One of the biggest tragedies of technology in education is the huge number of unused devices in schools and other institutions throughout the country. These technologies were procured at great cost to the organization, or they have been donated. Regardless of its source, technologies that are not optimally used do not add any value.
So the question is: is the technology in your school an add-in or an add-on?
To make the difference clear, let’s use an example form your home. In most kitchens a stove can be regarded as an add-in – it is such an integral part of what you do in a kitchen that you can hardly imagine one without a cooking surface. But an electric cake mixer is seen by some as an add-on – it is nice to have, but not used all the time and you can do without it. Of course, unless you are a passionate baker – in that case the electric cake mixer is an add-in for you.
The point of the analogy is that when a piece of equipment is not an essential part of your normal operations, it is an add-on. When you elevate its use to a level where it is part of what you’re doing every day, it becomes an add-in.
Rather than having a room full of add-ons technologies, which are seldom – or never – used, it is better to have only one, or a few, technologies with which you are comfortable and that you can use to enhance your lessons.
ADESSA members are keen to assist educators make sure that technologies procured from them are not mere add-ons.