When we first hear the words technology and distraction together, we tend to immediately think of video games, cell phones, etc. as a distractions from the important things in our everyday lives. While this may be true, i'd like to touch upon a different kind of technology distraction- one from an instructional lens.
We must always, always, ALWAYS bring ourselves back to the goal of our lesson! take this first grade example- teachers wanted a formative read on where students were with adjectives, or describing words.
So, students were given a bunch of images to choose from and then had to label the different objects in the image using hotspots through the technology program called thinglink. NOTHING against thinglink (I love using it with the older grades and have found a lot of success with it), but the signing in process, downloading & uploading the image, creating the hotspots and saving/sharing the images totally took over the lesson. no longer was the focus on adjectives, it was more about struggling through the different parts of the tech tool for the students.
After some reflection, we decided perhaps this savvy and cool looking tech tool was more of a distraction than anything else. if the goal was to get a feel for student knowledge of adjectives, was there another more effective avenue for us to assess this?
The answer was yes! Instead of using Thinglink, we created a template on Google Draw (our students are very familiar with the Gsuite apps). Students still were able to choose a picture and then could drag and drop the appropriate adjectives onto the objects in their pictures in addition to create some of their own describing words. This was much more efficient, effective, and the goal was met :) Flexibility and reflection are key. After all, the glitz and glamour of new tech tools can sometimes end up taking away from our purpose!