How the Motivation for Using Digital Media and Technology
Shapes Instructional Practices
You can take our online motivations questionnaire to identify your motivations or you can review the list below and choose for yourself.

You have high standards for your students’ work, and you may be seen as the go-to media professional in your school. You know how to push your students to understand and emulate the conventions that are important to being taken seriously as a creative author, artist, writer or media professional. To help students enter the real world of media creation, you may bring other media-makers into your classroom to enrich the learning experience.

You balance your interest in media and technology with a deep connection to academic content and standards. You want to be sure that media and technology are not used merely as bells-and-whistles, but to advance specific learning outcomes. Multimedia presentations, engaging websites, videos, and educational technology help you address the core academic content and skills that students need to master.

You’re the educator who loves tablets, apps, programs, plug-ins, widgets, websites, and other types of educational technology because you have a passionate curiosity about new tools. You like experimenting with what these tools can do. You see much potential to engage students with the media and technology tools they love and use in their everyday lives.

You’re smart about pop culture and curious about kid culture. Maybe your own most-loved popular culture isn’t too far removed from that of your students. You are inquisitive about the trends and hot topics that make up a crucial component of the fabric of your students’ everyday lives. You want school culture to meet kids where they live. You use pop culture to connect home to school, pulling kids into a learning mode.

You “pull back the curtain” to help students see how all forms of information and knowledge are constructed. You emphasize the practice of critical thinking, helping students ask good “how” and “why” questions.

You want to make society more just and equitable by promoting democratic participation. You use media and technology in the classroom as a catalyst for students to have a voice in improving life in their communities and in the world.

You want to broaden your students’ horizons. You want them to have exposure to a wide variety of texts, ideas, people and experiences that deepen their understanding of history, art, the sciences and society. You know that a key component of students’ future success in life will require them to draw from a variety of cultural sources both classical and popular.

You are an inventive, perhaps “DIY,” teacher. You’re always ready to challenge students with alternative ways of finding, using, thinking about, and creating media in the classroom. Whether you use open source programs on school computers, encourage students to start alternative clubs or magazines, or introduce students to information that’s “off the beaten path,” you are likely a key proponent of broadening students’ understanding of the many different ways that people share ideas with others.

You are an inspiration and a catalyst for your students’ creative energy. Students who have never felt comfortable speaking up in class, participating in activities, or contributing to class dialogue find it easier to speak their mind when you’re leading the classroom. You see your role as helping students be the best they can be.

You are a listener. You have a dedication to the social and emotional well-being of your students, and do everything you can to help students understand themselves and their lives. Students likely find you trustworthy, and may even confide in you in ways that they do not with other people. You know media is just one facet of student life, and you want to engage with it to help them through the highs and lows of life.

You understand that participation in digital media and learning cultures requires flexibility to new formats, modes of expression, and active, socially engaged participation in and out of school. You value media and technology tools for their power in helping children and young people tell and share their stories.

You are a natural critical thinker, aware of how economic systems and institutions influence our everyday lives, particularly through the media and technology we use. You want your students and your peers to be more mindful of the ways that things are bought and sold. Who owns and controls the media content that we see, hear, read, and play with? You feel responsible for giving your students a “wake-up call” about the economic and institutional inner-workings of the technology tools and the world that surrounds them.