Teaching with technology

Choosing appropriate technologies for teaching


As the demand for eLearning grows, we see more teachers turning to technologies to support or deliver their teaching. Good guidance in the selection of the appropriate technologies is often missing.

All too often, we see teachers falling for the glossy technologies and spending time and money pursuing them at the expense of the learning of their students.

On the other hand, whilst learning is the primary goal, other considerations are also important: most obviously, cost in time and money. In fact, the selection of appropriate teaching and learning technologies is not necessarily straightforward because those decisions have many impacts.

Tony Bates and Gary Poole (2003) examined using technology in teaching prior to the iPhone (and other smartphones), iPad, Facebook and Twitter! They proposed that the selection of appropriate technologies should be guided by consideration of SECTIONS, an acronym for:

  • Students
  • Ease of use
  • Costs
  • Teaching and learning
  • Interactivity
  • Organization
  • Novelty
  • Speed

The SECTIONS methodology is summarized here in a downloadable PDF diagram (100KB) that identifies important considerations when selecting technologies.


SECTIONS diagram


Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education: Foundations for Success. A.W. Bates and Gary Poole. 2003. Jossey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco, 306pp.