I used to read a lot about new gadgets – smartphones, in particular. I’d pore over the latest announcement from Mobile World Congress and compare side-by-side photos of the next generation of the current device. After careful research I’d select the best device out there.
And then I’d look out the window and realize I’d spent hours of a beautiful day in front of a screen for a device that did pretty much what my old one did.
The danger of choice is that having too much of it confuses and complicates the decision-making process. It applies to shopping for smartphones as much as it does wading through ed tech software and hardware. Every week my RSS feeds me yet more articles about “10 Apps to Use for X” or “iPad vs. Chromebook: which one wins for students?” They tempt me, and my teachers, to get lost in a forest of comparisons that, ultimately, bring very little marginal benefit to student learning. Using HaikuDeck over PowerPoint will not result in a measurable boost to student learning as measured against the standards in any of the classes offered at our school (although teaching principles of effective presentations would). Teachers have other, more important decisions to make to maximize their instructional effectiveness.