Session 220: Tech in the classroom is useless in the wrong hands. How do we make it an effective tool for everyone?

Thursday 18th September 2014

-#ukedchat asked the question, “Technology in the classroom is useless in the wrong hands. How do we make it an effective tool for everyone?” with host @basnettj - The session focused on the following questions:

  1. What drives you to use technology in the classroom?
  2. How do you know if you are using technology effectively?
  3. Is a highly confident user of technology the best user of technology?
  4. Who shows you what technology is out there and how to use it?
  5. How do we ensure that best practice is shared?
  6. Who should be responsible for ensuring that technology is being used effectively?


The topic was obviously one which grabbed people’s attention and clearly the overriding opinion was positive in favour of using technology in the classroom. Most could see the value in using technology if only to ensure that children are properly equipped for tomorrow’s world.

The benefits of technology in enabling students (and tweachers) to collaborate similarly was not overlooked nor was the importance of using technology to support and enhance learning. Many touched upon the idea that students can use technology more independently and the idea that technology engages learners was clearly high on some people’s agenda. The sheer variety of ways teachers use technology in their classroom would be overwhelming for someone who was just beginning to get to grips with technology but there were certainly plenty of great ideas for us all to pick up on and use.

Interestingly the question “is a highly confident user of technology the best user of technology?” was interpreted in many different ways. Many thought the question was targeting the students themselves and they felt that students could pick up the required skills to use technology effectively and that digital leaders could help in this respect. There was discussion about ensuring that teachers could use technology effectively by understanding that it needs to be used contextually. Just because you are a confident user of technology does not mean that you will use it effectively as a teacher in class.

At the same time the point was made that someone who is confident and knows how to use technology contextually will be able to be more creative in their use. One interesting point that came out of the discussion was the fact that for many teachers technology is a problem because it does not always work well and they do not have the necessary time to make sure it does work or to ensure that they know how to make the technology work.

Unsurprisingly twitter and #ukedchat came out on top in the discussion about how we know what technology is out there and how to use it but clearly students help in this respect too. The conversation was fast-paced and the ideas flowed freely. It was an invigorating chat with many thought provoking ideas. It certainly gave me a lot to think about.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

I was keen for people to question the value of using technology just for technology’s sake and @FatBlokeThins certainly was of the same mind as me…

@mm684 also identified the importance of using technology as just one of the many tools available to us as teachers…

What I was angling for was a discussion on how to make it useful and @olpoxford summed up my thoughts with his comment…

In addition @irum0310 pinpointed an important consideration - that knowing how technology effectively is paramount…

Tweet of the Week:

The final question provoked a range of responses but this was my favourite from @urban_teacher who suggested that the responsibility for using technology effectively should be apportioned this way:

Head: SLT

Body: School

Hand: Teacher

Torch: Tech

They all need to work together for it to run effectively.

@gazneedle then took those words and transferred it to a cartoon image.

About your host:

I am Jane Basnett, Head of Modern Languages in an Independent Girls’ School. I have been teaching for twenty years and I am still thinking about the process and how I can do it better. I love using technology in my classroom and using twitter for CPD. I am currently studying for an MA in Digital Technology for Language Teaching which as broadened my mind and made me question how I use technology in the classroom.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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