Evaluating and Comparing Technologies

Chan, S Checklist: http://techpudding.com/2011/04/04/checklist-for-evaluating-technology-software-and-applications/  

****= our area’s of focus

What it is? Application to our assignment
Always Put Learning First What we want students to learn, examine, discuss, think about, use as assistive technology, and research to develop their knowledge within their science courses and career studies. We want our students to see why they are learning specific content and how it can connect to their new future.
Higher Order Thinking Skills Are we challenging our learners thought process? The goal of our assignment is to provide students with the resources to not only make sense of current pieces of curriculum but to provide students with the space to connect their learning to medical carriers.
Does it follow universal design for learning (UDL) principles? 1) multiple means of representation

2) multiple means of expression

3) multiple means of engagement

It is extremely important for all students to be able to access the website. Also for consultants for our assignment to be able to access the learning tools. We want our students to be able to express through images, text, and voice recordings different opinions.
How about usability?


Easy to learn for everyone who will need to learn it, including teachers, administrators, students, and parents Can the all teachers, administrators, students, and parents use the technology? Parents is key in education system as the LMS will be accessible at home
How much does it cost?


What can you, your students, and your institution afford to spend on training, maintenance, upgrades, and the like? Our school is on a restricted budget choosing technology that will be able to be used for a wide variety of assignments will be beneficial to the use for all classrooms. We would choose specific teachers to go for training on the new technology. Those teachers would be responsible to go back to their schools and teach fellow educators how to use the new technology. This would allow for us to save some money in training.
Word-of-mouth. Researching online user discussion boards and asking specialists for recommendations can be very useful. We will look at other educators and professionals to seek recommendations of technology. No technology will be chosen solely on the word-of-mouth but will assist in facilitating direction as to which technology other educators/ professionals have used and the gains and losses that arises from those pieces of technology.
Reliability and support.


Is there somewhere to go for help? Will it work Will the technology work consistently outside of general internet connection loses? Due to the use of class time it is extremely important for the technology that we are choosing to work well when we are working on this assignment. This will allow for the students to feel comfortable to rely on the technology fully.
Flexibility. Can it expand to other applications? For the focus on the assignment we will want students to be able to take their learning and apply it to external environments. We want students to be able to see the connections between our learning and the outside professional work such as a hospital. We want students to develop learning tools that they can use in the future as well.
Evaluation and monitoring tools.


Can the users be monitored? Due to the extreme need for the educators to see the learning on the digital tools and LMS it will be extremely important to have each that we can evaluate and monitor students learning and discussions.
Security and privacy. Is it safe the the students? Students within high-school will be taught how to appropriately use both devices and know the positive and negative implications of the internet. A discussion will be made about privacy to all students. The LMS will be completely private by code’s that are only given to the students.
User interface. Is it user friendly visually and usability? Students are very adaptable but when they are faced with technology they are very quick to drop the technology and move onto a new piece. Choosing software that facilitating positive interaction is extremely important.
Sharing and communication.


Can students work together to view, share, comment, communicate, evaluate, contribute, and socialize synchronously and asynchronously. For our assignment is it really important to have a well analyzed learning management system (LMS)for the students to be able to reflect on their learning with the digital images. Having a space for students to be able to share their thoughts, learnings, or questions is really important. We also wanted students to have some connections to outside professionals. This LMS will allow for us to add external members that will assist students in application questions or career development.
Integration with existing tools Does it function with other tools? The checklist is going to evaluate two mobile devices and learning management systems. Our focus is not application with other tools but rather one space to evaluate digital diagrams and have a space to share their knowledge.
Don’t get attached to one tool. Have the open mind to shift to another application if required. While considering the tools we are going to use for this assignment we are going to ensure we have an open mind to changing the tools if the application need shifts.


Category 1: Traditional vs. Mobile Operating Systems

The modern clinical environment is heavily dependent upon non-mobile hardware and traditional operating systems. The majority of hospitals primarily use Microsoft based operating systems on desktop platforms. The most popular (20% of hospitals) operating system used within hospitals is Windows XP. This operating system is over fifteen years old and is desktop based. Such antiquated technology not only fails to take advantage of the portability offered by mobile devices, but also presents possible security and patient privacy concerns (Dickerson, 2014).

