Last week I was a guest on a podcast that is going to be released next month. The host asked me for a “closing quick tip” to share with listeners. My tip was to try to see educational tech tools from your students’ perspectives. To that end, here are three ways to see educational technology tools from a student’s perspective.
Create a Student Profile
I have email addresses for my dogs so that I use them to create student accounts when I’m testing a new educational technology tool. In many cases this lets me see what my students will see when they sign-up and sign-into a service for the first time. Then I complete an activity or two in that student profile so that I have a better understanding of what my students will see and be prepared to answer questions that they might have when they use the service.
Phone a Friend
It’s not always possible to use a “dummy” email address to create a student profile for testing a new app or service. For example, in Google Classroom a student has to have the same email domain as you do. In those cases I’ll ask a colleague to join my Google Classroom as a student then we’ll look at the student view together. (Full disclosure: as a Google Workspaces domain admin I have also created a student account for testing purposes. Ask your Google Workspaces domain admin if they’ll do the same for you).
Incognito or Private Windows
One of the legitimate reasons for using an incognito or “private” browser window is to save yourself the hassle of signing out of one account just to sign back into another when you’re testing or demonstrating browser-based tool like Wakelet or Flipgrid. In other words, using an incognito window is a good way to see the student view of an online activity without having to sign out of your teacher account in your primary browser window.
Common Craft has a great video explanation of private browsing windows. The explanation includes the reminder that there is not truly private browsing when using your school or work network. And here’s my demo of using Chrome’s incognito mode.