A ‘Technology Review’ is a critique of a technology used for teaching and learning. Its focus is not on the technology itself and its technical functionality but on its pedagogical application. A ‘Technology Review’ can be written from the point of view of first-hand experience, i.e. how you used it, what went well, what went wrong (although you might want to consider developing this into a case study1) or you can gather the evidence from the literature.
Simply put, the work of most organizations would slow to a crawl without functioning IT systems. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t at least partially rely on computers and the networks that connect them. Maintaining a standard level of service, security and connectivity is a huge task, but it’s not the only priority or potential challenge on their plates.
More and more companies want to implement more intuitive and sophisticated solutions. “IT can provide the edge a company needs to outsmart, outpace and out-deliver competitors,” says Edward Kiledjian, a Chief Information Security Officer and technology blogger. Let’s take a look at the needs that current and future IT specialists will be working on:
- Data overload: Businesses need to process huge amounts of data. This requires large amounts of processing power, sophisticated software and human analytical skills.
- Mobile and wireless usages: More employers are offering remote work options that require smartphones, tablets and laptops with wireless hotspots and roaming ability.
- Cloud services: Most businesses no longer operate their own “server farms” to store massive amounts of data. Many businesses now work with cloud services—third-party hosting platforms that maintain that data.
- Bandwidth for video hosting: Videoconferencing solutions have become more and more popular, so more network bandwidth is needed to support them sufficiently.
This section should provide a good background and introduction of the technology and it should set the foundation for the body of the article. This section should be about two or three paragraphs. Clearly identify the type of technology application (e.g., software, hardware, Web-based, non-Web-based, etc.) a brief history of the technology, typical users of the technology, how to access the technology (e.g., application Website, associated Web links for the technology), main purposes/uses of the technology, who the main users are (e.g., target audience).
This section should be about two-thirds (2/3) of the paper (i.e., roughly 1,000 – 1,250 words). This part of the article is the core of your review. Clearly explain how to set up and use the technology, how the technology is currently being used or can be used (e.g., vignettes, examples, mini case studies), and why the technology is important. Be sure to support this section with supporting references and web links, supporting theories, examples, images of application screens, tables/graphs, etc. Be sure to explain not just the key features of the technology but also how those features can benefit educators (i.e., what key benefits can educators and learners gain from using the technology). Explain the relative merits of the technology – its strengths and possible weaknesses.