The evaluation system design by Chan (2011), will be used to evaluate mobile operating system (OS) use to that of traditional desktop-based operating systems within the clinical environment.


Typical Desktop Based Patient Tracker Board for Emergency Department


Applicability of Universal Design for Learning

Mobile OS allows for greater universal design learning within the clinical environment. The reason for this is that such mobile OS platforms enable the learner to bring the learning device to the bedside. This holds numerous advantages (Chang et al, 2012). It allows engagement within patients and learners using the device. It also provides tailoring of the digital tool towards bedside needs and various clinical scenarios (Hardyman et al., 2013).


Typical mobile OS medical app



Usability is now fairly ubiquitous for both mobile and desktop based OS. Both are mature technologies in which most people have prior experience using outside of professional contexts. Training needs are usually minimal for both OS.  A major advantage held by mobile OS is that it facilitates bring digital tools directly into the clinical environment. Such emersion of this technology greatly enhances its usability by providing new bedside based experienced which can only be addressed by the portability afforded by a mobile OS (Hardyman et al., 2013).

User Interface, Flexibility and Cost

The cost of an OS is mostly dependent on accompanying hardware. This can vary greatly; however, for the computing needs of the average medical trainee the hardware required for both mobile and desktop platforms are largely equivalent. Many applications which run on mobile devices are more affordable than those for desktop computers. Rarely are mobile medical applications more than $10, and many such applications are free. The open access nature of much of the software running on a mobile device likely allows this technology to more affordable and flexible after start-up costs are accounted (Chang et al., 2012). Nevertheless, the additional portability provided by a mobile OS provides a significant flexibility advantage. Mobile OS provides full emersion of computer technology into this learning environment and this is a critical factor in providing new and exciting learning opportunities. Furthermore, the user interface provided by a mobile OS provides increased usability within a clinical environment. For instance, wearing gloves while operating a mobile device at the bedside, or taking clinical images with a mobile device is more easily performed with a mobile OS (Raaum et al., 2015).

Reputation and Support

As mature and highly used technology, both mobile and desktop OS have extensive word-of-mouth direction and reliable support mechanisms. Computer support for both mobile and desktop devices are usually available free of charge for employees of health care institutions.

Security and Monitoring

Evaluation and privacy are a major concern within medical training. Patient confidentiality must be preserved despite the technology being used. Mobile OS provides challenges in this regard. Most mobile devices used by medical learners are not owned by a healthcare institution. This makes the monitoring of tools used and the quality control mechanisms behind such tools unknown. Similarly, most mobile devices contain cameras and recording devices. This has led to concerns being raised by professional regulatory bodies, such as the Royal College of Physicians. When collecting images of a patient or recording patient conversations the user of this technology must obtain and document consent. Furthermore, such devices must be used professionally like any other device which is often more heavily monitored, such as a hospital owned desktop computer. Hospitals much also audit and track access to patient records accessed by a mobile device in order to ensure abuse of this technology does not occur and that patient confidentiality is preserved (Tran et al., 2014).

Sharing and Integration

One of the greatest advantages afforded by a mobile OS is the ability to share and communicate. Clinicians are one of the only populations still using the antiquated technology of a pager. This technology is being rapidly replaced by mobile OS platforms. Text messaging provides communication independent of a phone. Mobile OS also provides for the sharing of clinical images and videos (Oretega et al., 2009). A desktop OS cannot be used to communicate in the same dynamic manner; however, a mobile OS raises significant security concerns in its ability to share confidential information over unsecured networks. Some pilot studies are being run by healthcare institutions to enable secured used of this sharing technology and to better integrate its functions with existing security mechanisms (Tran et al., 2014).


Category 2: Edmodo vs. Schoology

Both Edmodo and Schoology are free learning management systems that many secondary teachers in Ontario currently use.  The following are screenshots of both LMS:

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 1.21.08 PM
Edmodo Screenshot









Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 1.22.40 PM
Schoology screenshot











Evaluating and Comparing Schoology vs. Edmodo using The Checklist by Chan (2011).

