November 10, 2020
4 steps to test web tools before you use them in the classroom
November 10, 2020
4 steps to test web tools before you use them in the classroom
Newbie 15 posts
Followers: 10 people

Before I begin, let’s be clear, I love web tools. 🙂 I use them for work, in everyday life, and I made a seminar on the use of web tools in teaching, and a blog. Well, my “love” for web tools is under question, but in order for web tools to serve us properly, we should test them before using them in teaching.

You can find a bunch of free web tools on the Internet, so often attracted by a good advertisement or a nice promise that with their help you will hold classes that will get a completely new dimension, you miss them completely.

Those web tools that are free in themselves have certain limitations. Either they work slowly, or they change during use or they simply cease to exist.

Below you can read some guidelines on how to thoroughly examine the web tools you plan to use in the classroom and thus avoid “failure” in class, seminar, lecture, conference, life. 🙂

1. Research

Google it. It can’t be simpler. 🙂 Before you create an account, look at the experience forums of others who have used this tool, read what it offers and whether it will suit you. Be sure, but be sure, to look for limitations and features of the web tool. Price information is always available on the website of the web tool. Click here and you will learn all about free and premium packages. In addition, on almost every system you have a short video showing the possibilities of web tools, so it’s not worse to look at that as well.

Time you need to set aside for this: 20 minutes

2. Newsletter

Usually web tools require you to create an account and on that occasion the system asks you if you want to receive their newsletters by email. Yes, you want to! These newsletters will inform you in time if the site is unavailable, if it stops working, so you can find an alternative in time. If by any chance you have an email address that you only use to create an account, don’t forget to check your mail there as well.

Time you need to set aside for this: 3 minutes a day

3. Test

Since it is generally necessary to have your own account in order to use a web tool, after creating an account, sit down and explore the environment. Click, click, clik everywhere! 🙂 So, try to create what you have imagined. This way you will also see how complicated the web tool is (if you plan to recommend it to students, but also whether you will encounter some tricks and additional doubts about its use.

3a – Accounut for students

If it’s a web tool that offers options to create an environment to use together, in real time (you and your students) you need to create one student account, so you know what it will look like from their point of view. With collaborative web tools, it is crucial to know not only what your work environment will look like, but also the student environment.

Time you need to set aside for this: 20 minutes + 15 minutes for a student account (if required)

4. General rehearsal

Now that you are sure that you have done all this nicely and that it is ready for rehearsal in the classroom, first try it at home. Don’t get to class with enthusiasm and get annoyed that you haven’t simulated work before. Ask a colleague, friend, children to help you simulate the work to make sure everything works as you envisioned. If you have used a web tool only to create material, test, assessment scale or similar for students, then you can skip this step. 🙂

Time needed to set aside for the simulation: 30 minutes

So, a maximum of 88 minutes for everything to go smoothly. 😉

So, when it comes to web tools that are free, do not rely solely on one web tool, because in case it stops working, it is important that you have an alternative. You can also use computer programs as an alternative, because a program is less likely to cease to exist or to have major changes in the work environment.

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