Toolbox Overload: How to Declutter Your Digital Classroom & Truly Engage

Talia Kolodny
By Talia Kolodny on February 15, 2024

Picture your next training or L&D session. As a facilitator committed to active learning, you are likely planning to incorporate a variety of digital tools to keep engagement high. You might start with an icebreaker, directing participants to scan a QR code leading to a third-party polling tool.

As the session unfolds, you encourage note-taking in one app, screenshot capturing in another, share a slide deck in a separate tab, invite AI-assisted inquiry with GenAI tools, and collaborative brainstorming in yet another platform. You’re considering breakout rooms for a group activity, but you are concerned your participants might lose focus if you send them off.

While all of these tools are usually chosen with the best intention - to enrich the learning experience and foster interaction - they also introduce a significant challenge. Managing a plethora of digital applications not only demands a high level of multitasking from you, but also from your participants.

The Challenge: Too Many Tools, Not Enough Engagement

After speaking with hundreds of instructors and trainers around the world, our data shows that they may use between 3-12 different digital tools in a single session in order to enhance engagement and participation. Some expert trainers I’ve been working with describe it like a pilot in the cockpit of an airplane with a million buttons they need to control to keep the plane in the air. This digital clutter can transform what should be a seamless learning journey into a complicated labyrinth of interfaces and tools.

Beyond the immediate challenges of tool management and cognitive load, a deeper issue lies in evaluating the effectiveness of your session. With engagement metrics scattered across different tools, gaining a holistic view of your participants' progress or overall class engagement becomes exceedingly difficult. This fragmentation can leave you wondering: how do you truly know if your training session was successful?

The Solution: Technology-Enhanced, Human-Centered Learning

What if there was a way to transform this heavy toolbox into a clean, collaborative space for learning, without the clutter of multiple tools? Imagine everything you need, seamlessly embedded into one cohesive space, accessible through a single URL - the key to unlocking an engaging and effective session. Every slide could effortlessly morph into an interactive learning activity, engaging participants in real-time and keeping their attention locked on the learning objectives. Breakout discussions and group work would be instant and easy to facilitate, with no need to juggle between platforms or lose precious minutes setting up. Throughout the session, you could monitor engagement metrics in real time, offering a rich view of participation, engagement, and progress for each individual.

In this scenario,  you could focus on what you do best: teach, interact with your participants, and enjoy the journey. Technology would take care of the rest, ensuring a smooth and streamlined experience that enhances learning rather than complicating it.

This imagined classroom, where technology seamlessly enhances the learning experience without overwhelming facilitators or learners, is not just a distant dream - it's a reality now, thanks to platforms designed specifically for active learning.

Engageli: active learning platform

Streamlined Active Learning Online with Engageli

Platforms like Engageli eliminate the need to switch between tabs and multiple applications. You have everything you need, from group work, quizzes and an AI assistant, to collaborative documents and whiteboards. It is all a simple click away within a single, user-friendly environment. 

The experience in such a classroom is described by both facilitators and participants as the closest they have had to a real, in-person session, and in many ways, even better. The design promotes active learning, peer-to-peer interactions and natural conversations, just like you might have with a person sitting next to you. Real-time engagement metrics and detailed insights into individual participation and progress allow facilitators to make informed decisions on-the-fly, tailoring their approach to better meet the needs of their audience.

So how are you going to reduce your digital clutter? It is time to clear out your toolbox,  and focus on what truly matters - delivering high-quality learning experiences and fostering meaningful human interactions. Technology should no longer be a barrier, but a powerful ally in the quest for effective and engaging learning experiences.

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Published by
Talia Kolodny
Talia Kolodny
February 15, 2024