How to Choose the Right Technology for Your Course

“Choosing the right tech tools for your teaching means making strategic choices, weighing costs against payoffs, and staying laser-focused on your course goals — and that is what this guide aims to help you do,” writes Michelle D. Miller, Ph.D., professor of psychological sciences at Northern Arizona University and director and co-creator of its First Year Learning Initiative, in a recent story in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Miller’s guide walks instructors through making choices about technology for the classroom. The story encourages instructors to first consider what the technology is for, how it aligns with course objectives and outcomes, and how it relates to the hardest parts of what they’re teaching. From there, instructors can weigh many options against one another and find creative ways to integrate technology into their course.

An especially helpful section of the guide, “When Shopping for Technology, Look for These Features,” provides a shopping list for instructors who are looking for new technology for their classroom. Items on the list include “Does it align with my toughest course goals?,” “Does it align with what we know about how people learn?,” and “Is it high quality?,” which focuses on the tech tool’s content, capabilities, and support.

Miller also provides an extensive list of vetted apps and other tools, as well as resources for choosing the right technology for one’s classroom.

“Choosing technology isn’t simple, but it is important. Do all of the things I’ve listed in this guide, and you’ll become not merely an early adopter of technology, but also a thoughtful one,” Miller writes in the guide.

For more information about digital resources available at WashU, visit the resources page on the Teaching Center’s website.