How to Make Sense of It All
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Basically, how can we get rid of #appfomo? This post is as much for students as it is for teachers. Read on!
OK, so we're totally online teaching and learning experts now. We have hundreds of apps downloaded on our devices, hundreds of free accounts created, and maybe even a couple of paid subscriptions. But we might be feeling a bit lost at the same time. With all these resources on the market, and there are more appearing every single day, how can we decide what to keep and what not?
This plethora of tools won't just be too much for teachers to use efficiently but also for students to understand and handle successfully. It seems we need to start doing one thing: Start cutting down on the number of tools we use and introduce.
Well that sounds quite easy but how do we start? And why is it necessary, again?
Staying on top of our game and ahead of the competition could mean that we're browsing the app market for new teaching or self-study apps on a daily basis. But what do we get out of that? Basically, we're going to end up with tons of probably useful resources, but we simply don't have all the time in the world to use them all to their full potential.
It's like the feeling of #fomo, when you think you're going to be left out of important and life-changing events just because you can't be in several places at the same time. Or being a shopaholic, just this time with websites and apps. We just want to have it all but we know we're not going to use them all.
So, let's see the steps:
First, we need to categorise the websites and apps we use to see their fundamental function. What are they for? How are they helping me or my student?
Next, we need to start being cruel - which ones did I use more than once during a day, or more than once during a week? That will show which ones I'm familiar, and possibly satisfied with.
The final step is deleting all the others that are just there to take up space. Unless you're specialising in #edtech tools, why do you need 5 things for the same function?
Now comes the bargaining part... Maybe this one has a function that the others don't. OK, but why aren't you using it then? Try to be rational and sensible in this case. Making yourself or your students use 10-20 different things every day won't necessarily serve the purpose of successful learning. It might just confuse everybody. Plus, you'll need an account for all of them. Eventually, you'll just forget where you did one thing and where the other.
So, check what you really need and use, and delete the rest. It might also happen that even though there is a fancier app out there, you consistently use a simpler one just because it works better for you. Don't try to impress the others, think about your own needs and use instead. If you like it and you can use it well, keep it.
Here's a simple categorisation chart I made with those tools circled that I cannot live without. I suggest you do something similar. You don't have to agree with me and keep the same apps and websites. Just try to monitor your own use and cut down on the unnecessary redundant resources.
Hope I could help with this idea! And remember, this doesn't mean that if something better appears on the market, you can't change your mind and use that new thing instead. We're only trying to get rid of the clutter here. Good luck! :)