Enhancing the teaching and learning experience with technology

Technology is transforming education and with so many free Edtech tools, the teaching and learning opportunities are endless!

Teaching with technology enhances the learning experience through the richness of opportunities it provides, however, selecting the best Edtech tool can often be challenging.

Concerns over ease of use, cost, and lengthy registration forms can often deter educators from using many of the tools available. Additionally, researching what would be the best Edtech tool for a simple recall-based activity, to then trying to find something to support collaboration with a compare and contrast task, can be time-consuming.

To address these concerns, this website takes traditional teaching activities, of varying complexity, and then provides suggestions on which Edtech tools can be used to enhance. Rather than just providing a random list of activities, I have also ranked different teaching activities according to the potential complexity.

The teaching activities below have been applied to Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DoK) framework, which is a useful way of categorising teaching activities according to the demands being placed on the student. Webb proposed that there were four different levels of complexity or depths of knowledge: recall of information, the development of skills and concepts, short term strategic thinking and long term thinking.

Image showing Webb's 4 depths of knowledge. An arrow starts at level 1 which is recall and reproduce and ends at level 4 which is extended thinking. The arrow points both ways to emphasise that students can progress through the levels at a varied pace and do not have to pass through one before they can progress onto another.

Webb advised that educators should design their teaching activities around the desired cognitive demands to be placed on the student. Level 1 recall and reproduce was determined to involve the least complex activities and level 4 long-term thinking involves a high cognitive expectation. Students do not have to move through the levels in any set order but Webb did note that activities should not always be from the same level.

Click on any of the four images below for ideas on different teaching activities, with suggestions of how to enhance with free online Edtech tools.