The Power and Limitations of Tools


My students love when we get to introduce a new tool into the classroom. This fall, I introduced them to Kahoot! and they loved it. We had created a couple of Kahoots about academic vocabulary and math topics. However, my students responses are not recorded and therefore I struggle to use the tool as a means of remediation. Kahoot! as a tool is powerful because it allows students to engage with the content and everyone participates in the activity, however it is limited by what we can do with the data from the quiz session.

The more I investigate various technology resources the more I realize that there is no one application that will do everything that I want. I remember when I first started my journey towards a masters my first professors were in love with using Moodle as their student learning system. The university used Blackboard and I had explored options such as Edmodo, Schoology, and Sophia. How was I supposed to choose one tool to use in my classroom? What were the advantages and disadvantages of each? How would I decide? I started exploring each tool and testing them either by setting up both teacher and student accounts in my name or by having my students use the tools for specific assignments. The more I investigated, the more I realized that there would not be one solution that I liked better than the other. I would probably have to use a combination of all of them.

These tools have the power to motivate my students and to promote the learning that educators desperately want to see. The challenge as I see it is developing a way to keep all of these tools together and ensure that my students are directed there appropriately.

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