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Deciding Which Technology(s) to Use in the Classroom | Academic Newsletter | Seneca College

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Deciding Which Technology(s) to Use in the Classroom

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by Iain McPherson, the Teaching & Learning Centre

in the Spring 2017 issue


Using technology in the classroom can be a great way to enhance learning and increase engagement. But with so many available options, how do you decide which technology to use? When it comes to choosing educational tools, there is good news and bad news:

The good news is: there are many technologies from which to choose.

The bad news is: there are many technologies from which to choose.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to help you decide what technology will best suit your goals.

The first (and easiest) solution is to contact the Teaching & Learning Centre. With experience in a wide range of technologies, the Teaching & Learning Centre team are experts at helping you choose and implement a solution that will work for both you and your students.

Of course, you may prefer to evaluate a potential technology yourself. If so, the SECTIONS Model may be of interest. The SECTIONS Model provides a set of criteria and / or questions you should ask when trying to decide on an educational technology.

SECTIONS model checklist (Click to open full-sized version)  Screenshot of SECTIONS model (with UBC Framework) checklist tableSECTIONS is the acronym for the following criteria used as the focus for evaluating technologies:

Ease of Use / Reliability
Teaching & Learning
Organizational Issues

Originally developed for use in distance education by Bates & Poole (2003), all or some of its criteria can be applied to both online and traditional face-to-face (F2F) environments.

Get Your Own Version
A checklist form which uses Bates & Poole’s criteria – augmented with a framework of guiding questions proposed by UBC – is available for your use: SECTIONS Analysis Tool (PDF).


More Information
Interested in finding out more about the SECTIONS model? See Chapter 8 of the open e-text, Teaching in a Digital Age (Bates, 2015).



Bates, A.W.; and Poole, G. (2003) Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education: Foundations For Success. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 79-80

Bates, A. W. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age. Retrieved from http://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

University of British Columbia. (2003). Assessing Technology Using the SECTIONS Model. Retrieved from http://wiki.ubc.ca/File:SECTIONS_Framework.pdf



View the Spring 2017 issue of the Academic Newsletter.

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