Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Looking for Digital Content? KISS (Keep It Synthesized Stupid)

     Are you in the market for digital content to support your instructional programs?  Well, KISS (Keep It Synthesized Stupid). By synthesized, I am referring to the dictionary definition, “combining (a number of things) into a coherent whole.” Digital content should not be an add-on or an afterthought to the teacher’s plans for an individual student or group of students.  The teacher’s goals must always be “driving the bus” when considering the use of digital content.  That content needs to complement, extend, or enhance the teacher’s instruction. Otherwise, why bother? You might as well be pushing worksheets (or as I prefer to call them – shut-up sheets) at kids.
     John Rice, Manager of Blended Learning for the DC Public School System, gets it.  His recent post in EdSurge News outlines a thoughtful four-step process for selecting digital content (Determine goals; Which features are important; See it in action; and Make sure users approve).  I might add a fifth – Make sure it works!  At the risk of sounding a little pretentious, I think John’s second step would be enhanced with the use of an objective, validated tool to evaluate the quality of the digital content, like maybe the Evaluation Rubric for Mobile Applications? (see earlier posts).
     You can read John’s piece at this link:

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