It would be helpful to the education community if articles and blogs stopped using phrases such as "Five Best Tools to Use Instead of PowerPoint", or "Best Blogging Tools for students". The word "best" is a misnomer. I appreciate someone vetting the many edtech tool options out there and sharing the pros and cons of a small list of them (no need to overwhelm us with 20+ options). However, denigrating someone's choice to use something different is not productive. I recently read a social media comment on a post that stated, "Why would you use that? You should use this!!" It is deleterious to insult a colleague's choices. All educators have to work within the confines of their employer's requirements and as well as what the infrastructure of their school will support. The idea is to integrate technology into the curriculum not the other way around. Whatever technologies work best for a given teacher IS the best technology.
Not all districts are the same. Nor should they be in my opinion. However, edtech leaders often expound the latest fad or trend without taking into consideration the many differences educators face around the world. While Edmodo works for my district, Schoology might be better for some other district. Or maybe the future Google Classroom. I like diversity in business leaders and diversity of my edtech products as well. Just as biodiversity makes a biome stronger, edtech diversity improves the technology we use in education.
I believe Edtech diversity within a district is also a good thing . My district has an Edmodo domain. However, if a teacher chose to use Schoology, or a combination of Quia and a blog instead of Edmodo that is fine. It is about getting teachers to use whatever technology works for them, and by extension, their students. We want to encourage educators to step out of their comfort zones at times and try new things but it is not necessary that everyone try the same new technologies at the same moment in time. We speak of student "choice" as being highly motivating; the same is true of teacher's choice. Education should not be a dictatorship.
What technologies a teacher uses should not be dictated by administration, IT departments, technology coaches, blogs by edtech leaders*, and certainly not by brands themselves. Let's face it education technology is big business. There are profits to be made. If everyone used the same tools it would make an edtech monopoly. As much as I love many Google Education products I would not want them to be the only game in town. Diversity in our people and our education technology tools will keep the education biome healthy.
School districts deserve choice, teachers deserve choice, students deserve choice.
* Not all edtech leaders/bloggers are currently employed as educators. Some bloggers are paid to write a blog post about a product. Look for a disclaimer such as : Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". This is one reason I try very hard to pay more attention to edtech people who still work for a school district.