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Mohammed Khattab: Top 10 Mistakes Teachers Make When Using Technology and How to Avoid Them


by Mohammed Khattab
Expert Educator Columnist, Qatar

  1. Design the lesson so that technology works in the lesson.  Do not build a lesson around a piece of technology.
  • Start with the outcome or lesson in mind
  • The technology is secondary
  • Build a great lesson first and then think of how to integrate tech
  1. Have the students “publish” the work instead of “handing in” the work.  This way students will take more ownership in what they are doing.
  • Tie into CCSS requirement to publish student work
  • Blogging, Tweeting
  • #Comments4Kids
  1. Mistake – not connecting with experts. 
  • Field trip around the world
  • Use Twitter search to locate, then connect via Skype
  1. Do not buy into the “digital natives” hype.  Age doesn’t matter.  It’s the person’s experience.  Students that are comfortable with technology can help students that are not.
  • Kids don’t always know how to use technology as well as we think they do
  • OR may not know how to use tech tools for learning
  1. Always back up your data.
  • Desktop on computers are not backed up.  Keep more important things saved to network or backup source.
  1. Don’t think that everything will go perfectly the first time.  Always have alternative plans if things don’t go as planned.
  • Having a school culture that sees/models failure as an opportunity to grow is important
  • Have a backup plan :)
  1. Give the students a choice.  There are many tools available that students can use to fulfill what you want them to do.  Don’t stick them with a single technology tool (app).
  • Focus on the outcome and let kids figure out how they can get there and show what they know
  1. You will need to change your teaching style.  Become a facilitator of learning.
  • Jerry gave an example of some HS teachers.
  • Need to move away from “sit and get” and be willing to change
  • Let students become the smartest person in the room.
  1. Model good digital citizenship behavior – must model, not just talk about it – cite sources, etc.
  • Probably the most important (e.g., citing sources)
  • Copyright, Fair Use, and how to use Creative Commons need to be taught
  • CommonSenseMedia.org is a great resource! They even have a scope and sequence available.
  1. We all must use technology in our classrooms and allow students to use their technology in classes.
  • Our kids live on their devices; when they come to school, we tell them to turn off their lives and don’t matter.


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