Effective utilization of tech tools

Effective utilization of tech tools

By: Hayley Johnson

We educators know how prevalent technology is becoming in classrooms. Students have Chromebooks, laptops, desktop computers, handheld mobile devices, tablets, and probably more technology that we have never used before in the classroom.

Properly engaging students by utilizing the technology that they are familiar with and even more advanced technology can foster a brand new classroom learning experience with multiple exposures to information and knowledge.

“Among the many debates on inquiry in teaching and learning, researchers have reported that well-designed science tools help to provide authentic learning environments, foster students’ motivation, and support multiple representations of knowledge.”

“The invention and distribution of handheld technologies have helped students to collect field data (e.g., temperature) as well as to input and manipulate data immediately.”

“Tools can be used to “decompose” complicated inquiry tasks and procedures (such as examining hypotheses and manipulating variables), thus reducing extraneous cognitive load in order for students to focus on core concepts and monitor their inquiry processes.”

“Technology tools can problematize and challenge ideas by posing question prompts and providing feedback to encourage students to formalize their thinking and examine multiple perspectives.”

-Minchi, K., et. al. 2007. Technology-Enhanced Inquiry Tools in Science Education: An Emerging Pedagogical Framework for Classroom Practice, Science Education, Vol. 91 (Issue 6).


multiple perspectives, integrate, maximize, balance, stimulate, access, motivate, engage


Examples of useful tech:

-PhET simulations


-Virtual reality simulator

-Data collections tools (electronic thermometer, pH meter, photometer)

-3D printer

-Modeling software (NetLogo)


“Integrating technology with face-to-face teacher time generally produces better academic outcomes than employing either technique alone.” – Edutopia

Many classrooms have computer or laptop access for students, so there are many websites and programs that can be done simply through the internet:

General Science Tools

“Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.” – Heidi-Hayes Jacobs

TEDTalk: Students already have mobile devices, tablets, and other                                             media devices… SO LET’S USE THEM!

Classroom examples:



 “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together                          and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates


  1. Hayley,
    I loved how you incorporated so many outside sources into your post. You were able to bring in so many different perspectives to give insight on your discussion, which is very powerful.
    Technology is becoming such an important part of the classroom, so it is important that teachers stay up to date with the technologies around them. One question I have for you is this: is there one (or a few) of these “tech tools” that stands out to you as an exceptional method for science education?

    • Billy,
      Thank you! I thought it would be more helpful to has a surplus of real world examples, rather than elaborate on the article because the article was basically researching the effectiveness of tools and tech in the classroom. After I pulled some main ideas from the article throough quotes, I thought it would be more helpful to show lots of classroom examples. I personally think that the data collection technology can play the biggest role in enhac=ncing the students’ learning. They use these to collect data of real life samples and can work their way through the scientific method with exploration of these tools. I think this can help them learn and engage a lot more than an online simulation would (although those have their place, too). Thank for the comment!

  2. Hayley,

    My research is on PhET simulations, so I’m studying the use of technology all the time! I think it’s really an interesting concept, because the technology is more advanced now than when we were in school, so we can’t just simply “teach as we were taught”. Even if we had a good teacher, there are new tools and opportunities for us as educators to utilize in the clasroom (PhET happens to be one of my personal favorites, but I’m a little biased.) Great post!

    • Naomi,
      I love PhET simulations! I want to hear more about the research you’re doing. I agree, sometimes I feel like I’m too old to even understand some of the technology that students have now- so I can’t imagine how hard it is for older, more experienced teachers to adapt to new tech in the classroom who already have set routines and methods. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hayley,
    I really loved how you organized your blog. You took main quotes form your article to highlight what the main points of the article were. I also liked how many graphics and tweets that show great ideas to bring technology into the classroom. Great job! How would you try and bring technology into the classroom in a school where these devices aren’t provided?

    • Katin-
      Thanks! I’m very bad at summarizing a long article without using super long paragraphs so I just took the most influential quotes that I found while reading that stuck with me and included them as a way to touch on the article’s main points. I love finding those tweets because I search things like “technology in science classroom” and find SO many awesome examples. It makes me really excited to have my own classroom and make tweets to show off what my students are doing! To answer your question, the Youtube video mentioned that over 70% of 12-15 year olds have more than one media device. So even if some of my students didn’t have their own device, they could be put into groups to ensure each group has at least one device and I can use them to play kahoots, PhET simulations, or other activities that can be done through mobile devices/laptops/tablets. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Hayley,
    I love the blog. The quotes and the visuals are so good and well put together! I would have liked a little more explanation about the technology, but the examples were great! Everything felt creative and new/fresh. What kinds of technologies are you hoping to use in your classroom? Excellent job!

  5. Hayley,
    I really liked that you chose to focus on utilizing technology in science education. I think all of the examples are very great! The one that makes me question how science teachers use technology is the one where the students are writing their science reports on a computer. Do you think that is what the author of your journal article meant when they spoke about implementing technology in the classroom? Or do you feel that they meant in a more engaging and useful way?

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