Chosen categories from the Checklist for Evaluating Tech Tools, Apps, Software, and Hardware by Chan (2011)




Winner: Edmodo

  • Very user friendly for teachers to set up classes and add students by providing them with an access code.  The layout makes for easy navigation
  • Schoology has a free mobile app that is very user friendly
  • Schoology may be more user friendly for teachers but less user friendly for students or parents to navigate
  • Edmodo is designed to look like facebook which makes it very appealing to students.  The set up is similar to Schoology, teachers provide students with an access code and they can join
  • Edmodo has a free mobile app that is very user friendly.  There is also a parent app.
  • Edmodo has an “add parents” feature to easily invite parents into the LMS
  • Edmodo also has a “planner” app which is a handy tool for teachers.



Free 🙂

Free 🙂

Reliability and Support


  •  Has  a “Help Centre”
  • Will work as long as the internet connection is good
  • No in school support unless other teachers are also using it and can provide help
  • Has a “Help Centre”
  • Will work as long as the internet connection is good
  • No in school support unless other teachers are also using it and can provide help



  •  Teachers can insert tests/quizzes in Schoology for students to complete
  • Allows teachers to give students “badges” for completed work
  • Discussion boards can be easily monitored
  • Assignments can be submitted through a dropbox
  • Teachers can insert polls or quizzes in Edmodo for students to complete
  •  Allows teachers to give students “badges” for completed work
  • Discussion boards can be easily monitored
  • Assignments can be submitted through a dropbox

Sharing and Communication

Winner: Edmodo

  • Links to the “Remind” messaging app
  • Files and links can be easily uploaded and shared
  • Students can easily message each other or the teacher
  • Links to Office Online
  • Files and Links can be easily uploaded and shared
  • Teachers can access “Edmodo Spotlight” which is a database of resources that teachers have shared.
  • There is also opportunity to collaborate with other teachers around the world
  • Students communicate in a form similar to a facebook status update and they can choose who they want to see the message




  • Chan, S. (2011, April 4). Checklist for Evaluating Tech Tools, Apps, Software, and Hardware. Retrieved February 28, 2016, from http://techpudding.com/2011/04/04/checklist-for-evaluating-technology-software-and-applications/
  • Chang, A. Y., Ghose, S., Littman-Quinn, R., Anolik, R. B., Kyer, A., Mazhani, L., & Kovarik, C. L. (2012). Use of Mobile Learning by Resident Physicians in Botswana. Telemedicine Journal and E-Health18(1), 11–13.http://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2011.0050
  • Dickerson, P. (2014, November 19). Windows XP Sunset Problematic for Hospitals. Retrieved February 28, 2016, from https://connect.curaspan.com/blog/windows-xp-sunset-problematic-hospitals/
  • Hardyman, W., Bullock, A., Brown, A., Carter-Ingram, S., & Stacey, M. (2013). Mobile technology supporting trainee doctors’ workplace learning and patient care: an evaluation. BMC Medical Education13, 6.http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-13-6
  • Ortega, G., Taksali, S., Smart, R., & Baumgaertner, M. (2009). Direct cellular vs. indirect pager communication during orthopaedic surgical procedures: A prospective study. Technology and Healthcare, 17(2), 149-157. doi:doi: 10.3233/THC-2009-0540
  • Raaum, S. E., Arbelaez, C., Vallejo, C. E., Patino, A. M., Colbert-Getz, J. M., & Milne, C. K. (2015). Emergency medicine and internal medicine trainees’ smartphone use in clinical settings in the United States. Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions12, 48.http://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2015.12.48
  • Tran, K., Morra, D., Lo, V., Quan, S. D., Abrams, H., & Wu, R. C. (2014). Medical Students and Personal Smartphones in the Clinical Environment: The Impact on Confidentiality of Personal Health Information and Professionalism. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(5), E132. doi:10.2196/jmir.3138

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