In the book Digital Learning Strategies, which is about assigning and assessing 21st century work, Michael Fisher writes about 6 questions it's important to ask when considering whether digital tools should be used for classroom tasks:
- What is the learning objective? (and can we offer students choice in the ways in which they demonstrate their learning?)
- Is the task worthy of a digital upgrade? It's important to redesign the task rather than bolting the technology on top. Digital work is about interaction and creation, not about access and consumption.
- Will the digital tool increase or decrease the cognitive rigor of the task? He writes about the 4 levels of cognitive rigor (recall, application, strategic thinking and extended thinking) and suggests that digital tools that only help with recall are not worth using.
- Does the digital upgrade involve collaboration, communication, creative problem solving or creative thinking?
- Do all students have access to the digital tools?
- Are the students involved in some of the decision making?
I'm hoping that by the end of the year, 3rd Grade students will have more tools in their toolbox - which will in turn promote them making choices and decisions about which tools they want to use to share their learning.