before-the-horse

Tablets are great devices!  Tablets are an excellent tool for education!  However, why have schools been so quick to purchase class sets?  “Yes, we must have iPads;  no, we’re not sure why and how we will use them”.  We know that there are difficulties with sharing a device which is intended to be personal; we know that storage of data on the device is an issue; we know that classroom and device management can be tricky.  Here’s a sensible article on the benefits and challenges of iPads in the classroom.


The discussion is also worth following.

More iPad Apps for the Classroom

This list of apps from John Clear, IT Consultant for the Association of Independent Schools, is of those he regards as essential for the classroom.  All are free except iMovie.

Flipboard Evernote Dropbox
Scoop.it! Edmodo Skype
iMovie Aurasma iBooks
Google Earth Idea Sketch iView
Nearpod Socrative Educreations
Lino SlideRocket iZip
USB Disk iMotion HD CloudOn