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Why this tool and not another?

We all know that there are a plethora of tools available out there in the ether that can be used for a variety of purposes.  Sometimes I become overwhelmed with the choices available.  How to proceed?  I have a small window with my Year 8s and I want to do a speaking task.  Should I use Croak.it "voice technology tool that allows users to discover, collect and convey thoughts and expressions on-the-go over voice in 30-second audio snippets ...".  This would be perfect.  Each of my students would be able to access the tool and complete the task within a 40 minute period.  I know it's possible as I have done it.  Then on the other hand why not use Audioboo I can "capture [my students] thoughts by giving them access to Audioboo - the easiest, simplest way to let students express themselves".  Of course, if I do not go with these options there's always Tellagami a mobile app that lets you create and share a quick animated video.  With this last option I can add so much more to the speaking exercise.  So, which one should I use?  I will just have to ignore the other options available (Voice Record Pro, Sock Puppets, Yakit, Buddy Poke) as the list is endless and I could go on forever.
 
You see, sometimes, it feels so difficult to make a decision about which app or tool to use.  This dilemma I present here is for oral work only.  Don't get me started on other projects involving other skills and other technological needs.  Actually, do get me started.  The whole point of this blogpost is to talk about this issue that can cause so much procrastination. 


The main point is to choose your poison and stick with it.  Explore that option to the full, make your students confident to use it so that it enhances their learning.  If you do not do this there really is no point.  A technological tool should augment what you are already doing in the classroom and should provide opportunities for your students to do things that they are not able to do easily without technology. 


I have heard tell that colleagues have given up on this tool or that tool because the students did not like it or the students said there was something better out there.  Oh how easily they have given up.  Did they give up this easily when the students told them they didn't like studying the set text, or they did not want to write that essay, or the grammar book was no good?  I think not. 


I have just come back from a fabulous day at #PedagooSW - so much fun but so educational too.  I had lots of thought provoking moments but for me my "oh yes, I get you" moment was in @lessonhacker talk on "better teaching and learning (with digital stuff)".  He has confirmed my beliefs and given me the strength to go back and encourage those who want to give up at the first complaint of a student.  It is important to remember that a tool has been chosen for a reason.  So use it and use it well.  If other options are presented then explore them in readiness for another project at another time.  However, please do not give up on a tool at the first sign of dissent.  Ask yourself, did you give up on using the CD when the CD player first came into use.... or the ipad... or the laptop....

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