I have just finished reading Liz Kolb’s new book, Learning First, Technology Second: The Educator’s Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons. It is an excellent read, in fact I could not put it down! Essentially, Kolb examines how to effectively implement technology in your class by identifying learning goals first and then considering what type of technology you should use to support the learning goals. Too often we hear about new tech devices or programs and go full steam ahead in using them, with our learning goals as an after thought. I too am guilty of the attraction that a sleek new device or brand new programs offer without necessarily considering the effectiveness first.
Kolb’s book offers teachers a framework to use to measure the effectiveness of technology. The Triple E Framework consists of 3 components:
Engagement – the technology allows students to focus, motivates learning and increases active social learning
Enhancement – the technology allows students to develop a more sophisticated understanding, scaffolds concepts or ideas and demonstrates an understanding of the learning goals
Extensions – the technology allows students to learn outside of their typical school day, creates a bridge between school learning and everyday life and to grow as learners in a lifelong way
Using these three components of learning, Kolb created a Measurement Tool (also available online at tripleframework.com) to assist teachers in scoring their lessons that use technology.
Green Light Lessons (13 – 18 points) – meets all 3 components of the Framework
Yellow Light Lessons (7 – 12 points) – meets 2 of the 3 components of the Framework
Red Light Lessons (0 – 6 points) – meets 1 level of the 3 components of the Framework
Kolb offers sound advice and an effective framework for teachers wanting to use technology in their classrooms. Additionally, she offers many examples of lessons containing technology at many different grade levels and how they would be scored using the Triple E Framework. In my opinion, it is excellent guide that supports teachers in putting learning goals first and engaging in reflective practice when considering which technology to use.