A review of your go-to-guide for key topics and tools within EdTech: A to Z of EdTech by S.J. White.

Reviewed by Kat Cauchi

A to Z of EdTech is a brilliant guide to the key topics and tools within the overarching term of ‘EdTech.’ White reflects on challenges, best practice and questions to reflect on, making this an incredibly informative read whether you consider yourself to be tech savvy or more of a tech novice. The book focuses on how tech facilitates teaching and learning or provides support. Therefore, it can be a great tool to help educators make decisions in the kind of tech they use, the questions to ask and how to best use tools – especially the ones they already have!

F is for ‘Format’

Firstly, I want to share how much I love the format of this book. Each chapter is focused on an EdTech topic/ tool corresponding to the letters of the alphabet. For example, the first chapter is ‘A is for Accessibility’ and the last is ‘Z is for Zoom.’ I really like how each chapter also has a subheading that encapsulates the key word in a single line, e.g., ‘Accessibility means that everyone can join in.’

With this format, you could easily read the text from cover to cover or choose to dip in and out, picking a random letter and seeing what knowledge you get – either way, you’re bound to learn something useful!

C is for ‘Content’

White does well covering a variety of aspects of tech within the book. Although on the surface some chapters may seem similar, for example, ‘G is for Google’ and ‘M is for Microsoft,’ they aren’t some sort of comparison of platforms or simple lists of their features and products. Both are distinctly different in their coverage of mentioned tools, best practice and topics. Twenty-six elements will never cover every single topic or tool within tech but that doesn’t matter. White has carefully selected the key elements for more than enough coverage, and the knowledge in here can easily be applied to similar aspects and tech tools.

My favourite thing about this book is the ‘Reflection point’ sections. These help you consider key questions such as: What you are already doing and what is working well; What isn’t working as well and what are your next steps; and What you need to consider when procuring tech and reviewing its impact. For example, here are the ‘Reflection point’ questions, in the ‘I is for Internet’ chapter: “How might we reduce the data impact on students accessing the internet? How can we be more inclusive in practice when assigning tasks online? What EdTech tools offer offline access? Can we allocate time in the day for students to sync online when on site with free Wi-Fi?”

It’s also important to note that White chooses to celebrate all educators in her foreword, sharing that all staff in schools, colleges, community centres etc. have a vital role within education. This is refreshing as, all too often, the word ‘educator’ is only applied to teachers but we all know there are many different roles contributing to the education of children, young people and adults.

S is for ‘Summary’

All in all, a great read for any educator as, whatever role you may have in education, in this day and age there is bound to be some EdTech involved – and this book will help you navigate from wherever you are in your journey with tech to help you get the most out of whatever you are using.

Author

  • Katherine Cauchi

    Kat Cauchi is a WeAreTechWomen #TechWomen100 2023 award winner and a 2022 Nexus Education 'Classroom and Curriculum' improvement award winner. She is the community engagement manager at NetSupport, editor of R.I.S.E. Magazine, and the host of two podcasts. Kat is a member of the Global Equality Collective, a Global EdTech author, InnovateHer ambassador and Technocamps Girls in Stem role model.
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