Originally published in Edsurge.

Whoa! 1,073 tweets, from 119 people over the course of an hour! That’s a virtual fire hose of information.

On Monday, people gathered (virtually) re #edtechchat to share tips, best practices (and even a few warnings) about how to choose technology. Moderator Katrina Stevens has pulled a handful of the comments. Feel free to explore the online archive of the whole chat for more details. Even better: the group will be at it again next Monday evening (8pm ET; 5pm PT) Join in!

How do you choose edtech tools? 

@harrell_art The learner is the center. Use technology as a tool to engage the learner rather than the focus.  

@SrtaLisa The learning goal still needs to drive the lesson. Must consider if tech helps or complicates that.

Sometimes you have to be the guinea pig & be the first teacher in your school to try edtech tools. Someone has to be first.

@Jepson  you need #edtech that ENHANCES your curriculum, your teaching, and students…not dominates.

@SaneeBell Tools are like shoes. Not all tools will fit every teacher and every classroom.

What should administrators do?

@nathan_stevens Admins should curate tools and have a portfolio of options for teachers. don’t have to know how to use, but exist

@hparcher Ts need to realize engaging with tech is no longer optional. Ss need skills & 2 become dig. citzns. Who else will model that?

@ryanhorne0076 Qs to ask: how much PD is required? what’s real cost of tool? Is it “beta”? How much experimentation do u like?

@hparcher Do we want kids learning Digital Citizenship on the back of the bus or in a classroom with a qualified teacher?                     

We need to devote more, small group, teacher-led PD to integration of good edtech tools. Share lessons that work.  

@iplante play with any tool yourself first..don’t put in students hands until you understand it  

@MrPardalis: Too many tools can equal student and teacher confusion if you aren’t tech savvy. Not necessary to jump ship for every new tool

@engtechwriter Beware the sheen of something new. Not all that glitters is good. Seek to see it in action in your room.  

@ShawnCRubin I hate free that isn’t free! Don’t say free if you only give me enough to test product. Be clear that free is not usable!  


In my dream world there is a room at school where Ts can practice tech on each other, and try things out.  

@RafranzDavis: Don’t tie the tool to the task. Assign the task & let the task guide the tool 

@s_bearden: As a tech director I like to know about different tools so I can support tchers interested in using them. 

@iplante: I learn about so many tools from my PLN…the key to helping others take the Connected road  

@hparcher: device agnostic. no need for S emails. Easy to set-up/maintain/update/whatever & more about creation vs. consumption     

The best tools are naturally intuitive, I don’t have to read a manual to learn them  

A powerful tool is one that helps my students share their voice and for me to witness & document their understanding

As a side note, a few folks mentioned bandwidth as issue: @mrvandersluis: bandwidth is big issue especially for a rural school like mine @techie_teach: bandwidth is huge conversation in Mississippi because of the #CommonCore

Again, thanks to all who joined in. The fun begins again next Monday evening at #edtechchat