Introducing a new app, tool, technology

How do we get inquiry and student learning to “stick”? First consider how to introduce new apps or technology. Acknowledge that the audience is just starting and that learning the tool should be separated from learning new academic concepts. Keep in mind as well that “learning is more durable when it is effortful.”*


Through the Novice Lens

Guiding Mnemonic: OMG

Make sure first time users follow the full tour. Do a “think-pair-share” check-in with the icon sheet provided. Share one of YOUR thinklets and ask for annotations. Swipe to show captured student thinking for the “ah-ha". The first problem should be familiar to students or based on accessible skills.

User get acquainted with the app using:
Orientation: Take a tour, review icons.
Make connections: Similar protocols; paper and pencil (see CueNotes Ep. 4 graphic organizer).
Go for it! Encourage self discovery, mistakes support learning!

Icon Support

A full page resource is provided with this episode. You can also review 4-phase problem solving as described in CueNote Ep. 4.


1. Create a bingo card from the icons for students to check off as they do the tour.
2. Have students peer “teach”. Select a cadre of student volunteers to pilot the app first and act as the in-class student help desk.
3. Create your own guiding mnemonic or extend ours “OMGP” - Put to use with different content areas.

Addresses Math Practice Standards 1 and 5

Inspired By

*make it stick, Sparking Student Creativity,  #makemathsocial and other twitter posts