I often see a lot of web-based tools for use in the classroom- some brand new and some just new to me. As I wade through the different tools I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time that could be spent on any different number of things. Classroom teachers and librarians also have little time to spend with their daily demands. I’ve come up with a strategy borrowed from Richard Byrne’s Best of the Web presentation that he shared during a NCTIES presentation. He spends eight minutes; I’m not that good.
Give yourself ten minutes (use a timer) to keep yourself honest) to look at a web site or app and see if you can figure out the basics of use within that period of time. My challenge is this: Can I figure out how to use it well enough in that period of time to implement with my classroom? If I can make something happen, chances are that students can, too. This routine of technical triage can yield some great finds while maximizing and focusing our time as teachers and librarians. We need not be expert users of every application we encounter, but we do need to measure it against our pedagogical expertise and seek the situations where it will enhance student learning. Now, go fill your toolbox with some Ten Minute Tools!